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How to check if an Intel Processor supports virtualization on Windows 10

Virtualization isn’t something the average user needs, or even knows about. It’s needed if you for example, have to run virtual machines and the average user doesn’t really need to do that. That’s why, even if your system supports it, virtualization will not be enabled by default. You may have to enable it from Windows 10 or from your BIOS.

Virtualization can be enabled easily enough but your system, or more precisely, your processor should support it and not all of them do. If your processor doesn’t support virtualization, you cannot enable it. Here’s how you can check if an Intel processor supports virtualization or not.

Intel Processor virtualization support

There are two ways to check if your Intel Processor supports virtualization or not; you can look up the specifications for the processor on Intel’s official website, or you can use a hardware detection app from Intel to check virtualization support.

Processor specifications

Intel has detailed specifications for its processors available on its website. The only thing you need is to know what model and generation your processor is. Open Task Manager and go to the Performance tab. Select CPU in the column on the left, and in the pane on the right, look at the top right corner. Copy the name for the processor. If Virtualization is already enabled though, you will see a line indicating the same below the graph.

Next, visit this link, and select the type of processor you have. Consult the processor name to determine which type you have. I have a Core i7, 6th generation processor.

Clicking on the type of processor you have will reveal an exhaustive list of every single chip that Intel has produced of that type. Here, you need to look for the number assigned to your chip. Once you find it, click it to go to the processor’s specification page. Scroll down to the Advanced Technologies section and look for ‘Virtualization’.

Intel® Processor Identification Utility

This tool basically gives you the same information that the website does but you don’t have to be bothered selecting which processor you have. Download the Intel® Processor Identification Utility and install it. It will ask to send Intel data about your system during installation so pay attention to what prompts you accept and decline.

Run the app, and expand the CPU Technologies section to view virtualization support on the chip.

If your CPU supports virtualization but you’re unable to use it on Windows 10, it likely means it needs to be enabled from BIOS. You will have to dig around until you find the setting. In some cases, your BIOS might simply have blocked access to it in which case, you might have to tinker with the BIOS yourself to unlock access. This is not something you should take on lightly as you might end up bricking the system. Consult a professional.

If your CPU doesn’t support virtualization, you cannot force it to. There’s no hack or work around that will add it. You will have to buy better hardware.

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