Microsoft has added a watermark to Windows 11 computers that do not meet the minimum hardware requirements set for the operating system. It has appeared in the latest Insiders test build and will be coming to the stable channel soon. A way to “shame” staff using Windows 11 on PCs with “unsupported” hardware that really doesn’t make any sense.
The Windows 11 watermark is not as unpleasant as the one that was initially advertised. Appears at the bottom right of the desktop, indicates that “system requirements not met” and focus the user to the Settings tool “for more information”. The warning is very similar to the one Microsoft has been using to point out versions without a valid license, but -for now- it does not restrict any system functions.
You know our opinion and everything is part of an erratic Microsoft strategy that confuses the user. Setting questionable minimum requirements; ensure that you would be inflexible with them; relax them after criticism and perhaps see that the Windows 11 quota would be reduced; end up allowing installation on unsupported hardware, to ultimately mark such installations as stinking, is not the best way to handle this issue.
How to remove watermark from Windows 11
A way to remove this watermark has already been found by acting on the registry. If you find it, whether you use compatible hardware or not because it is also appearing (by mistake) on machines that do meet the requirements and since it is not solved, it will mount a good one when it reaches the stable version, you can eliminate it as follows way:
- Access Registry Editor by typing ‘Regedit’ in the Windows 11 search box.
- Navigate to the route HKEY_CURRENT_USER and look for an entry called “UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache«.
- Right click on that entry and select ‘Modify’ from the menu.
- Change the DWORD value from 1 to 0.
Save the changes and restart the computer. You will no longer see this watermark on your desktop.
Windows 11 Requirements
The truth is that the controversy of the Windows 11 hardware requirements will accompany the operating system for quite some time. As you know, Microsoft augmented them against previous versions of Windows with the stated goal of making computers “more productive, safe and secure”. Although he initially said that he would be “inflexible” with them, later he ended up relaxing them and today Windows 11 can be installed on almost any PC.
In case you are not clear, minimum hardware requirements to comply officially apply to both physical and virtual machines and are as follows:
- Processor: 64-bit CPU with 2 or more cores, included in this listing.
- RAM memory: 4GB.
- Storage: 64GB.
- Graphics Chip: DirectX 12 compatible with WDDM 2.0 driver.
- Firmware: UEFI supports ‘Secure Boot’ feature.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module version 2.0.
- Screen: 9 inches with HD resolution.
- Internet connection for Windows 10 Home.
- Windows 10 version 2004 (for updates)
If you are not sure if your device meets the minimum requirements, it is best to check the compatibility with the «PC Health Check» published by Microsoft or with third-party applications such as the free and open source, ‘WhyNotWin11.exe’ that we reviewed in this practical article where we saw the pre-check of the necessary hardware and explanation of each of the requested components.
Rest assured that we will have to continue talking about the minimum requirements of Windows 11. And if you do not meet them or you are not interested in anything new from Microsoft, don’t worry, the world is not ending. There are alternatives to Windows 11, starting with staying on Windows 10 until 2025 which will be officially supported.