Windows 10 system requirements

Microsoft has published the official system requirements for Windows 10. Now, since you know the official release date of the new universal OS, you might want to know if your PC is capable of running the latest operating system from Redmond.


Windows 10 banner logo devs 02When released, Windows 10 will require a PC which fits the following specifications:
  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
    For Windows 10 with Anniversary Update: 2 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 1024x600

These are basic system requirements. To use the advanced features of Windows 10 like Cortana, your PC must conform to the following specifications:

  • Cortana is only currently available on Windows 10 for the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.
  • Speech recognition will vary by device microphone. For better speech experience you will need a
    • High fidelity microphone array
    • Hardware driver with Microphone array geometry exposed
  • Windows Hello requires specialized illuminated infrared camera for facial recognition or iris detection or a finger print reader which supports the Window Biometric Framework.
  • Continuum is available on all Windows 10 editions by manually turning “tablet mode” on and off through the Action Center. Tablets and 2-in-1’s with GPIO indicators or those that have a laptop and slate indicator will be able to be configured to enter “tablet mode” automatically.
  • Music and Video stream through the Xbox Music or Xbox video available in certain regions.
  • Two factor authentication requires the use of a PIN, Biometric (finger print reader or illuminated infrared camera), or a phone with WiFi or Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Device Guard requires:
    • UEFI Secure Boot with 3rd party UEFI CA removed from the UEFI database
    • TPM 2.0
    • Virtualization Support configured on by default in the System Firmware (BIOS)
      • Virtualization extensions (e.g. Intel VT-x, AMD RVI)
      • Second Level Address Translation (e.g. Intel EPT, AMD RVI)
      • IOMMU (e.g. Intel VT-d, AMD-Vi)
    • UEFI BIOS configured to prevent unauthorized user from disabling Device Guard hardware security features
    • Kernel mode drivers need to be Microsoft signed and compatible with hypervisor enforced code integrity
    • Only available on Windows 10 Enterprise
  • The number of applications that can be snapped will depend upon the minimum resolution for the application.
  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch
  • Microsoft account required for some features
  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply)
  • Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database
  • Some IT administrators may enable Secure Logon (Ctrl + Alt + Del) before bringing you to the log in screen. On tablets without a keyboard, a tablet with the Windows button maybe required as the key combination on a tablet is Windows button + Power button.
  • Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance
  • BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 10 Pro only)
  • BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2, TPM 2.0 or a USB flash drive (Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise only)
  • Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise only)
  • Miracast requires a display adapter which supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.3, and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct
  • Wi-Fi Direct Printing requires a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct and a device that supports Wi-Fi Direct Printing
  • To install a 64-bit OS on a 64-bit PC, your processor needs to support CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF
  • InstantGo works only with computers designed for Connected Standby
  • Device encryption requires a PC with InstantGo and TPM 2.0.

Windows 10 will be released on July 29. Starting from that date, you will be able to buy new hardware with pre-installed Windows 10 or receive your digital copy of Windows 10 which you might have reserved in advance. More details HERE. Microsoft already pushed a special software via Windows Update called the "Windows 10 reservation app". If you are not happy to see its promotional notifications, you can remove the Windows 10 reservation app.

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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.

8 thoughts on “Windows 10 system requirements”

  1. So as you know users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 can now reserve a spot or whatever for Windows 10… but how about us using Windows 10 TP? (Personally I’m still on build 10049, had some faulty RAM which caused some corruption, if I try to update it will brake things, but keeping it like this works fine) Will we get licenses for Windows 10?

    1. You need a valid license for Windows 8 or Windows 7. You must pre-order Windows 10 from one of those OSes and not from Windows 10 TP.

      1. So what happens when you pre-order? Do yet get a free license and upgrade when Windows 10 is released? Basically I’m wondering if I can install Windows 8 in a VM with my license and then do the pre-order and then when Windows 10 is released simply take the license I get for that and the install on main machine via .iso?

        1. Your operating system will be upgraded via Windows Update.
          You can grab your license key I guess later from VM, download the ISO image from somewhere and install using the grabbed key.
          I guess so, there is no official info about it yet. However, they will not ship you ISO for the clean install for sure.

          1. I mean, worst case scenario I just install Windows 8 when Windows 10 is released, do the upgrade within the first year and then do the reset to get at least a somewhat clean Windows 10…. Or perhaps it’d just be easier to buy it =/ Myeeh we’ll see when it actually comes out.

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