Windows 10 ARM-based PCs FAQ

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Windows 10 ARM-based PCs help you keep working wherever you go. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • Always be connected to the internet. With a cellular data connection, you can be online wherever you get a cellular signal—just like with your mobile phone. When you’re at work, home, or by another Wi-Fi network you trust, you can connect to Wi-Fi to save cellular data and keep working.

  • Battery life that goes beyond all-day. You'll use less power than you would with other PCs, so you can go through a typical work or school day without running out of battery or worrying about finding an outlet to plug into. If you want to use your PC for something more fun, you can play videos stored on your PC for many hours without charging your battery in between.

  • Turn on instantly. When you’re not using your PC, just press the power button like you do on your mobile phone to turn off the screen. When you take out your PC and turn it back on, it turns on instantly. Whenever you have a few minutes in between classes, meetings, or other activities, you can get things done without waiting for your PC to start.

Select any heading below to get answers to questions you might have.

There are some limitations when you run a Windows 10 ARM-based PC:

  • Drivers for hardware, games and apps will only work if they're designed for a Windows 10 ARM-based PC. For more info, check with the hardware manufacturer or the organization that developed the driver. Drivers are software programs that communicate with hardware devices—they're commonly used for antivirus and antimalware software, printing or PDF software, assistive technologies, CD and DVD utilities, and virtualization software.
    If a driver doesn’t work, the app or hardware that relies on it won’t work either (at least not fully). Peripherals and devices only work if the drivers they depend on are built into Windows 10, or if the hardware developer has released ARM64 drivers for the device.

  • 64-bit (x64) apps won’t work. You'll need 64-bit (ARM64) apps, 32-bit (ARM32) apps, or 32-bit (x86) apps. You can usually find 32-bit (x86) versions of apps, but some app developers only offer 64-bit (x64) apps.

  • Certain games won’t work. Games and apps won't work if they use a version of OpenGL greater than 1.1, or if they rely on "anti-cheat" drivers that haven't been made for Windows 10 ARM-based PCs. Check with your game publisher to see if a game will work.

  • Apps that customize the Windows experience might have problems. This includes some input method editors (IMEs), assistive technologies, and cloud storage apps. The organization that develops the app determines whether their app will work on a Windows 10 ARM-based PC.

  • Some third-party antivirus software can’t be installed. You won't be able to install some third-party antivirus software on a Windows 10 ARM-based PC. However, Windows Security will help keep you safe for the supported lifetime of your Windows 10 device.

  • Windows Fax and Scan isn’t available. This feature isn’t available on a Windows 10 ARM-based PC.

You can install 32-bit (x86), 32-bit (ARM32), and 64-bit (ARM64) Windows apps that aren’t available in the Microsoft Store in Windows. 64-bit (x64) apps won't run. Peripherals and devices only work if the drivers they depend on are built into Windows 10, or if the hardware developer has released ARM64 drivers for the device. It's a good idea to check whether the hardware developer has published a version of the driver that runs on a Windows 10 ARM-based PC.

Windows 10 provides built-in accessibility features that help you do more on your device. You can also find assistive technology apps in the Microsoft Store in Windows, such as the KNFB Reader and the Read&Write extension for Microsoft Edge—and we're working to offer more apps soon.

You can check the Microsoft Store or contact your assistive software vendor to see if your preferred assistive technology apps are available for a Windows 10 ARM-based PC.

You may want to check with the vendor to find out if their app is compatible on a Windows 10 ARM-based PC. Not all assistive technology apps work as expected.

If you use a screen reader, NVDA has updated their app to be compatible on a Windows 10 ARM-based PC. For more info, visit the NV Access website.

Every Windows 10 ARM-based PC can connect to a cellular data network, so you can get online wherever you have a cellular signal. Depending on your PC manufacturer, your PC might use a physical SIM card, an embedded SIM (eSIM), or either one.

To find out whether your PC uses a SIM card, eSIM, or either one:

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Network & Internet  > Cellular .

  2. Determine the type of SIM your PC uses. On the Cellular settings screen, look for a link near the bottom of the page that says Manage eSIM profiles.

To see if your device will work, check the hardware manufacturer's website or your mobile operator's website.

 

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