Microsoft recently unveiled Windows 11 to the world which comes with some interesting new features. While Windows 11’s stable version will drop somewhere around late fall, it comes with a set of pre-requisites that need to be fulfilled for a free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.
A key requirement for Windows 11 is to have a TPM 2.0 chip installed and Secure Boot enabled. Several existing Windows users were left wondering about questions like what is TPM 2.0? Do I have a TPM 2.0 chip? Do I need a TPM module for Windows 11? How to install TPM 2.0 on Windows? Well, we answer all your questions.
What Is TPM 2.0
TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module. It is a hardware module that is used for secure boot and checking system integrity. Windows operating system also uses it for file and disk encryption along with BitLocker.
TPM 2.0 was released in 2019. It is the latest version and an upgrade over TPM 1.2 which was released way back in 2011. Most latest premium and enterprise-level laptops/PCs released after 2016 have TPM 2.0 installed. In case you are unsure about the TPM version, here’s a simple way to check in Windows 10 and Windows 7.
Check/Change TPM Status and Version
In order to check if you have a TPM module, press Win+R to trigger the Run prompt and type tpm.msc. Next, hit Enter.
On the TPM management page, you will see your TPM status. In my case, the status is “The TPM is ready for use”. You can even see the TPM version at the bottom under TPM Manufacturer Information.
If your TPM module status is turned off, you have to enable it in your UEFI firmware settings menu. The menu options are different for every laptop depending on the manufacturer. Generally, you can find the TPM option under Security or Advanced Settings. The TPM module is called PTT for Intel processors and fTPM for AMD processors.
Does My Motherboard Have TPM Header
Now if your PC doesn’t have a TPM chip, don’t worry. Most motherboards have a TPM header and you can install a TPM module manually. If you are unsure about it, you can check on your motherboard manufacturer’s site. You just have to Google your motherboard model number and check the technical specs on the ‘manufacturer’s site.
For instance, let’s just pick up the ROG Strix-B450F motherboard. On the Asus site, if you check under technical specs, you’ll see the TPM header under I/O ports. This means that the Asus B450F motherboard has an option to install the TPM module.
If you can’t find the information on the manufacturer’s site, you can also physically inspect your motherboard. It usually is around the RGB header or COM ports. For reference, in the ROG Strix B450F, the TPM header is beside the COM port.
How to Install TPM 2.0 Module
If your PC has a TPM header, you can easily get a TPM 2.0 module for your motherboard. This will make your PC Windows 11 compatible if you fulfill other requirements.
However, finding the right TPM 2.0 module is the hard part. You need to get the exact pin number and pin layout of your motherboard’s TPM header. For instance, let’s take the above-mentioned B450F motherboard again. The manual says it has a 14-1 PIN header with the following PIN layout. Hence, I have to buy a 14-1 PIN TPM 2.0 module.
You have to ensure that the TPM module you buy has the same PIN layout as your TPM header. More importantly, it has the same PIN lockout. In my case, the TPM module has to have a lockout PIN in the 5th row. For reference, below is the image of my TPM header layout.
It is recommended to purchase a TPM module from the same company as your motherboard manufacturer. Additionally, due to the soaring demand, TPM module prices have hit the ceiling. It’s also hard to find them on Amazon, BestBuy, or Walmart. Here’s a TPM module I found on B&H with fair pricing.
If you are in doubt, it’s better to contact your motherboard manufacturer’s customer support. They will be better guide you to the right TPM module
Once you buy your TPM module, install it on the motherboard. You need to enable the TPM module from the UEFI firmware menu. Most of the TPM modules, if compatible, work right out of the box without any installation. They do need a system restart though.
Final Words: Install TPM 2.0 on Windows PC
As noted earlier, most computers should already have TPM 2.0 installed on their motherboard. For a lot of users, it is turned off by default. We have written a detailed guide on how to enable TPM and Secure Boot from the UEFI boot menu. In case your Windows computer came without a TPM chip, it is easy to buy one online. You can either install it manually or take your computer to a repair shop. It shouldn’t take long. You just need a compatible motherboard.