Windows 11 Won’t Run on Your Intel-Based Mac without This Clever Hack

Windows 11 Interface Credit: Microsoft
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Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 last week with a handful of new features that include a macOS-inspired user interface, widgets, and more. In the past, many Mac owners embraced the latest Windows operating system and even installed it on their Mac with minimal issues. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Windows 11. Intel Mac owners looking to install Windows for work or play may be sorely disappointed this time around.

New Approach with Windows 11?

Microsoft typically designs its software to run on a wide variety of hardware, but this Windows 11 release is different. Windows 11 has a relatively narrow list of hardware requirements, including a 1GHz or faster processor (4-bit), minimum 4GB RAM, 64GB of storage, a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card, and, most notably for Mac owners, support for TPM 2.0.

The Issue with TPM 2.0

The core issue with Windows 11 is its TPM 2.0 requirement. TPM is short for Trusted Platform Module, a hardware security platform embedded into computer CPUs and motherboards. The chip encrypts the data on the computer hard drive so hackers and thieves cannot access it. It handles cryptographic keys and DRM management as well.

The latest version, TPM 2.0, is even more secure than ever, and Microsoft wants to leverage this extra protection for its computers. Unlike macOS, which is relatively secure, Windows is a significant target for hackers.

  • Even though TPM 2.0 rolled out in 2014, not every computer has a TPM 2.0 chip.
  • Those that don’t have TPM 2.0 will not be able to run Windows 11.

Windows 11 and Macs

If you have an Intel Mac, even the latest generation models, you will not be able to run Windows 11. Apple has never supported TPM 2.0 on its Intel Macs, even though some models (see below) are equipped with the TPM 2.0 hardware.

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • Mac mini (2018)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, 2017)
  • Mac Pro (2019)

Apple potentially could release an upgrade to enable TPM 2.0, but it probably won’t invest its time and effort in such an update. The Cupertino company is moving away from the Intel platform, replacing it with its M1-equipped Macs.

What’s the Hack to Run Windows 11?

If your Mac meets the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11, there is a workaround that could allow you to run Windows 11 without waiting for Apple to enable TPM 2.0.

You will need a Windows 10 ISO, Windows 11 ISO, and an ISO file maker app. The detailed steps are listed on AppleInsider, but in a nutshell, you’ll need to create a custom ISO using bits and pieces from both Windows 11 and Windows 10. You can then use this custom ISO to install Windows 11.

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