Home windows 11: All the things it’s essential know

Microsoft took the wraps off of Home windows 11 in a 45-minute on-line occasion, titled “What’s subsequent for Home windows,” held on June 24, 2021. A number of days later, the corporate launched the primary preview of the brand new working system for members of the Home windows Insider Preview Program.

If you happen to use a Home windows PC at house or at work, how will this improve have an effect on you? I have been gathering your questions and have assembled the solutions right here.

What’s Home windows 11?

On the danger of stating the blindingly apparent, Home windows 11 is the successor to Home windows 10. It is constructed on the identical core structure as Home windows 10; certainly, Microsoft might have chosen to ship the brand new options in Home windows 11 by a sequence of semi-annual characteristic updates to Home windows 10 with no title change.

As an alternative, they selected to make this old style “large bang” launch, with a brand new main model quantity and a laundry checklist of recent options.

For starters, there is a new consumer expertise, with refreshed colours and icons, main modifications to the Begin menu and taskbar, an in depth transforming of the Settings app, a Widgets pane designed to ship bite-size chunks of reports and reminders, and a enormously improved method to snap home windows into place.

{Hardware}-assisted safety, which has been an elective a part of Home windows 10, is now necessary, which implies Safe Boot and machine encryption can be found by default to guard towards more and more refined on-line assaults.

If you happen to’ve been unimpressed with the paltry number of apps within the Microsoft Retailer, you are not alone. Home windows 11 gives a serious replace to the Retailer, together with the choice for third-party builders to make their standard Win32 desktop apps obtainable for safe downloads by the Retailer.

And talking of apps, Home windows 11 will embrace a brand new Home windows Subsystem for Android, permitting Android apps to run on the acquainted Home windows desktop. There’s one catch, although: For now, not less than, these apps will come from the Amazon app retailer, which additionally suffers from Paltry App Choice Syndrome. In principle, the supply of Android apps might broaden sooner or later with the addition of extra sturdy app repositories just like the Samsung App Retailer and even (gasp!) the Google Play Retailer. That characteristic is just not but turned on in preview releases, and anybody with a protracted reminiscence of Microsoft’s experiments on this area has a proper to be skeptical.

How usually will Home windows 11 get characteristic updates?

A very powerful change within the Home windows 11 period is not software program in any respect. As an alternative, take a look at what Microsoft calls the servicing schedule, which can now produce characteristic updates as soon as per 12 months as an alternative of adhering to the frenetic twice-a-year characteristic replace schedule of Home windows 10.

The assist calendar (what Microsoft calls the Home windows lifecycle) is pushed out as effectively, with Microsoft providing 24 months of assist for House, Professional, Professional for Workstations, and Professional Schooling editions, as an alternative of the present 18 months. IT employees in enterprise and schooling environments can stay up for 36 months of assist for Enterprise and Schooling editions. That is an enchancment over the weird tick-tock assist schedule carried out for Home windows 10, the place solely H2 releases get three full years of updates.

Safety updates will proceed to reach month-to-month, on the second Tuesday of every month.

What are the minimal system necessities for Home windows 11?


In contrast to Home windows 10, which was particularly designed to run on older {hardware}, Home windows 11 requires comparatively new {hardware} and won’t set up on older PCs. Most PCs designed and bought in 2019 or later will work with Home windows 11, though there are some noteworthy exceptions.

Older {hardware} is much less more likely to move Home windows 11’s stringent compatibility checks; Intel seventh Era Core processors, for instance, aren’t on the checklist of appropriate CPUs, nor are PCs constructed utilizing AMD Zen 1 processors. PCs bought in 2016 or earlier are nearly sure to be unsupported.

Home windows 11 additionally requires a {hardware} safety element known as a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), together with UEFI firmware (no legacy BIOS allowed) and Safe Boot. Nearly all PCs designed and constructed since 2015 embrace TPM 2.0 assist, though you might need to enter the firmware settings to allow it.

The revealed system necessities for Home windows 11 are as follows:

  • Processor: 1 GHz or sooner with two or extra cores on a appropriate 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC)
  • RAM: not less than 4 GB
  • Storage: not less than 64 GB of obtainable storage
  • Safety: TPM model 2.0, UEFI firmware, Safe Boot succesful
  • Graphics card: Suitable with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Show: Excessive definition (720p) show, 9″ or higher monitor, 8 bits per shade channel

Naturally, you may want an web connection to maintain Home windows 11 up-to-date and to obtain and use some options. Home windows 11 House version requires an web connection and a Microsoft Account to finish the out-of-box machine setup; the choice for an area account is now obtainable solely on enterprise editions, the place it is a crucial first step on the highway to becoming a member of a PC to a Home windows area.

And this could be place to lift a farewell toast to 32-bit Home windows, which is now formally retired. Home windows 11 is offered solely as a 64-bit OS for 64-bit CPUs (32-bit Home windows apps will proceed to be supported, nevertheless).

What’s new within the Home windows 11 consumer interface?

When a preliminary construct of Home windows 11 leaked forward of Microsoft’s June announcement, the leak kicked off a flurry of superficial protection that obsessed over tiny visible modifications. To an informal observer, Home windows 11 regarded like a glorified theme pack for Home windows 10.

That is not the case. There are some noticeable visible tweaks to what Microsoft calls the Home windows 11 consumer expertise (UX), together with new icons, with extra vibrant colours and rounded corners, in addition to a brand new system font.

