Windows 11 receives a new desktop watermark for non-supported hardware

By James Patterson

March 21, 2022

If you used a work-around to install Windows 11, expect a watermark. Microsoft is moving forward with plans to notify Windows 11 users who have installed the operating system on incompatible hardware.

In a new update to Windows 11, a watermark has been added to the desktop wallpaper for non-supported systems, along with a similar warning in the settings application's landing page.

Microsoft began testing these changes last month, but they're now being pushed out to Release Preview ahead of a full release to all Windows 11 users in the coming days.

While Microsoft doesn't have a watermark listed in its "improvements" list for this update, testers have found that it's included.

If Windows 11 is installed on unsupported hardware, a new desktop watermark will appear that says "System requirements not met. Go to settings to learn more."

It's comparable to the semi-transparent watermark that appears in Windows if you haven't activated it, but it's significantly less obvious.

Windows 11 is now the most secure Windows version ever, according to Microsoft. To install it, you must meet the following hardware requirements. But that's no longer the case because of a change in the operating system's architecture.

The software has been updated to include this warning for anyone who used the workaround to activate Windows 11 before April 2, 2020.

Microsoft has previously employed similar warnings for unactivated versions of Windows, and features like dark mode, personalization settings, and themes can't be modified until the system is activated.

Microsoft does not appear to be experimenting with any similar feature restrictions, and the desktop watermark may be eliminated by modifying some registry entries.