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Windows 11 “Unsupported Hardware” Watermark Is Coming, Here’s How to Remove It

A silhouette of Microsoft's next Surface laptop.

Earlier this year, we reported that Microsoft was testing a new desktop watermark to shame users who install Windows 11 on “unsupported” PCs, and now it looks like that’s no longer a test. Don’t worry, though, as there’s already a way to remove the graffiti.

Those with an unsupported system that Microsoft deems unable to run Windows 11, but install it anyways, will soon see a watermark on their desktop wallpaper and in the settings menu. It reads, “System requirements not met. Go to settings to learn more.” Both have been spotted in the latest Windows 11 Release Preview update ahead of the full release that’s coming soon.

The "System requirements not met" warning on an unsupported Windows 11 PC.

It’s worth noting that the watermark is not as obnoxious in the latest Windows 11 Release Preview, nor will it be this big in the official release, but it’s still present. Furthermore, you’ll see a small notification in the settings menu, stating, “System requirements not met.”

Since its release, several users have bypassed the Windows 11 minimum hardware requirements and installed the new software, even if they won’t receive support and security updates from Microsoft. Unfortunately, it looks like anyone that uses a workaround on “unsupported hardware” will start seeing this watermark.

To make matters worse, we’re seeing a few reports on Twitter that users with fully compatible systems are getting the watermark, too. We’ve seen these actions from Microsoft in the past, where the company disabled select features or personalization controls, so this isn’t all that surprising. Microsoft doesn’t appear to be messing with features in Windows 11 on unsupported machines, at least not yet.

How to Remove the Windows 11 Unsupported Hardware Watermark?

Thankfully, there’s already a way to remove the Windows 11 watermark. But, whether you should do it or not is up to you. It’s important to state that removing the watermark does include editing some system registry files, which can potentially be dangerous if you make a mistake. So, do this at your own risk, and use caution.

  1. Access the Registry Editor by typing ‘Regedit’ in the Windows 11 search box and hitting OK to open it.
  2. On the left side, open up HKEY_CURRENT_USER and scroll down to the Control Panel.
  3. Find the entry called UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache.
  4. Right-click that entry and select ‘Modify’ from the menu.
  5. Change the SV2 DWORD value from 1 to 0.
  6. Save, exit, and then restart your PC.

Again, be very careful when messing around in the Regedit tool, and if you’re unsure about anything, don’t do it. If you follow the steps correctly, the watermark should disappear after your PC boots back up.

Microsoft may block this hack in the future, but for now, give it a try to get rid of that shameful watermark.

via The Verge

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »