TPM 2.0 is Required for Windows 11, but What is TPM?

March 22, 2022

This week, Microsoft announced Windows 11 and it has a better security. Its clear this time as minimum hardware requirements seems to have changed to install new OS. But, it is leading to confusion for users on hardware requirements that is their’s machine is compatible to run windows 11. Microsoft said Windows 11 will require TPM or rather TPM 2.0 chip to run on pc. You can check if your pc can run Windows 11 by downloading PC Health Checkup Tool. Since, the message rather seems unclear on hardware requirements, people are struggling in understanding what TPM actually means.

If you already don’t know about Windows 11, read: Everything Microsoft announced about Windows 11

What is TPM and Why Windows 11 requires TPM 2.0?

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a chip that store keys and artifacts to encrpyt and decrypt files and to authenticate into a platform. For easier explanation, it is just use to store security information. The enterprise director and OS security expert David Weston explains, “The Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) chip comes integrated into your PC’s motherboard or added separately into the CPU.”

There are different levels of security. They are hardware and software security. Software security mean protection level implemented to prevent hackers from gaining access to an unauthorized system. But, software is more malleable in nature. So, the codeis modifiable. Hence, there is always a chance of sophisticated hacker or an exploit in system, giving hackers to access sensitive information. But, harware security is hardcoded into the hardware. Unless hacker knows the security keys in advance, it is impossible to breakthrough. So, the cryptographic keys are impossible to modify.

As mentioned above, its concluded that it is all about hardware level protection. So TPM offers hardware level protection instead of just software level only. It helps in encrypting disks, book locking, or preventing from dictionary attack against passwords. But, TPM 1.2 have existed on pc since 2011. Its widely used in IT-field and businesses like laptops and desktops. Microsoft over almost the decade has used TPM 1.2. But why it says TPM 2.0 is required?

Well, Microsoft has been warning for quite a long time about firmware attacks and its rise. “Our own Security Signals report found that 83 percent of businesses experienced a firmware attack, and only 29 percent are allocating resources to protect this critical layer,” says Weston. The broad range of attacks on windows seems pretty clear Microsoft is struggling to secure windows. Not anymore. Windows 11 requires TPM 2.0 to work. TMP 2.0 elevates the standard for hardware security by requiring that built-in root-of-trust. The TPM chip communicates with other security systems within a PC. Whether it be a fingerprint reader or Windows Hello facial recognition, it all has to confer with the TPM to allow users access.

Does My PC Have TPM ?

There are few ways to chek if your pc has TPM.

  1. Hold WIndows Key + R.
  2. Type ‘tpm.msc’.

This should bring you to the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Management window.

Under TPM Manufacturer Information, It should show you the the version of TPM that says Specification Version. If the version is 2.0, you’re good to install windows 11 is you meet other harware requirements asl well.

Can’t See TPM installed?

Not to worry. Sometimes, Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT) disabled in BIOS settings can also be an issue. While every BIOS is different, we can’t tell you exactly but it mostly under the hardware, security or advanced tab. Additionally, TPM might also be disabled in BIOS. Make sure to check that up as well.

TPM or TPM 2.0 is not installed?

Now it is obvious that your system don’t have a TPM 2.0 chip, you need to buy one for your pc. You have to check if your motherboard supports TPM 2.0. If not, you have to get a mother that supports TPM 2.0. Buying TPM 2.0 for your pc is only way if you want to run windows 11.

While this might seem very frustrating but, here me out. What Microsoft is trying to achieve here will benefit the ecosystem of security for years. Additionally, Microsoft added support of Xbox to windows 11, which can be considered Microsoft is trying to achieve Xbox-like security. Microsoft forced almost everyone to understand about the security and TPM.