If you are wondering how to install Windows 11 on your unsupported PC then this post is what you need to read today. The good news is, Microsoft is now allowing even those computers that does not meet the hardware requirements to install and run the preview build. However, these computers had to be signed up with the Dev Channel through the Windows Insider Program before 24th June. But, if you did not sign up for the Dev Channel before 24th and your PC does not meet the hardware requirements, you wouldn’t be able to install the Windows 11 preview build. The good thing is, there are many other ways you can install Windows 11 on almost any unsupported PC. Let’s see how:
Method 1: Upgrade to Windows 11 by manually enrolling in the Dev Channel
If your PC does not meet the basic requirements set by Microsoft for the Windows 11 upgrade, on joining the Windows Insider Program, you will only see the Release Preview Channel option. However, there’s still a way that can help you enroll into the Dev Channel through Registry Editor. Follow the below instructions to register with the Dev Channel using the Registry:
*Note – Before you proceed, make sure that you join the Windows Insider Program and activate the Release Preview Channel. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press the Win + I keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Settings app.
Step 2: In the Settings app, click on the Update & Security option.
Step 3: Next, on the left side of the pane, click on Windows Insider Program.
Step 4: Now, go to the right side of the pane and click on the Get started button.
If you see a prompt asking you to connect to your Microsoft Account, enter you credentials to proceed.
Step 5: Once done, you may see another prompt – Pick your Insider settings and below this you will see three options.
Select the Dev Channel option.
Click on Confirm to proceed.
For some users, the prompt may not come up and the Release Preview Channel option shows automatically selected with a warning at the top:
“Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Your device may continue to receive Insider Preview builds until Windows 11 is generally available, at which time it is recommended to clean install to Windows 10.”
If you see this warning, do not worry, you will still be able to install the Windows 11 preview build following the below methods.
Restart your PC, log into your Windows 10 account and continue with the Registry method below:
Step 1: Press the Win + R hotkeys to open the Run command window.
Step 2: In the Run command search bar, type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor window.
Step 3: In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the below path:
Now, go to the right side of the pane, locate the BranchName string and double-click to open it.
Step 4: In the Edit String Dialogue box, go to the Value data field and enter Dev.
Press OK to save the changes.
Step 5: Now, look for ContentType string on the right side and double-click to open it.
Step 6: In the Edit String dialogue box, set the Value data field as Mainline.
Press OK to save the changes.
Step 7: Now, check for the String name – Ring and open it.
Step 8: In the Edit String window, change the Value data field to External.
Press OK to save the changes.
Restart your PC and now, go to the Windows Insider Program option in the Settings window and you should now be set for the Dev Channel.
You can now download and install the Windows 11 preview build update.
*Note – But if you do not see one of the three option, you are correctly enrolled into the Windows Insider Program.
Method 2: Enroll in the Dev Channel Using a Script
Step 1: Open your browser and visit the GitHub Page for the OfflineInsiderEnroll script.
Step 2: Right-click on the Raw button on the right side of the screen and select Save link as.
Step 3: Select your desired location to save the download and click on Save.
Step 4: Once downloaded, press the Win + E keys together on your PC to launch the File Explorer window.
Now, go to the location where you downloaded the GitHub script.
Right-click on the file and select Run as administrator.
Step 5: This will open a Command Prompt window with some options.
Here, type “1” for Enroll to Dev Channel and hit Enter.
The script will now start running and once done, it will display once it’s done.
Close the Command Prompt and go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program and you should see that you are enrolled to Dev Channel now. You can now download and install the update for the Windows 11 Insider preview build.
Method 3: Upgrade or Clean Install Windows 11 by creating a hybrid Installer
Before you proceed with this method, you must ensure that you evade the initial verification. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Press the Win + R shortcut keys on your keyboard to open the Run command window.
Step 2: In the search field, type msinfo32 and press OK to open the System Information window.
Step 3: In the System Information screen, go to the right side and check for the BIOS Mode.
Note down what it says.
Step 4: Now, create a Windows 10 installation media using a USB device, but make sure you download the latest Windows 10 Insider ISO.
*Note – You can either get the 21354 version straight from the Microsoft website with an Windows Insider account or you can create your own 21390 version ISO for your system type (32-bit or 64-bit) using the UUP Dump.
If you are using a software like Rufus, use MBR partition scheme for Legacy mode, and GPT for UEFI mode.
