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What is a TPM and why does Windows 11 need it?

You’ve probably heard of the TPM chip recently, as it is now mandatory for all systems wanting to run Windows 11. But what is a TPM?

Read on to find out what a TPM chip is, and why Microsoft is being so insistent about its inclusion.

What is a TPM chip and how does it work?

A TPM (aka trusted platform module chip) is a cryptoprocessor that secures a computer through an integrated cryptographic key. Its main function is to prevent hackers from accessing your computer and leaking your data.

The chip is necessary to run Windows 11, as Microsoft wants to put more focus on safety and keeping its platforms secure.

A TPM is generally either integrated into the motherboard or added manually to the CPU. The likes of AMD and Intel have made sure all their modern processors pack this technology, but it could be absent if you’re using a chip from a few years back.

When you log into your computer, the TPM will supply a unique code called a cryptographic key and if there’s no detected issue, your computer will start up as normal. If your PC’s security is compromised, however, the computer will lock down to prevent hackers gaining access.

How to check if you PC has a TPM

There are a few ways to check if your computer already has TPM. The first is checking the TPM management tool that is built into Windows.

Just click Windows+R to open up a dialogue window, and type tpm.msc into it and press enter.

TMP Chip Window (what is a tpm)

If your computer pops up with information about the TPMinside the PC, your computer will indeed have a TPM, and looking at the bottom-right corner of the box will also tell you which version of TPM you have.

TMP Chip Window (what is a tpm)

If you see a ‘Compatible TPM cannot be found’ message, that sadly means your computer does not have a TPM chip, version 1.2 or otherwise.

But don’t lose all hope. If your system is flagged up as not having a TPM, despite using a modern processor, then it may just be the case of needing to activate it in your BIOS. For example, our system was flagged as not having a TPM despite using a Ryzen 7 5800X processor, which is on the list of approved processors.

For more details on Windows 11, make sure to keep an eye on Trusted Reviews. And check out our Windows 11 vs Windows 10 video for more details.

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