Facepalm: Bad news for Windows 10 users who received offers to upgrade to Windows 11 last week despite their systems not meeting the minimum requirements: it was an error on Microsoft's part. Those who saw the promotion banner may have assumed Redmond had downgraded its stringent Windows 11 system requirements, but that's not the case.
Microsoft writes that on February 23, some ineligible Windows 10 devices, including those without a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip, were offered an inaccurate upgrade to Windows 11. Those who tried to install the update will likely have been disappointed as the installation could not be completed.
Microsoft says its engineers detected and resolved the issue on the same day, though it might take 24 to 48 hours to propagate to all affected devices. If you are one of the affected users, Microsoft says you do not need to take any steps.
Microsoft's demand that every Windows 11 PC has TPM 2.0 security means its newest OS is not supported on CPUs older than Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake, AMD Zen+, or Zen 2. But users have long been able to circumvent these requirements and install Windows 11 on unsupported systems.
Microsoft could, however, be cracking down on this practice of ignoring Windows 11's requirements. Back in March last year, the company started testing a desktop watermark that warned users if they were running Windows 11 on an unsupported system. Last week, it started appearing on some desktops.
Bruh since when did Windows 11 start showing this message? Now my desktop is probably gonna show the same message too as it's also running a TPM bypassed install like this laptop--- Devin Chaboyer (@devinchaboyer) February 16, 2023
At least it only shows on the desktop, unlike the Activate Windows watermark pic.twitter.com/6xHELd5grc
If you are running Windows 11 on an unsupported system and want to remove the annoying watermark, check out our step-by-step guide on how to edit the registry so Microsoft's warning disappears.
Microsoft continues to try and push more people onto Windows 11; it stopped issuing Windows 10 licenses via its website recently. It still has a lot of work to do, though things are moving in the right direction. According to Statcounter, Windows 11 reached its largest-ever global market share in January, hitting 18.1%. Windows 10, in contrast, saw its share fall from 82.4% in December 2021 to 68.8% last month.