Many PCs won’t be able to run Windows 11 24H2 due to a new POPCNT requirement

With Windows 11 24H2 Microsoft is tightening the screws, leaving even more PCs officially incompatible with the OS. A newly discovered change in hardware requirements reveals that core files now require a new CPU instruction, POPCNT. If your hardware doesn't support it, the OS will not boot, and there is no way to bypass this change.

Windows 11 24h2 Banner

Microsoft is going to release Windows 11 version 24H2 this fall. The release will immediately cut off a large number of computers from the ability to install it. It's all about the new requirement for the POPCNT instruction.

It is not available in processors released more than 15 years ago. Which, by the way, are not compatible with Windows 11 due to the requirements for a newer processor and the presence of a TPM. However, until now there have been various methods to circumvent these limitations.

The release of Windows 11 version 24H2 will change everything. It will be very difficult to get around the new restriction. The fact is that system files that are actively used when loading the OS are now compiled to require this POPCNT instruction. So it doesn't start without it.

The instruction was introduced in the mid-2000s in AMD processors and the first generation Intel Core. On processors released earlier, 24H2 will not run. It is worth noting that on newer processors, which are nevertheless not officially supported, existing workarounds will continue to work.

The next version of Windows is based on the new "Germanium" platform. Among its innovations will be expanded artificial intelligence capabilities. They will be integrated into more system applications, as well as into Copilot.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “Many PCs won’t be able to run Windows 11 24H2 due to a new POPCNT requirement”

  1. If POPCNT is a requirement, how long will Windows 11 23H2 remain supported?

    If support ends after 2 years (late-2025), PCs without POPCNT will be unsupported and no better off than those still running Windows 10.

  2. This new requirement only affects old computers made before 2010. If you can run CPUID and it shows in the instruction field SSE4.1 and SSE4.2, you’re good to go! My Broadwell processor is supported for Windows 11 24H2.

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