You may already know that every major Windows version comes in. There are also a few editions. The same applies to Windows 11. We already know the SKUs available. It will come down to Home and Pro for most people. These are the editions that you will find in stores and pre-installed on your computer. We’ve compiled all the key differences between Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro to help you compare them.
The main difference between Windows 11 Home Edition and Windows 11 Pro is the pricing. Microsoft will maintain the same pricing for Windows 11 Home and Pro, with the Home edition costing $139.99 and the Pro costing $199.99. Windows 11 Home is capable of doing almost everything you need. The Pro edition is for professionals who use their PCs for work. Windows 11 Home has some extra features, but it’s fine if you are just purchasing a computer for personal use.
Summary of features differences
Here’s a quick overview of the main differences between these features:
|Feature||Windows 11 Home||Windows 11 Pro|
|Register for a local account||No||Yes|
|Join Active Directory/Azure AD||No||Yes|
|Microsoft Remote Desktop||Only for the client||Yes|
|Network protection and firewall||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Defender Antivirus||Yes||Yes|
|BitLocker device encryption||No||Yes|
|Windows Information Protection||No||Yes|
|Mobile device management (MDM)||No||Yes|
|Azure Enterprise State Roaming||No||Yes|
|Windows Update for Businesses||No||Yes|
|Maximum no. Maximum number of CPUs||1||2|
|Maximum no. Maximum number of CPU cores||64||128|
Windows 11 Home vs. Windows Pro: Setting Up
When you set it up for the first time, Windows 11 Home will be your first clue to the difference between Pro and Home. Windows 11 Home comes with a limitation that may be frustrating to some: you must set it up using an internet connection and a Microsoft Account. This is the standard way, but you can trick Windows 11 Home to allow you to set it up without one. Windows 11 Home allows you to delete your Microsoft account, however, Windows 11 Pro allows you to set up your computer with a local account.
A second difference for business users will be that Windows 11 Home computers can’t be connected to Active Directory. Active Directory solutions are required for managing business devices. These include configuring access to specific resources and deploying apps. This includes Windows 11 features such as Group Policy. These are professional tools and don’t make much sense for Windows 11 Home users.
Windows 11 Home vs. Pro: Virtualization, remote desktop, and virtualization
Next, Windows 11 Home and Pro Editions have different virtualization capabilities. Windows 11 Home does not support Hyper-V and Windows Sandbox. It can only be used as a Remote Desktop Client, but it cannot be a host. Therefore, you can’t remotely access a Windows 11 home PC using Microsoft Remote Desktop. For similar purposes, however, third-party tools such as TeamViewer can be used.
Windows 11 Pro now supports all these features. Hyper-V, a virtualization tool that Windows has built-in, allows you to create virtual machines. Hyper-V can be used to test out a new operating system or an older version of Windows. You can use virtual machines without worrying about making any changes to your host computer. You can also do this with third-party apps like VMware Workstation Player.
Windows Sandbox extends this idea but it doesn’t run other operating systems. It just copies the OS that you are currently using. Windows Sandbox allows you to quickly test and install potentially dangerous apps before installing them on your computer. Windows Sandbox resets each time you open it. This ensures that it is always fresh for testing.
Windows 11 Home vs. Pro: Security
Windows 11 Pro offers additional security features for business users who deal with sensitive information. First, BitLocker encryption is supported. This encryption protects your data from being accessed by others. Your files will be protected even if your computer was stolen.
Windows 11 Pro comes with Windows Information Protection (or WIP). This tool can prevent data leakage from within companies. Companies can use WIP policies to prevent employees from sending content outside the company. WIP is built into Windows and offers a simpler experience than third-party options. WIP allows you to separate business and personal data from a device. This means that if a PC is stolen or lost, business data can still be deleted remotely.
Support for RAM and CPU
Windows 11 Home and Pro have the same minimum system requirements. They will therefore work mostly on the same computers. Windows 11 Home has higher upper limits than Windows 11 Pro. Windows 11 Home computers can only have one socket and one CPU. Windows 11 Home can only support 64 CPU cores while asenna windows 11 Pro supports 128.
Windows 11 Home also has a limit of 128GB RAM. This is enough RAM for most users, even advanced gaming computers. Windows 11 Pro allows for up to 2TB. This is useful if you need to create many virtual machines with lots of RAM.
Features for enterprise management
The majority of differences between Home editions and Pro editions are only for businesses. Windows 11 Home doesn’t offer many device management capabilities. Windows 11 Pro supports Group Policy. This allows IT administrators to set up policies for multiple devices at once. Windows Update for Business allows companies to control how updates are distributed to their users, to avoid any unexpected problems.
Windows 11 Pro features include the following:
- Mobile device management
- Group Policy
- Enterprise State Roaming
- Assigned Access
- Dynamic Provisioning
- Windows Update for Businesses
- Kiosk mode
- Active Directory/Azure AD
Windows 10 had the Microsoft Store for Business. However, Windows 11 will use a completely different approach. Microsoft is replacing the Microsoft Store for Business with a new management interface. However, this new experience will only be available for Windows 11 Pro devices.
These are the core differences in Windows 11 Home vs Pro editions. As we’ve mentioned, most of them revolve around features meant for business users. Some are designed to protect especially sensitive information, while others have to do with quickly setting up devices for users and managing them remotely. For the average person walking into a store, you’re probably going to be just fine with Windows 11 Home. The odds are if you need Windows 11 Pro, you already know you need it and why. Here’s a summary of all the feature differences between Windows 11 Home and Pro:
You can upgrade to Pro if you own a Windows 11 Home PC. If you need assistance, please refer to our guide on upgrading Windows 11 Pro. To find out the most recent updates to Windows 11, visit our update tracker.