Step 5: Now, to create a hybrid installer, download the latest version of the Windows 11 Insider ISO using the UUP Dump since the official Microsoft website does not have one yet.
Alternatively, you can get the readymade ISO from one of the Reddit forums.
Step 6: Once downloaded, open the USB drive in the File Explore and navigate to the location where you downloaded the Windows 10 ISO.
Go to the Sources folder and double-click to open the folder.
Step 7: Locate the install.wim or install.esd file and make a note of the extension.
Step 8: Rename the file to for example, Install1.wim or Install1.esd.
Step 9: Now, go to the location where you have downloaded the Windows 11 ISO.
Right-click on it and select Mount.
Step 10: A few seconds later, you will see a pop up – DVD Drive.
Open this drive and open the Sources folder in it.
Step 11: Here, check for the files – install.wim or install.esd and check if the extensions match with the one you noted down in Step 7.
Step 11: Now, copy the install file from the Windows 11 ISO and paste it into the Windows 10 ISO.
However, if the extensions differ for the Windows 10 ISO and the Windows 11 ISO, for example the Windows 10 has install.wim and the Windows 11 has install.esd, then you would need to convert the install file in the Windows 11 ISO to the one matching the Windows 10 ISO install file extension.
Now, the installer (hybrid) will assume itself as the installer for Windows 10, but will install Windows 11 for real.
Step 12: Now, copy the install file from the Windows 11 ISO and paste it on your desktop.
Step 13: Next, press the Win + R keys together on your PC to open the Run command.
Step 14: In the Run command window, type cmd in the search field and press the Ctrl + Shift + R keys together to open the elevated Command Prompt.
Step 15: In the Command Prompt (admin), execute the below command:
dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:C:\Path\To\install.wim
Change the highlighted part with the path where the WIM file for your system is actually located. The above path in yellow is an example.
This command takes a while to complete, so wait patiently. Once done, you will have an ESD file that can be copied to your USB drive.
You can now install the Windows 11 in two different ways:
By using the Installer to Upgrade to Windows 11
Step 1: Open the USB flash drive and double-click to open the setup.exe file.
*Note – Sometimes, you may not see the .exe extension based on your system settings.
Step 2: Now, follow the instructions to upgrade to Windows 11.
Once the upgrade process is over, wait for sometime till Windows 11 is finally ready to work with.
By using the Installer to Clean Install Windows 11
Step 1: Boot the system from the USB drive and follow the setup process as normal.
Step 2: You will see a prompt to restart your PC.
Step 3: On reboot, your PC will restart into the initial post install setup.
Your PC will now reboot a couple of times as it tries to complete the setup.
Once the setup is successfully completed, Windows should now display the setup guide and you are done.
However, if the setup does not complete successfully follow the below process:
Step 1: Boot into the USB drive again and as soon as the Windows setup reaches the first screen of the setup, press the Shift + F10 keys simultaneously on your keyboard.
This will open a Command Prompt window.
Step 2: In the Command Prompt window, type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor window:
Step 3: In the Registry Editor window, go to the File tab on the upper left and then select Load Hive.
Step 4: Next, in the Load Hive window, click on This PC on the left.
Now, look for your system drive.
In our case, it’s the C drive.
Step 5: Now, go to the below path:
*Note – The drive (highlighted in yellow) is just an example. The OS drive for your system could be different.
Here, double-click on System.
Step 6: You may be asked for a Key Name.
Enter SYSTEM1 as Key Name and press OK.
Step 7: Now, repeat Step 5 to navigate to the SOFTWARE folder this time.
Double-click on SOFTWARE and when asked for Key Name, enter SOFTWARE1.
Step 8: Now, go back to the Registry Editor and navigate to the below path:
Now, go to the right side of the window and double-click on CmdLine.
Step 9: In the Edit String dialogue box, make sure the Value data field is blank.
Press OK to save the changes and return to the Registry Editor.
Step 10: Now, look for OOBEInProgress and double-click to open it.
Step 11: In the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value, set the Value data to 0.
Press OK to save the changes and return to the Registry Editor window.
Step 12: Now, repeat the Step 10 and 11 for the DWORD Values – RestartSetup, SetupPhase, SetupType, SystemSetupInProgress and set the Value data fields for all of these to 0.
Step 13: Now, navigate to the below path in the Registry Editor window:
Now, go to the right side of the window, right-click on an empty area, select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Step 14: Rename the DWORD Value as SkipMachineOOBE.
