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196MB of RAM is apparently enough to run Windows 11

A snail next to a Windows 11 logo

Those wanting to upgrade to Windows 11 must ensure their computers have at least 4GB of RAM and meet the rest of quite steep hardware requirements. However, as it turned out, you can run Windows 11 on a system with almost 21 times less memory than the bare minimum.

Getting to Windows 11's desktop on a virtual machine with 196MB of RAM was made possible by the recently published Tiny11 modification. Tiny11 removes unnecessary components to debloat the operating system, reduce its footprint to less than 8GB, and lower the memory requirement to only 2GB. As shown by @XenoPanther, 2GB is still too much—real enthusiasts go to the Windows 98-era levels.

Very few will want to use a PC with Windows 11 and 196MB of RAM. Booting the operating system took more than 30 minutes (and several BSODs), plus 15 minutes more to open Task Manager and witness the abomination. Of course, Microsoft's operating system has built-in tools for compressing memory and working at low RAM levels, but launching with so few resources and remaining in a relatively working state is undoubtedly impressive.

If your computer cannot run Windows 11 but has a more impressive amount of RAM, Tiny11 might be your ticket to the world of Microsoft's latest operating system. Just mind the potential risks of using unofficial Windows ISOs, plus make sure you have a valid key (you can still activate Windows 11 with old Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7 keys). Tiny11's developer has recently published a mini FAQ to address some of the users' concerns.

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