Update 2022-05-21: The “Registry Add Method” instructions in this article are confirmed by Robert L and MOEJJ to be still working fine. This is the easiest and quickest method. If this method doesn’t work for you, scroll down for info on the “Rufus” method, “AveYo’s MediaCreationTool.Bat” method, and “editing Windows 10 bootable USB” method.
Update 2022-05-31: Confirmed the “Rufus” method works for a clean install on the SP3. An SP3 install doesn’t require a Windows 11 Key as it gets one from the system/hardware. The “Registry Add Method” is still the easiest/quickest for an in place upgrade.
Yes, you can upgrade a Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, or Surface Pro 5 to Windows 11. Officially, the processor of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (SP3 / SP4 / SP5), is not supported by Windows 11. The SP3 / 4 / 5 meets all other requirements, TPM 2.0, Secure Boot UEFI, etc.
1. To allow an unsupported upgrade, add a single registry value.
Download the file. Unzip it.
View it with Notepad. Always preview registry modifications before installing.
Then double click the .reg file to install the new registry value. Click Run.
2. Download and run the Windows Installation Assistant. Agree to the unsupported warning.
- Make sure to click the button Accept during the start of the install process that I acknowledge this computer isn’t supported, might be damaged, etc.
A few notes / caveats:
- Unsupported CPUs may not receive future updates Windows updates from Microsoft. “Devices that do not meet these system requirements will no longer be guaranteed to receive updates, including but not limited to security updates.” Right now unsupported CPUs are receiving updates. My SP3 is now a lab/test machine for me, so if it ends up in an unsupported state, that is fine. I can always downgrade it to Windows 10.
- Windows 11 doesn’t have any huge features that make it a extremely compelling upgrade.
- The Android Amazon Appstore could be a useful reason to upgrade.
- The SP3 is a great platform for testing out new Windows 11 features. So far all features/functions of the SP3 have worked for me under Windows 11.
- The same process will work on the Surface Pro 4 / SP4 and Surface Pro 5 / SP5, as their processors are also officially unsupported.
- The Home Button and Volume buttons didn’t work properly for me after the upgrade. The solutions was to go into Device Manager, System Devices, and remove all devices that started with the name “Surface”, i.e. “Surface Home Button”. After that I did “Action”, then “Scan for Hardware Changes”. The Home button and Volume buttons worked properly after that.
What keyboard is that? – This keyboard has extended the life and functionality of my 2014 SP3, and enabled it to be used in couch mode, due to it’s hinge. I love it. It’s the Brydge 12.3 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for Microsoft Surface Pro. This keyboard is compatible with the Surface Pro 4, 5, 6, 7 out of the box. If you are using the Surface Pro 3, contact Brydge so they can send you the hinge inserts for the SP3, which are of a slightly different thickness.
Alternative Methods –
Rufus Method: Use Rufus 3.18 to bypass Windows 11 system requirements during In-place Upgrades. https://www.ghacks.net/2022/03/04/rufus-3-18-adds-support-for-windows-11-inplace-upgrade-bypasses/
AveYo’s MediaCreationTool.bat Method: https://github.com/AveYo/MediaCreationTool.bat
“Editing Windows 10 bootable USB” Method: Method #3 outlined here: https://geekflare.com/install-windows-11-on-unsupported-pcs/ Caveat, described as “difficult and prone to errors”.
Did this work for you or not? Did one of the alternate methods work for you? Or have a question? Comment below.
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