Windows 11 hack removes watermark from desktop, but should you do it?

Microsoft has recently added a ‘feature’ to Windows 11 that will show a watermark message on the desktop if the PC it’s running on does not meet the system requirements, but there’s already a hack available to get rid of it.

Windows 11 has some weird system requirements that has meant some perfectly powerful and relatively modern PCs are deemed unable to run the new operating system. However, it’s relatively easy to get Windows 11 to run on these devices anyway, and while it all seems to work fine, Microsoft has warned against doing this.

The company now seems even more determined to dissuade people from running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware by adding a watermark that appears on the desktop that says “System requirements not met.” While this doesn’t prevent the PC from being used, it’s pretty annoying, so it comes as little surprise to find that someone at Deskmodder.de has already found a way to remove the watermark.

How to remove the Windows 11 watermark

If the watermark appears on your PC, here’s the steps you need to take to remove it. This process involves editing Windows 11’s registry, and if this is done incorrectly, there’s a danger your PC may not work correctly – so only do this if you’re confident, and follow the instructions exactly.

  • Open up the Registry Editor by typing ‘Regedit’ in the Windows 11 search box.
  • On the left-hand side, open up HKEY_CURRENT_USER then scroll down to Control Panel. You should see an entry called UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache.
  • Right-click it and select ‘Modify’ from the menu.
  • Change the SV2 DWORD value from 1 to 0.
  • Save and then restart your PC.

If you can’t see UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache, right-click on the Control Panel folder and select New > Key. Name it UnsupportedHardwareNotificationCache, then in the new folder right-click and select New > SV2 DWORD. Right-click it and select ‘Modify’ and change the value from 1 to 0.

Once your PC restarts, the watermark should be gone.


This hack is relatively straightforward, but does that mean you should do it? In the past, Microsoft used watermarks like this when devices were running a copy of Windows that hadn’t been activated (so possibly hadn’t been paid for). Removing a watermark to make an non-activated version of Windows appear to be activated would almost certainly be illegal – as well as ethically wrong.

Things aren’t quite as straightforward here, as if you have an activated version of Windows 10, you should be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11. However, part of the licence agreement is that you run Windows 11 on supported hardware.

While you may get away with it for personal use where you just want to remove the watermark for aesthetic reasons, if someone were to use it to make a PC appear to support Windows 11 when it doesn’t (and then sells it on that basis), again, that’s likely to be illegal.

It’s also worth considering that while this hack removes the watermark, it doesn’t mean the device now meets the Windows 11 system requirements. Microsoft does not recommend running Windows 11 on systems that don’t meet requirements, and it may mean that future updates, including important security fixes, won’t be compatible.

For that reason alone, the safest thing you can do if you get this watermark is to uninstall Windows 11 and stick with Windows 10.

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Zoom update delivers a quick hack for more productive meetings

Zoom has announced a number of new updates and features for its video conferencing software that will help organizations be more productive and get the most out of their meetings.

According to a new blog post, hosts will now be able to schedule a meeting with Focus Mode set to start automatically. While this feature was originally designed with online learning in mind, it can also help large businesses with many employees stay on task during their meetings.

For those unfamiliar, Zoom's Focus Mode places meeting participants in a view where they can only see themselves, the host and or co-hosts and the content being shared. However, hosts and co-hosts can also choose to view participants in Gallery View which enables them to see everyone at once.

Speaking of Gallery View, Zoom has also added the ability to save a custom Gallery View order. Meeting hosts can now save a customized gallery order to each unique meeting ID which allows them to load the saved customized order before a meeting as opposed to having to manually change the order each time they're in a video call.

Video Mail

In addition to helping users have more productive meetings, Zoom has also announced a new update for its cloud phone system that will make it easier for colleagues to keep in touch.

While voicemail used to be the only option to leave someone a message when they didn't answer their phone, nowadays most people don't even check their voicemail. For this reason, Zoom has decided to provide its users with a more personable alternative to standard voicemail.

Zoom Phone users can now greet their colleagues with video greetings which allow them to leave video messages right from their voicemail inbox. You can check out this support document from Zoom to get started leaving video greetings or videomail for your colleagues.

While some users have returned to the office full time, other organizations have introduced hybrid work policies where some people are at the office and others are at home. With Zoom's new tools though, employees can stay connected with their teams regardless of whether they're working from home or are out in the field. 

Looking to improve your video calls? Check out our roundups of the best video conferencing softwarebest business webcams and best headsets for conference calls

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