Windows 11 is known for its relatively high system requirements that put it out of reach for many PCs that quite happily run Windows 10, but there’s a fix for that: a new version of the operating system called Tiny11, which not only lowers the hardware bar for input significantly, but also removes a lot of bloating.
Tiny11 is made by NTDEV and is basically an ISO based on Windows 11 Pro 22H2, the release of which was announced on Twitter as highlighted Neovin (opens in a new tab). (Note that this is due to Tiny10 being very similar to Windows 10).
It’s finally here! Based on Windows 11 Pro 22H2, tiny11 has everything you need for a comfortable PC experience without the bloat and clutter of a standard Windows installation. pic.twitter.com/Tg5PWUZU1QFebruary 2, 2023
According to the developer, it has “everything you need for a comfortable PC experience without the bloat and clutter of a standard Windows installation.”
This alternative approach to Windows 11 has been in development for some time, with early preview builds available for download in the past, but it’s a final release candidate and should hopefully run smoothly.
The system requirements are just 2GB of RAM (you need at least 4GB for Windows 11 alone) and 8GB of storage, and Tiny11 does away with security requirements like TPM and Secure Boot that prove to be problematic for many PCs.
As mentioned, the operating system is very limited in Tiny11, so you get basic apps like Calculator, Notepad, and Paint, but Microsoft Edge, for example, has been abandoned.
Analysis: Security concerns are the main obstacle
What exactly is Tiny11? Basically a DIY project where the developer tinkered and created their own Windows 11 ISO – with lots of stuff removed – that you can download to install this “lightweight” version of the operating system. Note that this is not a pirated thing: you still need a valid license key to run the operating system as you would on a normal Windows system.
The catch is that you have to trust that the developer hasn’t done anything suspicious, as in the past some of these types of projects have been carriers of spyware or other even worse malware.
We’re not suggesting Tiny11 is doing anything nefarious, of course, but the point is that we can’t really be sure what’s been done to the OS here – and even with a legitimate, well-intentioned project, there’s always the possibility that unintentional hiccups may occur.
The biggest concern, however, is that Tiny11 is clearly less secure than Windows 11. It removes a lot of security measures as seen above, and Microsoft put them in for good reasons – generally speaking – plus it may be less secure in other aspects we don’t know about (certainly this could be one of the possible hiccups we just mentioned).
All in all, we just don’t know how safe Tiny11 is and for that reason, in our humble opinion, it’s best to be careful and let it take a turn. That said, it’s a nice idea, we can’t deny it, and no doubt some of the braver denizens of the desktop world might want to try it out on an old computer to see how it works.