With a TPM 2.0 security module still causing headaches for prospective owners of Windows 11, here’s everything you need to know about it and how to get around it too.
A TPM is either an embedded module or an installable module on your motherboard. TPM 2.0 prevents your system from booting as a security measure, as Microsoft attempts to remove traditional passwords. Windows Hello (webcam login), BitLocker, and Secure Boot are all tied to your TPM.
TPM 2.0 is a relatively old method of security, embedded into your system. If you’ve got a motherboard from the last five or so years, you’re in the clear. Your TPM might not be on, which could prevent you from installing Windows 11.
You can get them from a few manufacturers, and you should be able to mix and match, but it’s recommended you get the one for your own motherboard brand. The prices should have come down since the scare last year, but overall, if your system is relatively new, it’ll be fine.
However, it’s a simple piece of security in essence. The clever folks over at Rufus and other parties have figured out a way to get around it. With Windows 10 sunsetting in 2025, it’s probably time to see if you have one already – or if you need to buy one.
How to check if TPM 2.0 is enabled
To quickly check if your TPM is enabled, you can hit Windows+R to open Run. From here, type tpm.msc.
Windows should give you a clear message to say whether or not it is activated, but if it isn’t, we’ll need to go into your motherboard’s BIOS.
It could be that the TPM on your motherboard isn’t activated, but if it doesn’t appear in the BIOS, you’ll have to venture into the other methods.
In the BIOS
Turn your PC off and as it boots back up, press either of the following to enter the BIOS. Your PC should let you know in the thick white text along the bottom, but if not, you can always Google your brand.
The usual culprits are F2, F8, F11, F12, or DEL.
If these aren’t working for you, you can always enter the BIOS by heading into settings. Then follow these steps:
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- Open Settings
- Go into Update & Security
- Press Recovery, scroll down to Advanced Startup, and choose Restart now
- You’ll end up on a blue screen, so hit Troubleshoot.
- In the next menu, it’s Advanced options
- Then UEFI Firmware Settings, which will ask you to restart and you can now enter the BIOS
From here, we need to find your settings. Oftentimes, each brand will keep them under Settings, or advanced settings. The two you need to watch for are dependent on your brand of CPU.
For Intel it’s PTT and for AMD it’s FTPM.
Next to it, it should allow you to change it to enabled. If there’s nothing there or you can’t, you don’t have a TPM on your motherboard. Ideally, you’d upgrade. However, dropping that kind of cash to install Windows 11 is a bit of a joke.
Instead, we can manually install one by grabbing a TPM from the following stores:
These two seem fairly generic in branding, so you could find success with these:
You will then need to follow your individual motherboard instructions on where to install it on the board. It should be a row of free pins on the board, but be sure to double-check your manufacturer’s instructions.
You will also need to enable Secure Boot, which will be under the Boot or Settings options.
Save and exit, then boot up. You should now be able to upgrade to Windows 11.
No TPM on Windows 11
If you want to install Windows 11 on a system without a TPM, you could use Rufus. Rufus is a bootloader creation kit, that’s incredibly easy to use. Once you’ve acquired your ISO file from the official Microsoft website, you can choose from one of the drop-down lists whether you want to use TPM and Secure Boot. It’ll overwrite some files to help you get around this restriction.
While it’s a guide for installing Windows on the Steam Deck, we have full instructions for Rufus in that guide.