All windows system requirements

How to Find Windows 10 Computer Specifications & Systems Requirements

Here’s an overview of how to find computer specification requirements, versions, and languages available for Windows 10.

Table of Contents

System requirements for installing Windows 10

These are the basic requirements for installing Windows 10 on a PC. If your device does not meet these requirements, you may not have the great experience intended with Windows 10 and might want to consider purchasing a new PC.

Hard drive size:

32GB or larger hard disk

Note: See below under “More information on hard drive space to install or update Windows 10” for more details.

Compatible with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. Windows 10 Pro in S mode, Windows 10 Pro Education in S mode, Windows 10 Education in S mode, and Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode require an internet connection during the initial device setup (Out of Box Experience or OOBE), as well as either a Microsoft account (MSA) or Azure Activity Directory (AAD) account. Switching a device out of Windows 10 in S mode also requires internet connectivity. Learn more about S mode here.

There may be additional requirements over time for updates, as well as requirements to turn on specific features within the OS.

Keeping Windows 10 up-to-date

Windows 10 is designed to deliver updates for the supported lifetime of the device. Two types of updates may be provided: quality updates and feature updates. Quality updates include both security and non-security updates and are typically targeted to be released once a month. Feature updates also include security and non-security fixes as well as new features to Windows 10 and are typically provided twice a year. Ensuring that your device receives these updates and is kept up-to-date is important for your device security. Windows 10 periodically checks for updates so you don’t have to. When an update is available—and sufficient free disk space is available on your device—it will be automatically installed. So that Windows 10 continues to stay updated, it’s important to ensure your device has sufficient free space. See additional applicable details in the following notes.

Important notes about updates:

More information on hard drive space requirements to install or update Windows 10

The size of the Windows operating system that comes with your device and the amount of space needed to download and install Windows updates, are highly variable as they depend on a variety of factors. Visit here to learn why. The factors that impact the amount of free hard drive space needed to take an update include: the versions of Windows previously installed on the machine, the amount of disk space available to reuse from Windows files, such as the virtual memory pagefile or hibernation file, which applications are installed on your device and how those applications store data. Starting with the May 2019 Update, the system requirements for hard drive size for clean installs of Windows 10 as well as new PCs changed to a minimum of 32GB. The 32GB or larger drive requirement is set to leave space for users to install apps and to keep data on the device. Installing Windows or updating from a previous version of Windows on devices with less than 32GB storage will continue to work if the device has enough free space available. When updating, Windows will attempt to automatically free up enough hard drive space and guide you through freeing up even more if the automatic cleanup is not sufficient. You can also take steps to free up space on your own. For more information, see Free up space to install the latest Windows 10 update or visit the related FAQ.

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Feature-specific requirements for Windows 10

In addition to the requirements above that are needed to run Windows, some features have additional requirements. In some cases, features included with updated versions of Windows 10 will be best experienced with newer processors. For specific hardware support please refer to your Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Below are some additional details regarding requirements for key features:

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System Requirements

Applies To: Windows Server (Semi-Annual Channel), Windows Server 2016

This topic addresses the minimum system requirements to run Windows ServerВ® 2016 or Windows Server, version 1709.

In this release, clean installations are recommended.

If at the time of installation, you choose to install with the Server Core option, you should be aware that no GUI components are installed at all and you will not be able to install or uninstall them with Server Manager. If you need GUI features, be sure to choose the Server with Desktop Experience option when you install Windows Server 2016. For more information, see Install Nano Server

Review system requirements

The following are estimated system requirements Windows Server 2016. If your computer has less than the minimum requirements, you will not be able to install this product correctly. Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you install.

Unless otherwise specified, these minimum system requirements apply to all installation options (Server Core, Server with Desktop Experience, and Nano Server) and both Standard and Datacenter editions.

The highly diverse scope of potential deployments makes it unrealistic to state recommended system requirements that would be generally applicable. Consult documentation for each of the server roles you intend to deploy for more details about the resource needs of particular server roles. For the best results, conduct test deployments to determine appropriate system requirements for your particular deployment scenarios.

