Should I Buy Windows Home or Pro?

Many inexpensive PCs come with Windows Home edition. A lower price makes the PC attractive for price-conscious businesses, but is Windows Home sufficient? Several important differences exist between the Home and Pro editions.

Windows 11 Pro

  • BitLocker encryption can encrypt any drive
  • Can control/manage upgrades to Feature Updates (added Windows features)
  • Can control/manage upgrades to later Windows versions
  • Can use Remote Desktop to connect to the PC
  • Allows 20 other PCs to connect for file and printer sharing
  • Includes Hyper-V hypervisor to run virtual machines
  • Includes Local Group Policy Editor to enforce settings
  • Supports two CPUs and over 128 GB RAM
  • Can join a Windows Server domain/network
  • Costs about $60 more

Windows 11 Home

  • Device encryption protects only the C: drive
  • Microsoft controls when Windows Feature Updates and version upgrades happen
  • Allows 10 other PCs to connect for file and printer sharing
  • Can upgrade to Pro by buying and installing a $100 license, plus labor


ITS recommends Windows Pro which is more suited to business use, for all but the smallest companies, or for home users. It is more flexible, notably for not automatically upgrading to each new version of Windows...which we expect about every 3 years now. Pro also includes Remote Desktop and allows joining a domain. Generally we've found that "cheap" PCs include Home because manufacturers assume the customer is looking to save money, and they tend to cut other corners as well. In many cases we end up upgrading to Pro later on which wipes out any savings from the initial purchase.


February 2023

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