Running Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 is a great way to get started with a powerful and affordable device. Let's see the step-by-step procedure to install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4.
Debian, a Linux operating system, serves as the foundation for Raspberry Pi OS. On the Raspberry Pi, the majority of the other operating systems you've seen or used are based on Linux. But what if you wanted to choose a different course of action?
What if you wanted Raspberry Pi to run Windows?
A quick peek at the system requirements for Windows 11 shows that it is simply too large to run on a Raspberry Pi. Incredibly, however, it can be done. You can now install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 using a tool called WoR-flasher.
Why Would You Install Windows on a Raspberry Pi 4?
Using a Raspberry Pi usually entails getting into the open-source world of Linux. Most Windows software will not operate, either because of the Raspberry Pi's ARM architecture, the system's poor specifications, or because it runs Linux. Some cross-platform software, as well as web-based utilities (with the correct browser), may function.
This can lead you to think that installing Windows on the Raspberry Pi is a smart idea. You should temper your expectations until you get it running, but it is unquestionably viable right now.
But there is one very excellent reason to install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4: you can.
Shortcomings of Running Windows on the Raspberry Pi 4
Before you get too enthusiastic, bear in mind that a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM is far less powerful than a typical Windows 11 PC. As a result, you will be restricted in your abilities. At best, this will run like a low-cost office or college PC. That's understandable since that's basically what it is.
Web browsing is the most obvious activity to do on a computer. Does a Raspberry Pi running Windows 11 allow you to achieve this? You can, indeed. After all, Microsoft Edge has already been installed and works well.
Various old 32-bit programs, as well as some older games, seem to work properly, while titles with a 3D feature tend to fail to start. Oh, and you can still use the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi.
Finally, the Windows experience on a Raspberry Pi may vary somewhat from that on your primary PC, but it is fairly acceptable.
What You Need for Installing Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4
WoR-flasher is capable of installing Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 or 400. To begin, you will need the following:
- A Raspberry Pi 4 (4 GB or 8 GB preferred) or 400
- A computer running Linux (Debian-based)
- Ethernet Cable connected to your router.
- USB-compatible SSD or minimum 16 GB microSD card (32 GB is better)
- Display and a suitable HDMI cable
- Keyboard and mouse
- Optional additional USB storage
It is important to note that, although another computer may be used for this operation, it is not required. With just a Raspberry Pi 4, it is feasible to use the WoR-flasher tool.
Installing Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi, Step-by-Step
You may either install WoR-flasher from Pi-Apps or manually use two terminal commands. To begin, clone the GitHub source.
git clone https://github.com/Botspot/wor-flasher
All of the required packages will be installed as a result of this. Then run the script:
In a neat box labeled “Windows on Raspberry,” you should shortly see the WoR-flasher tool.
Make sure the microSD card is inserted into your computer before continuing. As long as it has at least 16 GB of space, the inserted SD card may be used while using a Raspberry Pi.
Select your preferred Windows version and then your Raspberry Pi model in the Windows on Raspberry box.
For example, I wanted to run Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4, so I selected these options:
- Click Next
- Select the correct Language, then Next
- Select the correct device to flash, then Next
- You may alter config.txt or simply Flash in the Installation Overview screen (the Advanced screen lets you change the working directory or stop the process without flashing).
Following that, the required files will be downloaded. Finding something else to do while the process is ongoing is worth it since it may take some time. To ensure that the required files have been copied to the SD card, input your Linux password once it is complete.
After it is finished, you may safely remove the microSD card from your computer, put it into your Raspberry Pi, and power it on. Simply reboot your Raspberry Pi 4 if you ran the WoR flasher.
It will take some time to boot the Raspberry Pi for the first time using the Windows-based microSD card. Once Windows 10 or 11 is installed, all you can do is wait for the files to be extracted.
You will be prompted to choose the destination disk from a drop-down menu if your SD card is less than 32GB. If the installation files are on it, it should have at least 24GB of space. An additional disk with at least 15GB of storage is also an option.
To move on to the setup's next part, click “Next“. Confirm that Windows will be installed and then click “Install“.
The installation will automatically happen without your input if your SD card is 32 GB or more.
When the process is finished, your Raspberry Pi will reboot into Windows 10 or 11, depending on the version you installed. When the process is finished, your Raspberry Pi will reboot into Windows 10 or 11, depending on the version you installed.
You Might Need an Update
After confirming the keyboard language, layout, and location settings, I found that Windows 11 on Raspberry Pi 4 needed an update. Instead, connect an Ethernet cable from the Raspberry Pi to your router, as there are no Wi-Fi drivers for Windows 11 on that device.
If this does not work, leaving in favor of a network-free setup is a better option. Open the command prompt with Shift+F10 and type:
By bypassing the online setup in this way, a local user account may be created. Select the I don't have internet option, then click “Continue” with restricted setup. A reboot restarts the final stages of Windows setup.
Create a local account after confirming your preference for “location-based experiences” (for example, there is no need to enable Find My Device) and send diagnostic data to Microsoft.
You may also prefer to prevent apps from using the advertising ID you were given.
You may, however, be happy with any of these possibilities. You do get to use Windows for a while for free, after all.
Configuring the Raspberry Pi for Improved Windows Performance
While the setup automatically tackles overclocking, you may want to tweak a few OS settings to have Windows run more effectively on the Pi.
To get the Startup screen (Startup Apps in Windows 11), type “startup” into the Start menu. Disable the notification icons for Microsoft Security and OneDrive.
Type “performance” and then click “Adjust the look and performance of Windows” in the search box. Click “Adjust for Best Performance” and then “OK” on the Performance Options screen's “Visual Effects” tab.
Other options are available by pressing “Esc” when the computer boots. A Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool, a stripped-down version of the utility you presumably used on Raspberry Pi OS, is one of the options here.
Another OS Option for Your Raspberry Pi
The operating systems available for the Raspberry Pi continue to expand. While Windows on Raspberry Pi projects have come and gone, WoR has fared well, especially with the introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4. Its support for both Windows 10 and Windows 11 is a welcome surprise.
Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 works well. While your software options are restricted, this is true of every Windows-compatible computer. Low-end laptops, for example, cannot run high-end games; editing video at resolutions higher than Full HD (1080p) might also be difficult.