Processor

Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of processor cores and the size of the processor cache. The following are the processor requirements for this product:

Minimum:

Coreinfo is a tool you can use to confirm which of these capabilities your CPU has.

The following are the estimated RAM requirements for this product:

Minimum:

If you create a virtual machine with the minimum supported hardware parameters (1 processor core and 512 MB RAM) and then attempt to install this release on the virtual machine, Setup will fail.

To avoid this, do one of the following:

Storage controller and disk space requirements

Computers that run Windows Server 2016 must include a storage adapter that is compliant with the PCI Express architecture specification. Persistent storage devices on servers classified as hard disk drives must not be PATA. Windows Server 2016 does not allow ATA/PATA/IDE/EIDE for boot, page, or data drives.

The following are the estimated minimum disk space requirements for the system partition.

Minimum: 32 GB

Be aware that 32 GB should be considered an absolute minimum value for successful installation. This minimum should allow you to install Windows Server 2016 in Server Core mode, with the Web Services (IIS) server role. A server in Server Core mode is about 4 GB smaller than the same server in Server with a GUI mode.

The system partition will need extra space for any of the following circumstances:

Network adapter requirements

Network adapters used with this release should include these features:

Minimum:

A network adapter that supports network debugging (KDNet) is useful, but not a minimum requirement.

Other requirements

Computers running this release also must have the following:

The following items are not strictly required, but are necessary for certain features:

UEFI 2.3.1c-based system and firmware that supports secure boot

Trusted Platform Module

Graphics device and monitor capable of Super VGA (1024 x 768) or higher-resolution

Keyboard and MicrosoftВ® mouse (or other compatible pointing device)

Internet access (fees may apply)

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip is not strictly required to install this release, though it is necessary in order to use certain features such as BitLocker Drive Encryption. If your computer uses TPM, it must meet these requirements:

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Installation of Nano Server

For detailed steps to install Windows Server 2016 as a Nano Server, see Install Nano Server.

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Windows 7 system requirements

Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020

We recommend you move to a Windows 10 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft.

If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here’s what it takes:

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor*

1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:

Internet access (fees may apply)

Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics hardware

Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance

For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required

Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware

HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7

DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive

BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2

BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive

Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM and an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space.

Music and sound require audio output

Product functionality and graphics may vary based on your system configuration. Some features may require advanced or additional hardware.

PCs with multi-core processors:

Windows 7 was designed to work with today’s multi-core processors. All 32-bit versions of Windows 7 can support up to 32 processor cores, while 64‑bit versions can support up to 256 processor cores.

PCs with multiple processors (CPUs):

Commercial servers, workstations, and other high-end PCs may have more than one physical processor. Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate allow for two physical processors, providing the best performance on these computers. Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will recognize only one physical processor.

* Prior versions of Windows, including Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, have limited support when running on new processors and chipsets from manufacturers like Intel, AMD, NVidia, and Qualcomm. For more information, please see the Support Lifecycle FAQ. A device may not be able to run prior versions of Windows if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (“OEM”) support period.

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System Requirements for Windows Server Essentials

Applies To: Windows Server 2019 Essentials, Windows Server 2016 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Windows Server Essentials server software is a 64-bit only operating system. Table 1 defines the recommended minimum hardware requirements for Windows Server Essentials. Table 2 defines additional hardware and software requirements for the server.

Table 1. System requirements for Windows Server Essentials

Component Minimum Recommended* Maximum
CPU socket 1.4 GHz (64-bit processor) or faster for single core

1.3 GHz (64-bit processor) or faster for multi-core 3.1 GHz (64-bit processor) or faster multi-core 2 sockets Memory (RAM) 2 GB

4 GB if you deploy Windows Server Essentials as a virtual machine 16 GB 64 GB Hard disks and available storage space 160-GB hard disk with a 60-GB system partition No limit

*The recommended hardware requirements support maximum user and device limits.

