Microsoft is sending a warning out to those who managed to beta test Windows 11 on unsupported hardware. It is now time to go back to Windows 10, as your device is no longer eligible to join the Windows Insider program on Windows 11.
While the message might seem shocking, it is actually a long time in the making. When Microsoft first announced Windows 11 in June, they had allowed all Windows Insiders who were already testing previous Windows 10 builds to beta test the operating system. It was intended as a “limited exception” thank-you gift to the Windows fans, but now that an official October 5 Windows 11 release date has been announced, Microsoft is ready to move on.
Basically, this news means that if you’re a Windows Insider and your PC doesn’t meet the minimum specs, then you can no longer beta test new builds of Windows 11 and enjoy new features. The messaging reflects that, suggesting “please Install Windows 10 to participate in the Windows Insider Program in the Release Preview Channel.”
You will, however, be able to stay on Windows 11 if you choose to, and receive cumulative updates up until October 5 when Windows 11 hits general availability. That’s according to Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager on the Windows Insider team.
The PCs given an exception will no longer receive any new future Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel but will still get Cumulative Updates for Windows 11 leading up to GA. As I said, there is a distinction between *new builds* here.
— Brandon LeBlanc (@brandonleblanc) September 1, 2021
If you’re seeing this messaging on your Windows 11 PC, then it is best to use a Windows 10 ISO file to go back to Windows 10. Microsoft has these files on the Windows 10 download website, and you can use one to do an in-place downgrade back to Windows 10. Just double-click it to mount it once it is downloaded, and then run the Windows 10 installer. Do keep in mind that this comes with the risk of losing your files and apps, as you’ll be downgrading back to Windows 10.
On the other side of things, if it’s been 10 days since you upgraded to Windows 11 on an unsupported PC, then you can do a rollback to Windows 10. You can do this via the Windows Update section of the Windows 11 settings app. This method keeps your files in place.
This news is rough for most Windows fans who don’t have a PC that fits with Microsoft’s Windows 11 requirements. Microsoft, however, did suggest that it might allow Windows users and businesses to install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware with ISO files. However, this would come at the risk of not getting security updates. Microsoft still suggests that those who can’t run Windows 11 should stay on Windows 10 as it is “the right choice.”