Microsoft has started shaming unsupported or unsuitable Windows 11 computers with a desktop watermark that says “System requirements not met”. The watermark has been around for a while, but it’s only started rolling out to production devices. Fortunately, you can disable these watermarks according to Microsoft.
As you probably know, Windows 11 launched with complex requirements such as TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module), 8th generation or newer processors and more. Windows 11 can still be installed on unsupported hardware and Microsoft has a support document explaining how to achieve this feat.
Microsoft has no plans to block Windows 11 updates on unsupported PCs. Still, the company wants to shame those installations by putting the watermark on the desktop and in the Windows Settings app. The hope is that some non-tech savvy people will find the watermark intriguing enough to upgrade their hardware.
As Microsoft ramps up its efforts to push users to upgrade their hardware, the company continues to provide a loophole. Microsoft published documentation in October 2022 with the steps to remove the watermark.
Titled “Manage Windows 11 “System Requirements Not Met” message in your organization”, Microsoft’s documentation confirmed that Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise customers can change their group policy to “System requirements not met. Go to Settings for more information” from desktop and settings.
This issue [watermark] occurs when the device’s hardware does not meet the minimum system requirements,” Microsoft noted in the documentation noted by Proxa News. The company added that administrators can disable the “System requirements not met” message using a Group Policy editor or device management solution.
To do this, users need to follow these simple steps:
- Open the Windows Start menu or Search.
- Type Group Policy (this does not work in Windows Home).
- Go to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.
- Enable the “Hide messages when Windows system requirements are not met” policy.
- Click OK.
If you see this message and you don’t have Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise (where the Group Policy Editor is available), here’s how to remove the watermark by modifying the Registry Editor. As always, don’t forget to back up the Windows Registry:
- Open Registry Editor.
- Click on “HKEY_CURRENT_USER”.
- Expand Control Panel.
- Click the UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache folder.
- Right-click on the SV2 entry.
- Select Change.
- Change the value to “0”.
- Click OK
- Restart your PC and the watermark should disappear.
It’s possible that Microsoft won’t be content to let this continue in the future, but it won’t be long before workarounds appear that allow users to bypass restrictions if imposed by the tech giant.