How to Clean Install Windows 11 on Unsupported PC (2023)
The Windows 11 22H2 is available to download, but unsupported hardware might prevent you from installing Windows 11. There is a registry hack that might allow you to upgrade to Windows 11. However, it won’t work if you wish to clean install Windows 11 on a PC with unsupported hardware and you may get the “This PC can’t run Windows 11” error.
Rufus, a bootable USB maker tool, offers a way to bypass TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, RAM, CPU, and Microsoft account requirements for Windows 11 installation. With Rufus version 3.20 and above, you can create a bootable USB for Windows 11 removing these limitations. After that, you can simply plug in that USB and clean-install Windows 11 without any problems.
SEE ALSO: How to Clean Install Windows 10 on your PC?
Clean Install Windows 11 on Unsupported Hardware
So, we will use Rufus to create Windows 11 installation USB with extended support. Extended support means, the setup will not give you the “This PC can’t run Windows 11” error while installing Windows 11. Before we move to detailed steps, let’s have a look at the minimum system requirements for Windows 11.
Minimum System Requirements for Windows 11
|Processor||1 GHz or faster having 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).|
|RAM||4 GB or more.|
|Storage||64 GB or more. You might need more space for installing apps and programs.|
|System firmware||UEFI with Secure Boot.|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0|
|Graphics card||Your Graphics Card must be compatible with DirectX 12 or later with the WDDM 2.0 driver.|
|Display||HD (720p) display bigger than 9 inches diagonally and having 8 bits per color channel.|
Step 1: Download Windows 11 ISO
First of all, you need to download Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft’s website. You can use the Media Creation tool or direct download links available on the official website to get Windows 11 ISO. Using this ISO we will create a bootable USB to clean-install Windows 11 on a PC with unsupported hardware.
So, go to Windows 11 download page and select the appropriate option to download Windows 11 ISO.
Step 2: Create Bootable USB without TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, RAM Limitations
After you have downloaded Windows 11 ISO, it’s time to create a bootable USB using Rufus. Please note that you need to use the latest version of Rufus to get Extended Windows 11 installation support. With extended support, we will be able to clean-install Windows 11 on an unsupported PC.
So, download and run the Rufus utility. Next, insert your USB (at least 8 GB in size) into your PC. Rufus should automatically detect it. In this tutorial, we have used Rufus v3.20.
After that, browse and select Windows 11 ISO file that you just downloaded. Rufus will automatically populate the most appropriate options.
Now, when you click the START button, you will see options to customize the Windows 11 installation. Here, check the options to remove RAM, Secure Boot, TPM 2.0, and Microsoft Account requirements. Finally, click OK to start creating the bootable USB for Windows 11. Please note, all data on your USB will be wiped out. So, make sure to take a backup of any important data on the USB.
SEE ALSO: How to Create Bootable Windows 11 USB for Supported and Unsupported PC using Rufus?
INFO: If you don’t customize the Windows 11 installation, you will get the “This PC can’t run Windows 11” error while installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware. However, if your PC meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11, you won’t get any errors during installation.
Step 3: Boot your PC from Windows 11 Bootable USB
Now that you are ready with Windows 11 bootable USB, make sure to set up your PC to boot from USB. Insert the USB into your PC and restart it. If you configured BIOS correctly, you will see a message saying “Press any key to boot from USB…”. Press any keyboard key to start Windows 11 clean installation on your unsupported PC.
Windows 11 setup will start loading the necessary files. You will see Windows 11 logo during that time.
Step 4: Start Windows 11 Clean Install Setup
Now, the initial Windows 11 setup will start. Select Language, Time, and Keyboard format and click Next.
After that, click Install Now to start Windows 11 setup on your PC.
Step 5: Select Windows 11 version and Accept the License Agreement
Now, Windows 11 setup will look for the digital license on your PC. If your PC doesn’t have any compatible inbuilt digital license, you might get a prompt asking for a product key. You may enter your product key here or select “I don’t have a product key” to do it later.
