Windows 11 Update: SSE 4.2 Now a Must-Have

Since the update to Windows 11 Build 26080, Microsoft has mandated that users employ processors supporting SSE 4.2 to run the Windows 11 24H2 operating system. This requirement marks the second system specification enhancement since the initial release of Windows 11. Several months ago, Microsoft had already incorporated the POPCNT instruction requirement; however, the current update specifically stipulates SSE 4.2, whereas previously, only the POPCNT instruction within SSE 4.2 was utilized.

Given that the SSE 4.2 instruction set has been around for nearly two decades and is supported by virtually every processor, this minor change should not affect any modern PCs that are compatible with Windows 11. The primary individuals impacted are those PC enthusiasts or technicians who attempt to install this operating system on hardware not officially listed as compatible.

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For various reasons, Microsoft has decided to raise the system requirements in the upcoming Windows 11 24H2 release later this year, including secure boot and TPM support. Enthusiastic netizens have already created a Windows 11 24H2 tester to verify if a user’s PC meets the criteria for the latest update.

Recently, Microsoft introduced the April update for Windows 11, which includes optional non-security improvements such as enhanced taskbar widget icons. Additionally, Microsoft has reminded users that the Home and Pro editions of Windows 11 22H2 will receive their last optional update on June 26, 2024, while the Enterprise and Education editions will receive theirs on June 24, 2025.