Microsoft has been using the app to tell people whether or not their PCs are officially eligible for Windows 11.
Is it helpful or just bloatware? Windows 10 users have noticed that Microsoft is force-installing the company’s PC Health Check app on their computers through a new software update.
The KB5005463 update appeared last week, according to those who encountered the change. The update automatically installs Microsoft’s PC Health Check app, which is designed to notify users if their machine is officially eligible for the newly launched Windows 11.
The app was previously available as an optional 13MB download from Microsoft’s website. But now the company is rolling it out to all Windows 10 users, citing it as a helpful tool for maintaining their computers’ performance.
Microsoft says the PC Health Check app, which arrives via Windows Update, will make it easier for customers to monitor the health of their device and check their eligibility to get Windows 11.
But in its current form, the PC Health Check app doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking. It’ll simply ensure your PC is running the latest Windows 10 update, determine your PC’s storage capacity, and let you manage what programs load at startup—all options you could already find in the OS without downloading the app. Meanwhile, a separate button in the app called “Tips on PC health” simply advises you to turn on the built-in antivirus and to use Microsoft Edge for better internet browsing.
Microsoft’s support document on the update also notes: “We will not install PC Health Check on Windows 11 devices.”
The app’s other problem is the built-in Windows 11 system requirement checker: One might argue it can mislead you into thinking your system can’t upgrade to Windows 11 when the truth is more complicated.
Microsoft has quietly acknowledged you can run the OS on many older PCs that don’t technically meet all the system requirements. But to do so, you’ll have to tinker with the Windows 10 settings and embark on a manual install. The company itself has released official guidance on how to do this, although Microsoft warns running Windows 11 on an unsupported machine could lead to malfunctions. (That said, one user managed to install Windows 11 on a PC with a 15-year-old Pentium chip.)
If you’re not a fan of the KB5005463 update, the PC Health Check app is easy to uninstall by going to the Windows 10 Settings panel and removing it like you would a typical program. However, BleepingComputer reports that some users are noticing the app will reinstall itself even after manually removal. In response, Microsoft said it’s investigating the problem, which it called unexpected behavior.
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Michael has been a PCMag reporter since October 2017. He previously covered tech news in China from 2010 to 2015, before moving to San Francisco to write about cybersecurity. He covers a variety of tech news topics, including consumer devices, digital privacy issues, computer hacking, artificial intelligence, online communities, and gaming.
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