Double-click to open it.
Step 15: In the Edit DWORD Value dialogue box, set the Value data field to 1.
Press OK to save the changes.
Step 16: Now, create a new DWORD Value in the same way as Step 13.
Rename this new DWORD Value as SkipUserOOBE.
Double-click to open the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialogue box.
Step 17: Set the Value data field to 1.
Press OK to save the changes and exit.
Now, that the initial post-install setup install for Windows is disabled, you would need to create a new user account for the initial set up manually:
Step 1: In the Command Prompt window that you opened earlier in Step 15 above and run the below command:
copy C:\Windows\System32\Utilman.exe C:\
*Note – Replace the C drive here with your OS drive.
Step 2: Now, run the below command and hit Enter to replace the Utiliman program.:
copy /y C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe C:\Windows\System32\Utilman.exe
Step 3: Restart your PC to Windows again, open Command Prompt and execute the below command:
Step 4: In the login screen, you will see only Other User as an option.
Click on the Accessibility icon at the bottom of the screen and this will open a Command Prompt window.
Step 5: Copy and paste the below command in the Command Prompt window and hit Enter:
net user /add USERNAME PASSWORD
*Note – Replace Username and Password with your chosen Username and Password.
Step 6: Now, type the below command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter:
net localgroup administrators USERNAME /add
*Note – Make sure you replace the Username with the one you selected in the Step 5.
Step 7: Reboot your PC from the USB drive to see the user account.
Now, press the Shift + F10 keys simultaneously on your keyboard to launch the Command Prompt again.
Step 8: Now, run the below command in the Command Prompt to revert to the original program:
copy /y C:\Utilman.exe C:\Windows\System32\Utilman.exe
Now, reboot to Windows and you should be able to login now and finish the set up for Windows 11.
You can now delete the Utilman.exe from the C drive, safely.
Method 4: Upgrade by Replacing the Compatibility Check File
Try this method, if you encounter a compatibility check issue with the Method 1 and 2. For instance, you completed the Windows 11 setup, but it throws an error saying your PC is incompatible. In this case, you will have to replace the appraiser service on your system that checks if your PC meets the minimum requirements to install Windows 11. This can be done by replacing the appraisererrer.dll file in the Windows 11 setup with the one from the older version of Windows 10.
However, before that, we need the Windows 10 setup. For this, you must download the Windows 10 October 2018 copy (build – 17763) from a third party website.
By Updating Windows 10 to Windows 11
Alternatively, you can try updating the Windows 10 to Windows 11 through Window Update. While the compatibility check will keep preventing the installation of Windows 11, make sure the setup is completely downloaded first. Continue to try to finish the download of the setup or make use of the UUP dump for manual download of the Windows 11 ISO.
Step 1: Now, that you have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, go to its download location, right-click and select Mount.
It will be downloaded as a DVD drive with a name similar to CCCOMA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV9.
Step 2: Now, open the drive and go to the Sources folder.
Step 3: Here, look for the appraiserres.dll file.
Now, copy this file and extract it on Desktop.
Step 4: Press the Win + E keys together on your keyboard to open the File Explorer window.
Here, navigate to the below location:
*Note – Paste the above path directly in File Explorer based on your Windows version.
Step 5: Locate the appraiserres.dll file and rename this file to appraiserres1.dll.
Step 6: Now, paste the appraiserres.dll file you extracted in the Step 3.
Step 7: Next, navigate to the C:\$WINDOWS.~BT path.
Here, locate the setup.exe file and double-click on it to run it.
*Note – You may not see the .exe extension based on your setup.
Step 8: Now, you can use a tool like Rufus to transfer the Windows 11 ISO to a USB drive.
Step 9: Next, open the drive and locate the Sources folder.
Step 10: In the Sources folder, look for the appraiserres.dll file and rename it to appraiserres1.dll file.
Step 11: Now, copy the appraiserres.dll file that you extracted earlier in Step 3.
Step 12: Open the USB drive again and run the setup.exe file.
*Note – You may not find the .exe extension depending on your setup.
Your PC should now bypass the compatibility checks and install the Windows 11 successfully.
*Note – Before the upgrade, you can also turn off the option to check for updates as it may cause the setup to fail. This step increases the chances of the upgrade to complete.
For this, wait till the initial set up screen comes up, click on Change how Windows downloads updates > Not right now.
Now, complete the setup normally.