Windows 11 pink laptop

Windows 11 24H2 will fail to boot in (some) unsupported CPUs

Microsoft plans to further block unsupported hardware from installing and running Windows 11.

  • The next feature update could require the POPCNT instruction inside the processor.
  • Computers without this feature will fail to boot Windows 11.
  • The requirement increase will only affect very old hardware.

Windows 11 24H2 will increase the processor requirement to make very old hardware incapable of running the next version of the operating system. On X, user @TheBobyPony has found that the latest preview of version 24H2 now requires CPUs with the “POPCNT” instruction in order to boot properly.

POPCNT stands for “population count” and refers to a hardware instruction used in various processor architectures that counts the number of set bits (bits with the value of 1) in a machine word. AMD was the first company to integrate this instruction into its Barcelona architecture in 2007, while Intel added the feature later on in its Nehalem architecture in 2008.

It’s important to note that it’s expected that you will continue to be able to install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware. However, the new change means that devices with processors that are more than 16 years old won’t be able to start the operating system.

Since Microsoft hasn’t officially announced the requirement changes, it’s unclear how the company will implement this requirement. Remember that processors without the POPCNT instructions are already excluded since they are not part of the list of supported processors.

One scenario could include users being able to bypass the requirements, but the computer will simply stop booting. Or, even after creating a USB bootable media that bypasses the requirements, the system will still block the installation on those processors without the required instruction, such as on Intel’s Core 2 Duo and AMD’s Turion II chips.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.