Table 2. Additional hardware and software requirements for Windows Server Essentials

Component Description
Network adapter Gigabit Ethernet adapter (10/100/1000baseT PHY/MAC)
Internet Some functionality may require Internet access (fees may apply) or a Microsoft account
Supported Client operating systems Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Macintosh OS X versions 10.5 to 10.8.

Note: Some features require professional or higher editions.

1 GB of available hard drive space (a portion of this disk will be freed after installation) Router A router or firewall that supports IPv4 NAT or IPv6 Additional requirements DVD-ROM drive

Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you choose to install. Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of cores and the size of the processor cache. Storage space requirements for the system partition are approximate. Additional available storage space may be required if you are installing over a network.

For more information about the hardware requirements, see the Windows Server Catalog.

All server hardware should meet the requirements established for the Windows Server 2012 R2 Logo Program for Systems. For more information, see Windows Logo Program.

Dynamic disks are not supported on Windows Server Essentials.

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Windows 10 System Requirements

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Can I Run Windows 10?

To figure out whether your PC is up to the relatively undaunting challenge of running Windows 10, you’ll initially need to know what components you have, playing close attention to the CPU, storage space, and RAM as these have the most significant impact on the performance of the operating system.

Should you be unsure how to go about doing this, fret not as we’ve compiled an easy to follow step-by-step guide, which you can find right here.

With your PC specifications in hand, compare them to the minimum and recommended requirements for Windows 10 that we’ve listed further down. While the minimum will get the OS running, we suggest aiming for the recommended requirements, if at all possible.

The logic is that if you exceed them, you’re less likely to encounter performance issues when running the OS. Given that it’s your main window into using a PC, performance is crucial to everyday use.

We aren’t all that taken with how tedious it can be to ascertain whether a PC is equipped to run this or that software. In that spirit and in an effort to simplify the task, we are developing a bespoke utility to scan any given PC for its constituent parts and return a detailed list of the components. It’s still under wraps as of writing, but we’ll publish an update when it’s ready.

Windows 10 Details

Developed by Microsoft, Windows 10 is the later iteration of the long-running operating system that needs no introduction. By far the most used operating system across the world, the chances are that a PC runs a version of Windows rather than a competing OS. Windows 10 represents the most up to date version with all the trimmings and functionality you’d expect from a modern operating system.

Key features include a welcome return of the storied Start Menu with a modern twist thrown in using a hybrid tile and column design. Next, Windows 10 integrates Microsoft’s Edge browser, the modern version of the company’s long since obsolete, if historic, Internet Explorer.

The latest Windows features the Windows Store for all your app needs, including access to entertainment such as games, films, and TV shows. While Siri is probably the most famous personal assistance, Windows 10 has Microsoft’s take with Cortana that will make daily tasks a whole lot simpler.

Finally, for the gamers out there, Windows 10 is fully integrated into the Xbox ecosystem, mainly with the ability to stream games from an Xbox One console seamlessly.

Windows 10 Minimum Requirements

Optimal Hardware Suggestions

Unlike games, which vary in their system requirements widely depending on the title scrutinized, operating systems are very forgiving and are generally designed for the lowest common denominator in terms of PC builds. As such, Windows 10 is virtually guaranteed to work on any PC built or purchased in the last decade, if not further back.

The minimum system requirements will get Windows 10 up and running, but don’t expect a 100% smooth experience as we are talking about the bare minimum to get the software running. As above, operating systems are the software you’ll interact with most when computing, so it’s a no brainer to try and exceed the minimum requirements if at all possible.

Note that the 16 GB/20 GB storage requirements are a bit misleading as this represents what’s required to install the operating system and doesn’t take into account the installation of other apps, software, or games. As such, aim as high as you can to avoid disappointment.

As for the recommended requirements, these march comfortably into excellent performance territory. We’re talking higher resolutions, smooth jumps between tasks, fast loading times, and an environment in which Windows 10 can prosper rather than labor away painfully.

What Gaming PC Do We Recommend?

It’s a no thrills option that will keep costs down for an excellent Windows 10 performance. It features an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G APU with integrated Vega graphics, 16 GB of 3000 MHz DDR4 RAM, and a 240 GB SSD.

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