What is a TPM?
A TPM is just a physical chip on your computers motherboard that contains a number which is used by Windows and other software to encrypt (scramble) data and keep you safe. A TPM can also contain some passwords and certificates.
Note that TPM chips are optional. One of the differences between a corporate brand like Dell OptiPlex and a retail brand like Dell Inspiron was often the TPM. OptiPlex’s always have TPM’s but not all Inspirons do.
How To Check My TPM Version
There are 5 ready ways to check your TPM.
1: CHECK TPM VIA DEVICE MANAGER
Right click on your START button and select DEVICE MANAGER then expand SECURITY DEVICES:
2: CHECK TPM VIA SYSTEM INFORMATION
Click on your START button and type type SYSTEM INFORMATION, then expand SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENT > SYSTEM DRIVERS > TPM. If your TPM is STARTED, you have a TPM, but you can’t tell which version from here:
3: CHECK TPM VIA MICROSOFT CONSOLE
Click on your START button and type TPM.MSC then press your ENTER key. You can see if you have a TPM and what version it is:
4: CHECK TPM VIA COMMAND LINE
Right click on your START button and select WINDOWS POWERSHELL (ADMIN) or WINDOWS TERMINAL (ADMIN) to launch a command line interpreter. Then copy / paste this command:
or if you want more details:
get-WmiObject -Namespace root\cimv2\security\microsofttpm -Class Win32_Tpm
5: CHECK TPM VIA BIOS
Shut down your computer, then power it up and repeatedly press whatever key accesses the BIOS / UEFI (often this is the F2 key, the ESC key or the DELETE key, but your machine could be different). Then search for the BIOS for things like:
- Trusted Platform Module
- ADVANCED SECURITY
- TRUSTED COMPUTING
- SECURITY CHIP
CLICK TO EXPAND:
TPM REQUIREMENT IN WINDOWS 11:
The bottom line is that a TPM is a great idea but not all computers have one and even fewer will have a version 2.0 TPM which Microsoft MIGHT make a requirement for Windows 11. As it stands today, Windows 11 only requires TPM 1.2 but Microsoft has changed that minimum requirement twice already so the future is unknown.