Simple trick to install Windows 11 on an old PC

Windows 11 hardware requirements

As you know, 11, the latest version of Windows is expected to be issued within this year, according to Microsoft. In the previous post, I showed you how to get and activate it for FREE. After that, some of you mailed me and said that they got the error “This PC can’t run Windows”. This issue is related to system requirements. Perhaps your PC is old and does not meet the minimum hardware resources, CPU and RAM in particular. It means you need to upgrade your system to be able to install Windows 11.

Simple trick to install Windows 11 on an old PC

Do not worry if you are using an old laptop or desktop. There is a simple way to install version 11 on your PC for free without upgrading the hardware. First, you need some necessary files. It includes a free file archiver like 7zip, a freeware that helps you create ISO image from a folder such as ImgBurn portable and 2 ISO images, one of Windows 10, the other of Windows 11.

ImgBurn portable:

As soon as you get them, please follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Extract the 2 ISO images you got above.
Right-click on the file and select extract. Then rename them to “W10” and “W11” for brevity.

Extract iso image files
Extract iso image files
Rename extracted folders
Rename extracted folders
rename folders for brevity - Simple trick to install Windows 11 on an old PC

Step 2: Replace the install.wim file in the W10\sources folder with the respective one in the W11\sources folder.

Replace the install.wim file
Replace the install.wim file

Step 3: Create a new ISO image from the W10 folder.

How-to video

Open the portable version of ImgBurn then select the option “Create image file from files/folders” from the menu.

create image file from files and folders
create image file from files and folders

On the next window, please follow the steps in the picture below.

build new iso image
build new iso image

(1): Select the W10 folder
(2): Select the destination folder and set the name of new ISO image of Windows
(3): Select Advanced tab > Bootable Disc
(4): Put a tick in the checkbox “Make Image Bootable”
(5): Select the file etfsboot in the W10\boot folder
(6): Set the value to 8.
(7): Click it to build the ISO file

Please wait until the file is created successfully. If you do not have time to do all steps above, you can download the ISO file I built already here. After having the image file, just burn it to a flash drive. And you now have a Windows 11 bootable USB that runs great on old hardware.

If you would have any questions or concerns, please leave your comments. I would be glad to explain in more details. Thank you so much for all your feedback and support!

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  1. hi my name is Eddy from Cameroon. Just to say thank you for your work. I have fololwed your steps to activate win 11 free and it worked. After several attempts i could get through before falling on your blog. thanks

  2. Sorry Guang, I got it. When executing the Win 11 64 bit for OLD PC, it suppose to immediately unpack and give way to the other installation files of Win 11 instead of coming up an error message which in my case, the message was “this app cannot open on your computer” – but I should have followed your instructions where you indicated at the very beginning to use the program 7-zip to open it. I’m too used to associate ONLY zipped files with 7-zip forgetting that it can also open .exe files. Thank you for all the resources you provide here.

  3. Hello Guang, I downloaded the ISO file that you built (11 (64bit) for old PC), however after finishing the download, the file is actually an *.exe (executable) instead of an ISO. Is there something I missed?

  4. A ver si entendí bien estas instalando w10 pero le haces creer que es w11, no debería ser al revés lo que propones??, reemplazar el archivo de w11 por el de w10 para que instale w11 creyendo que es w10.
    Porque lo que veo es que estas instalando w10 con un archivo de w11 nada mas.

  5. Sorry it didn’t help. I tried using windows 11 for old pc already assembled file. i downloaded it and got it is in “.exe” format i used imgburn to covert it to iso which is not bootable please advice further, thank you.

  6. That’s a great little project, and BIG THANKS to you for it, but seriously, its title ought to be “Simple trick to run Windows 11 on an old PC,” not ‘install,’ if you see what I mean?!

  7. What if I mount the Win 11 Wim, extract the Version I want, like pro, and then mount the Win 10 Wim, and add the Windows 11 Pro to the Windows 10 Wim using DISM? Then make the iso. That should be the same.

  8. Thank you for all your support. This Win11 have been working for some months now….
    I am with version build 21996.1. What if I want to upgrade to latest official build? Is there a way? (easy or not easy, reinstalling everyighing or just upgrade; don’t care…)

  9. If you download the Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft and download rufus to burn that ISO to a bootable USB, it will prompt you to ask if you want it to remove the restrictions as well as allow a LOCAL account, easy peasy.

    Also Ventoy has similar options in it’s web-based plug in menu system. Once enable there, the ISO will bypass the checks when booted. Also easy, but more advanced to accomplish, but allows you to boot MANY ISOs on a single USB drive, so worth the little bit of effort.

    Both methods are covered in LOTS of websites, now that you know what you are looking for.

  10. Hello, i recently installed windows 11 on an unsupported pc, and it works well, but cumulative updates fail to install every time, if i could get some help

    1. did you try downloading the files yourself, and doing them manually, or you can use DISM to install them, also.