After that, you will see the options to select the version of Windows 11 you want to install. Remember, this screen will only appear if your PC doesn’t have a built-in digital license. Otherwise, Windows 11 setup will automatically choose the appropriate version based on your license.
So, select your desired version and click Next.
Now, you will see the Windows license agreement. Go through the license terms and check “I accept the Microsoft Software License Terms….“. After that click Next to continue to proceed with Windows 11 clean installation.
Step 6: Select Custom Install for Windows 11 Clean Installation
Now, you will see the option to select the installation type for Windows 11. Make sure to click “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)“. The “Upgrade” option works from within existing Windows installation only.
After that, you will see the list of available hard disk drives for installing Windows 11. Select a partition and click Next. If you have purchased a new PC, you can select unallocated space without creating partitions and click Next. We can create partitions later by shrinking the C drive. Just make sure that the partition size should be a minimum of 64 GB.
Now, Windows 11 setup will start a clean install of Windows 11 on your PC with unsupported hardware. It may take some time, so you may have a coffee in the meanwhile.
After successful installation, your PC will restart.
Step 7: Configure Windows 11 – Select Region and Keyboard Layout
After the reboot, Windows 11 configuration setup will start. Select your country or region and click Yes.
Next, you will see the option to add a keyboard layout to Windows 11. Select the desired layout and click Yes.
You will see the option to add another layout. If you wish to add another layout, click Add layout otherwise click Skip.
Step 8: Setup Network and Install Updates
After that, your PC will reboot and you will move to the next step. The next step in the configuration of Windows 11 is the network. If you have an internet connection, you can simply click Next.
Windows 11 setup will start downloading the latest updates for Windows 11 which could be several GB in size. So, if you don’t have an unlimited data connection, we recommend you disconnect the internet immediately.
NOTE: If you are installing Windows 11 Home version or Windows 11 Pro 22H2 version, you need to have active internet connection and Microsoft account to proceed. However, you can use this workaround to create local account in Windows 11 during setup.
Step 9: Type a Name for your PC and Select the Use Type
You may be prompted to type a name for your PC. So, type your desired name and click Next.
After that, you will be prompted to select how you would use your PC. So, if it’s your personal computer, select “Set up for personal use” and click Next.
NOTE: If you don’t have an internet connection during the installation, you may not see the above sceens.
Step 10: Create an Account and Configure Privacy Settings
Now, if you have connected to the internet, you will be presented with options to log in with the Microsoft account in Windows 11. You may enter your Microsoft account credentials to continue.
However, if you are willing to create a local account on your Windows 11 PC, click the “Sign-in options” link.
You will now see alternate options to log in to your Windows 11 PC. So, to create a local account, select Offline account.
NOTE: Windows 11 22H2 version doesn’t allow you to create a local account during the installation. However, you may use this workaround.
Next, Windows 11 setup will show you the benefits of a Microsoft account over a local account. If you are sure, click Skip for now to create a local account.
Finally, type a name for your local account and click Next.
Next, create a password for your account. You can also do it later and continue without setting up a password. Simply click Next without entering the password.
NOTE: If you create a password for your local account, you will also have to set up 3 security questions. These questions will help you reset your Windows 11 password in case you forget it. However, we recommend that you create a password reset disk to avoid troubles in future.
Now, you will see Windows 11 Privacy Settings. Configure them as per your wish and click Next.
Step 10: Windows 11 Clean Install Complete
Now, Windows 11 will create your profile and set up your desktop for first use. It may take some time, so, be patient.
After some time, you will see your Windows 11 desktop with brand-new graphics and the Start menu.
SEE ALSO: How to Restore Old Snipping Tool in Windows 11?
Install a Clean copy of Windows 11 on your PC (even with Unsupported Hardware)
Now, you have successfully installed Windows 11 on your PC. With the customizable Windows 11 Installation options in Rufus, you can install a clean copy of Windows 11 even on an unsupported PC. But if your PC meets minimum system requirements for Windows 11, we recommend you go for the Standard Windows 11 Installation. However, the installation process remains the same in both cases.
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