When Microsoft announced Windows 11, it also introduced a new tool called PC Health Check. The idea is to let you know if your PC is eligible to be upgraded to the new OS. It checks various requirements like CPU, memory, TPM, and so on.
While the Redmond firm has said that it will never force upgrade users to Windows 11, it looks like the same can’t be said for the PC Health Check app. Update KB5005463 installs the app on Windows 10 version 2004 and above. Moreover, the update is installed automatically, so most users will just wake up one day and have it.
If this behavior sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s really hard not to draw the parallel to what happened with Windows 10. Back in 2015, Microsoft had an app called Get Windows 10, often shortened to GWX. In a seemingly innocent move, a Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 update was released that installed GWX on PCs.
The goal of GWX was to get you to “reserve” your copy of Windows 10, something that was obviously a digital product and didn’t need to be reserved. After some time, GWX would pop up more and more frequently, and Microsoft would even sometimes change the behavior of the app, so something that you did to cancel the Windows 10 offer before would now confirm that you wanted it.
It seemed innocent at the time because it was unprecedented. Windows 10 was new territory, and Windows had never been a free upgrade before. Obviously, Microsoft has burned a lot of trust since then, and you’d be forgiven if you’re concerned about the Windows 11 PC Health Check being automatically installed on your PC in the background.
The Windows 11 requirements are actually kind of strict, so if your PC isn’t eligible, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. For Windows 11, you need to have a CPU that’s Intel eighth-gen or newer, AMD Zen 2 or newer, or Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 or newer.
And the PC Health Check app does do other things. You can view battery capacity, storage capacity, manage startup applications, and it can give you tips to get better performance. Obviously, the main functionality is to check if you’re eligible for Windows 11 though.