      1. Hi sid. Can you explain better how to use DISM? I am in windows 11 build 21996.1, and I would like to go upgrade to latest build for security reasons, but windows update does not find anything new… thanks for your help.

  11. Just a word of warning. Windows 11 allows updates which can alter settings/update the BIOS as part of the update process which is why some of the MS requirements are in place to ensure only the very latest computers can and should install Windows 11 if they meet all the hardware requirments, one of which is a “UEFI BIOS” or simply a UEFI. It is possible that a Windows 11 update could fry your motherboard by attempting a UEFI update to an old BIOS (it assumes your BIOS is a UEFI type). My advice only is 1) Never allow driver updates through Windows 11 Update service (just allow Defender virus definition updates) or 2) install Windows 11 on an old computer only if you can afford to fry it and some point in time in the future., or 3 wait for the possibility that Windows 11 will support older computers by avoiding BIOS updates. A bust BIOS means a blank screen, no boot and no way to recover in most cases except a new motherboard. Latest computers do have UEFI recovery but old computers rarely have a BIOS recovery process or backup BIOS hardware to reflash the BIOS with defaults to allow booting. Other than that, have fun with Windows 11!

  12. Awesome work my dear friend. My old laptop and desktop did not meet the requirements to run Windows 11. Thought of buying a new system for Windows 11 but …WOWWW.. you saved my money and both my systems got Windows 11 digitally activated… Thanks a ton for your great efforts and service..

  13. First, thank you for your expert work on MS products.
    So far I have installed 3 clean installs with your modified Windows 11 ISO and they work perfectly. Is there anyway to create a ISO that will let you do a upgrade from 10 to 11 on old computers. Would love to have such a tool.

  14. It is more easier just open the Win11 image using UltraISO and replacing the file, save the iso file and burn it.

  15. Addendum to my post from October 5th, 21st.
    If the search for updates is deactivated before the installation definitly starts, the installation runs smoothly, if it is not deactivated, the installation process is still canceled after approx. 14% without comment.

    1. Hi Peter,
      Did you install using the method above or using the image Guang created?
      Your feed back is highly appreciated.


      1. Hi Abdul

        Sorry for my bad english…
        I did the workshop mentioned above first. Install.wim from Windows 10 Image is replaced by the one from Windows 11 iMAGE and then a new ISO file is generated with ImageBurn Portable, as described.
        With Windows 10 running, the image of Windows 11 is mounted. Setup.exe is started by Windows 11 and the update search is deactivated in one of the next messages.

        Windows 11 is now running extremely slowly on my Sony VAIO Notebook…
        Productive work is out of the question. Fortunately, this is just a test computer. Will go back to Windows 10 here.

        1. Thanks Peter for your reply.
          I managed to install it using Guang’s ISO image, the issue was not using 7zip to unzip the image, which has problems when you unzip it with Windows or Winrar.

          The Performance is slow as you mentioned, though the laptop I used is on old Core i5/4GB/240SSD.

          I’m still unable to activate as well as the servers seems busy.

        2. I didn’t even have to install Windows 11, to know it is junk. After reading the reports sent to my email on how many bugs it had, it looked like a nightmare, even right before they made retail release, and with all the changes they did to Desktop and Explorer, it really sounds like junk.

  16. Good job!!
    I installed on two computers that do not officially support Windows 11 (Dell Optiplex 3010 and HP ProBook 430 G2)
    Both systems are stable and it seems to me that the system is even faster than on Windows 11.
    Thanks for a great job!
    Digital licenses have been transferred without any problems, both systems are activated.

  17. Hi,
    Good work on the website and KMS servers.
    The method you are showing replaces actual Windows 10 files with Windows 11 files, but the trick does not seem to work.
    The file you uploaded seems to be corrupted as well and gives an error.
    What we need to work on is to trick Windows 11 setup that the computer is compatible by inserting Windows 10 requirements.

    Hope that someone has a solution soon.

  18. your workshop with exchanging the install.wim from windows 10 with windows 11 does not work.
    Setup started and would also like to download updates. however, after approx. 14% the setup is closed without comment.

  19. I was running the windows 11 64bit for old PC
    This app can not run on your PC.
    To find a version for your PC, check with the software publisher.

  20. The CMD file appears to activate Office.
    After starting Word, Excel and Co. the message appears, “Your license is not genuine and you may be the victim of software counterfeiting …”

  21. Hello sir you are a great person …can you know to get free subscribers on youtube….I hope you can do it

  22. I have successfully installed Windows 11 on my old Laptop. Thank you very much. But when I enter the Windows Insider Program it shows your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for windows 11. Your channel options will be limited. Request a solution..

  23. First I want to say thank you for all the work you do in creating this.

    Did you build an iso win 11 for old computer 64 bit? The one I downloaded said it was a 32 bit