Windows 11 will show a desktop watermark on unsupported PCs

Microsoft sparked a huge user backlash after unveiling Windows 11 minimum hardware requirements last year. No Windows 11 for you if your computer has a CPU older than Intel's 8th gen or AMD's Zen+ CPUs. Also, TPM 2.0 is a must to run Windows 11 and receive support from Microsoft.


Those requirements effectively render hundreds of millions of PCs unable to update to the latest operating system from Microsoft despite having relatively powerful and still capable hardware.

Shortly before launching Windows 11, Microsoft decided to take a step back and allow users with outdated computers to run Windows 11. Still, the company has made it clear that those computers will not receive support and might miss some future updates.

Microsoft now wants to constantly remind users that their not-that-old devices does not support Windows 11. Future Windows 11 updates will bring permanent compatibility warning banners to several parts of the UI.

Albacore (@thebookisclosed) recently revealed that one of such banners would sit on the main page in the Settings app (the System section Windows launches by default when you open the Settings app). Another watermark is coming soon to the bottom-right corner near the notification area.

The "System requirements not met" Windows 11 desktop watermark

Windows 11 Desktop Watermarks Not Supported PCs

Preview builds and Windows installations without licenses show a permanent watermark at the bottom of the screen (you can also spot another one after disabling driver signature checks). A similar warning may appear after installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

From what we currently know, the banner is not very intrusive. It simply says "System requirements not met" alongside the Windows version and its build number. Also, for now, the compatibility mark appears to be one of the features that might not make it to the stable Windows 11 version.

Microsoft recently revealed that some of the experimental features available in preview builds of Windows 11 would not ship to the general public. In a nutshell, Microsoft throws new things into a wall to see what sticks. The company also evaluates feedback from its users to determine what is worth releasing in stable updates.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple.

4 thoughts on “Windows 11 will show a desktop watermark on unsupported PCs”

  1. Horrible:

    If it comes up on mine, I’ll delete Windows right away! This computer was purchased in 2019 and in my opinion it has many years left.

  2. This watermark, fortunately, can be easily removed with a small registry tweak.
    However, unfortunately the “Universal Watermark Disabler” stopped to work in the latest Insider Preview builds.
    Well, at least for me..
    It says that everything is fine at the end, but “Evaluation Copy” watermark is still in place.
    Any ideas?

  3. I was able to figure out the reason why the Universal Watermark Disabler does not work for me.
    It conflicts somehow with a StartAllBack application.
    It works first, but as soon as I install that StartAllBack app the ‘Evaluation copy’ watermarks appear again.
    Well, it is above my understanding, so I will have to “suffer and wait”.

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