Windows 11’s system requirements, particularly the TPM, Secure Boot, and CPU requirements are a major hindrance for a lot of users.
Then there’s also the issue of stability. Even users with sufficient specs have reported facing compatibility issues and bugs on Windows 11.
So what options does someone looking to try out Windows 11 have? Our best recommendation is to use a Virtual Machine, or specifically, VMware. We’ve detailed the necessary steps for this in the guide below.
You’ll need a few things before you can get started:
Step 1: Create New Virtual Machine
The goal of this section is to create a new Windows 11 VM. Here are the steps to do so:
- Launch VMWare Workstation Player and click on Create a New Virtual Machine.
- Select the Installer disc image file (iso) option.
- Click Browse, locate your Windows 11 ISO file, and press Next.
- Under Guest operating system, select Microsoft Windows.
- Under version, select Windows 10 and later x64, or Windows 11 if available.
- Name the virtual machine and select the location to store the VM file using the Browse option.
- Select UEFI, enable Secure Boot, and press Next.
- Leave the processor configuration to default and press Next.
- Select 4GB or higher memory allocation and press Next.
- Leave the Network, I/O Controller, and Disk type options to default and press Next on all those screens.
- Allocate 64 GB or higher disk capacity to the VM and press Next.
- Review the VM settings and click on Finish if they’re good.
Step 2: Setup VM Configurations
For Windows 10, the steps so far would suffice. But as stated, Windows 11 has some steep system requirements. So, you’ll need to modify some configurations to match the necessary specs. Here are the steps to do so:
- Select the VM from the left and click on Edit virtual machine settings.
- Switch to the Options tab and select Access Control > Encrypt.
- Set the password for the VM and press Encrypt.
- Switch back to the Hardware tab and press Add.
- Select Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and press Finish > OK.
Step 3: Install Windows 11 in the VM
Now that the VM is set up with all the required specs, all that’s left is to install Windows 11. This process is the same as installing the OS normally. Here are the steps to do so:
- Click on Power on this virtual machine.
- In the installation wizard, select the language and other preferences.
- Click Install now, select I don’t have a product key, and press Next.
- Pick the Windows 11 version you want to install and press Next.
- Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms and select Next.
- Choose the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.
- Create new partitions or proceed without doing so to use the entire allocated space.
- Configure the country, keyboard layout, device name, and the rest of the options as appropriate.
- Optional: You can also install VMware Tools to improve the functionality of your Windows 11 VM. To do so, select VM > Install VMware Tools from the menu bar and follow the on-screen instructions.