The taskbar incorporates one new button, which opens a Widgets pane on the left aspect of the show. For now, not less than, the number of widgets is proscribed largely to Microsoft providers. Different taskbar tweaks (aside from the brand new centered alignment) are comparatively minor, though the power to fine-tune the visibility of tray icons and a crisper, cleaner Fast Settings app are welcome.


Visuals apart, Home windows 11 additionally makes some pretty radical modifications to basic components of the Home windows UX, together with the Begin menu and taskbar. The Begin button nonetheless sits on the left of the taskbar, however the taskbar itself is now centered on the backside fringe of the show. (There is a setting to maneuver all the things again to the left for those who do not feel like overpowering your muscle reminiscence from a long time of getting Begin within the decrease left of the display screen.)

Clicking Begin slides open a brand new pane that hardly resembles the scrolling lists of apps and utilities discovered on the standard Begin menu. In Home windows 11, this area is cut up into two rectangles beneath a search field, with the highest half devoted to program icons and the underside half given over to shortcuts to current paperwork. You may pin packages to that high area and drag them into your most popular order, however that is just about the extent of customization choices for packages, which may’t be grouped into subfolders.

The one different tweak for Begin is the choice to pin some system folders to the underside row, between the consumer profile image and the facility button.

File Explorer will get the identical visible refresh as the remainder of Home windows, with a simplified ribbon and shortcut menus; in any other case, it retains the acquainted three-pane association. The Settings app, alternatively, will get an entire makeover. A brand new navigation pane on the left gives prepared entry to the primary classes, with sections on the precise that slide open as wanted to allow changes to system settings and personalization choices.

On touch-enabled units and tablets just like the Floor Professional, you may discover large modifications in the way in which that the pen and contact parts work, with extra swish transitions from PC to pill mode and vice versa. On standard PCs with a number of displays and docking stations, the system is lastly sensible sufficient to recollect the association of home windows while you reconnect.

Choices for arranging home windows on massive exterior shows are considerably expanded in comparison with Home windows 10. The acquainted “snap” shortcuts nonetheless work to place home windows aspect by aspect, however hovering the mouse pointer over the icon within the higher proper nook of any window shows further choices for arranging three or 4 home windows, as proven right here. These preparations can be found from the taskbar as effectively, permitting you to revive a particular association with a single click on.


Regardless of the numerous UX refresh, you may nonetheless encounter locations the place bits of older, even historic Home windows parts peek out. That is very true for the final remaining bits of the legacy Management Panel in addition to any app that’s hosted by the Microsoft Administration Console (MMC).

When will Home windows 11 be launched to the general public?

Microsoft says the official launch of Home windows 11 (what the corporate calls Basic Availability, or GA) will arrive on new {hardware} in late 2021. Most educated observers count on the Home windows 11 GA launch to reach in October 2021, and you’ll be silly to guess towards them.

The method of updating Home windows 10 PCs that meet Microsoft’s {hardware} necessities will begin across the identical time and can lengthen into 2022.

What do I’ve to do to check Home windows 11 at the moment?

As of July 2021, Microsoft is making preview variations of Home windows 11 obtainable for anybody who opts into the Home windows Preview Program and indicators up for the Dev Channel. Extra polished variations of Home windows 11 preview releases ought to arrive within the Beta channel in August and September.

What occurs if my system does not meet the minimal system necessities?

Prematurely of the official launch of Home windows 11, Insider preview releases will be put in on units that do not meet the minimal {hardware} necessities. When the preview interval ends, nevertheless, these PCs will not obtain updates until their homeowners wipe them clear and reinstall Home windows 10. It is potential {that a} handful of older processors, particularly Intel seventh Era CPUs like these within the expensive Microsoft Floor Studio 2, will likely be added to the processor compatibility checklist. However the extra doubtless end result is that older PCs will likely be blocked from the improve.

Hobbyists and hackers will, in fact, discover methods to idiot the Home windows 11 compatibility checker into permitting installations on unsupported {hardware}. However selecting that possibility is not going to be in compliance with Microsoft’s license settlement and can in all probability trigger severe compatibility points; one of these hacking is just not really useful for anybody fascinated by productiveness.

How a lot will Home windows 11 value?

On any PC with a correctly licensed copy of Home windows 10, the improve to Home windows 11 will likely be free.

Microsoft hasn’t introduced costs for Home windows 11 retail editions but, however it’s cheap to count on they are going to be an identical to the costs of corresponding Home windows 10 editions.

Will Home windows 11 run in a digital machine?

Sure, you’ll be able to set up Home windows 11 in a VM. In reality, you’ll be able to create a digital TPM in a Home windows 11 digital machine that may fulfill the {hardware} necessities of the brand new working system. On a Sort 1 (naked steel) hypervisor like Microsoft’s personal Hyper-V, you may be constrained by the identical CPU necessities that govern installations on a bodily PC. On a Sort 2 hypervisor reminiscent of Oracle Digital Field or VMware workstation, you would possibly be capable to spoof that requirement, however the effort might be not definitely worth the danger.

Will my present apps and {hardware} units work with Home windows 11?

Most apps and units that work with Home windows 10 ought to work as anticipated beneath Home windows 11. The brand new working system is sufficiently much like its predecessor that the variations should not pose an issue for many apps. After all, answering that query is why we now have preview releases, so the easiest way to test compatibility for a tool or app is to put in the most recent Home windows Insider preview launch and check out working it. (If you happen to encounter an error, remember to use the Suggestions Hub app to file a report.)