Windows 11 Home vs Windows 11 Pro: What's the difference? (2023)

VonAlex Wawro


How to Choose Between Home and Pro Editions of Windows 11

Windows 11 Home vs Windows 11 Pro: What's the difference? (1)

Pair chickens:

(Video) Windows 11 Home vs Pro: what's the difference & should you upgrade?

  • price and equipment
  • Security
  • virtualization
  • performance limits
  • Windows 11 Home vs Pro: Veredicto

Windows 11 is currently available in two versions: Home and Pro. That means you have a choice to make when buying a new copy of Windows, and deciding whether to claim Windows 11 Pro or Home can be difficult.

To help you make the right decision, I'll cover the main differences between the two versions of Windows 11 and explain why they're important. You might assume that the Pro is better because it costs more, but as you'll see, that's not necessarily true for most people. In meWindows 11 RevisionI praised Microsoft for refining what's good about Windows 10 without adding too many headaches, and I think most of us will be fine with Windows 11 Home.

But Windows 11 Pro comes with some unique selling points that make it useful, especially if you're installing Windows on PCs you plan to use in business, government, or anywhere security is of the utmost importance. For a complete and detailed breakdown of Windows 11 Home vs. Windows 11 Pro, read on.

Windows 11 Home vs Pro: price and features

The two versions of Windows 11 have slightly different prices and features. While the Home version offers most of what the Pro version offers, there are some key features that are only supported by the Pro; This graphic should make them easy to see.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Row 0 - cell 0Home of Windows 11Windows 11 professionalLine 0 - cell 3
Preis$ 139$ 199Line 1 - Cell 3
Windows HolaYYBiometric login via fingerprint or facial recognition
child lockYYTools to manage screen time, access to adult content, etc.
safety modeYYProtection against loading malicious applications/codes during Windows startup
find my deviceYYLocation tracking tools for laptop, pen, etc.
device encryptionYYOptional device-level encryption on supported PCs
internet protectionYYWindows Security may flag downloaded apps as potentially dangerous
windows securityYYPanel for managing Windows security settings
Firewall and network protectionYYOperating system-level alerts and protections against malicious actors (viruses, ransomware, etc.)
BitLocker Device EncryptionNOYYou can remotely lock your device to prevent thieves from accessing your data or
Windows Information ProtectionNOYA system to remotely manage and protect systems and software from attacks and prevent data leakage.

Note that if you want to upgrade from Windows 11 Home to Windows 11 Pro, Microsoft will charge you $99 for the privilege.

Windows 11 Home vs Pro: Security

The most notable feature difference between Windows 11 Pro and Home is on the security front. Windows 11 Pro is primarily aimed at businesses and other organizations that may have more to lose from a security breach than a single person's savings or personal information, so it has more significant protections.

Windows 11 Home vs Windows 11 Pro: What's the difference? (2)

(Video) Windows 11 Home Vs Windows 11 Pro! (Comparison) (Review)

The two most important ones to be aware of are Bitlocker Device Encryption and Windows Data Protection. Both are not available in Windows 11 Home and are too much for the average home PC user. However, a small business owner using Windows 11 Pro can use Bitlocker Device Encryption to remotely lock a laptop with lost confidential data.

Of course, to take full advantage of these advanced features requires the use of Windows PC management tools such as Microsoft's Endpoint Manager, which IT professionals use to track and control fleets of Windows devices. Useful stuff if you work at a global sales company, but a little daunting if you just need a new Windows PC for your hustle.

Windows 11 Pro owners also get access to security measures in the Windows Information Protection (or WIP) solution, a vague name for a collection of tools you can use to try to prevent sensitive data from leaving your organization. This means setting rules about what types and types of data can and cannot be shared internally and externally, checking email and other file sharing systems for data that meets those rules, and preventing it from being shared with your networks. .

That's what Windows 11 Pro was designed for, and that's why it's generally only recommended for people who buy copies of Windows for business use.

Note that while Microsoft started phasing out Windows Information Protocol in mid-2022, it encourages people who rely on these tools to use its Microsoft Purview solution (which does many of the same things).

Windows 11 Home vs Pro: Virtualization

Another key area where Windows 11 Pro excels is virtualization, which is basically the process of telling your computer to pretend it's a different kind of computer. There are a few different ways to do this, and you can download third-party software on Windows 11 Home to do basically the same things, but Windows 11 Pro users get some pretty powerful built-in tools.

Windows 11 Home vs Windows 11 Pro: What's the difference? (3)

Notably, Windows 11 Pro supports Windows Sandbox and Hyper-V. Windows Sandbox is a nice tool that creates a temporary Windows instance at startupinsideWindows 11, which lets you do things like install software you're not sure about before rolling it out to the rest of your PC.

The version of Windows running in the sandbox is completely isolated from the version of Windows 11 running on your PC (it's "sandbox") and is essentially removed once you close the sandbox (although the virtual machine recovers data between restarts). if you need to restart it to install software or similar) for added security.

Hyper-V is a more robust version of the same tool that lets you set up and manage multiple virtual machines on your Windows PC. This is a little more complicated and powerful than Windows Sandbox, as you can use these virtual machines to run a wide variety of operating systems, including macOS, ChromeOS, and Linux, without ever leaving the cozy confines of your Windows 11 PC.

Windows 11 Home vs Pro: Performance limits

Microsoft doesn't advertise this clearly, but Windows 11 Pro can really take advantage of your PC's hardware in a way that the Home version can't. However, we're talking high-end PC builds that most people don't own, so it makes sense for Microsoft to downplay these differences.

However, you should know that to get the most out of a PC with more than 128GB of RAM, you need Windows 11 Pro, as that's all Windows 11 Home supports. Of course, most of us don't have that much RAM in our PCs, but those that do might want to pay a little more for a copy of Windows 11 Pro.

Windows 11 Home also cannot use a CPU with more than 64 cores or a PC with more than one CPU. In comparison, Windows 11 Pro supports CPUs with up to 128 cores and up to two CPUs at the same time.

(Video) 💥 Windows 11 Home vs Windows 11 Pro | What’s The Difference?

Again, the chances of you having a PC with such powerful hardware are very slim. Most PCs have CPUs with far fewer than 64 cores, and dual-CPU PCs tend to be expensive, powerful workstations for things like rendering 3D animation.

Windows 11 Home vs Pro: Veredicto

If you've made it this far, you know that the big deciding factor when choosing between Windows 11 Pro and Home is simply money.

I'm also not talking about the additional cost of upgrading to Pro. I mean, Windows 11 Pro is specifically designed to lock down rare features that are mostly used by large organizations through an additional fee that customers have to pay to use them. So, unless you're buying PCs for your business or organization, you'll probably be able to use Windows 11 Home with ease.

But in rare cases, Windows 11 Pro's unique features can be valuable to people who care about more than privacy or commercial device encryption. For example, the added support for Windows Sandbox and Hyper-V virtualization makes upgrading to Pro a good idea if you spend a lot of time emulating older PC systems or running Windows virtual machines for security testing. And of course, if by a twist of fate you need a copy of Windows 11 for a dual-CPU PC, you'll want to splurge on the Pro if you want to get the most out of your machine.

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Windows 11 Home vs Windows 11 Pro: What's the difference? (4)

(Video) Here's the differences between Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro

Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong gaming and technology enthusiast with over a decade of experience covering both media outlets such as Game Developer, Black Hat and PC World Magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he is currently the Senior Editor of Tom's Guide, covering all things computing from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.



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