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Unsupported Windows 11 installs are getting updates after all

Windows 11 just received its first update, and although it’s causing some problems, it carries a glimmer of hope for users with unsupported hardware. Contrary to what Microsoft suggested ahead of the launch, unsupported Windows 11 installations will receive driver and security updates — or at least some of them.

On the ramp-up to launch day, Microsoft suggested that unsupported Windows 11 installs wouldn’t receive critical security updates. Microsoft never flat-out committed one way or the other. Instead, we heard only vague notions about whether unsupported users would be entitled to updates or if they would be guaranteed.

Windows 11 update page.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Given Microsoft’s push to uphold the Windows 11 minimum system requirements — and a frightening wavier about unsupported installations — we could only assume that unsupported users wouldn’t receive updates. Imagine my surprise, then, when I booted up my Dell XPS 15 with the unsupported Core i7-7700HQ and installed security, driver, and .NET framework updates just like on any other Windows 11 computer.

It seems that unsupported Windows 11 installs will receive updates, at least for the time being. Microsoft’s vague approach suggests that this isn’t a constant; future updates may only arrive on supported devices, but we’re not sure at this point. For now, though, you can install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware and download the first big patch.

Microsoft caused a fuss when it announced Windows 11’s minimum hardware requirements. The operating system calls for at least a Ryzen 2000 or Intel 8th-gen processor, as well as TPM 2.0, UEFI Secure Boot, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The Windows team has offered a path for unsupported users to upgrade, but it originally seemed like a temporary solution — one that Microsoft actively discouraged with the lack of updates.

It seems that fretting was all for nothing. I was able to install the first Windows 11 patch on an unsupported system, and based on a report from HTNovo, others can install it, too.

That doesn’t mean unsupported users will receive every update, though. We can only suspect that Microsoft warned users about updates for a reason — future patches may not arrive on unsupported Windows 11 machines. For right now, though, everything is working as it should, even on unsupported hardware.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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