Everything you need to know about the Windows on ARM device pairing

The Windows on ARM doesn't support scanning

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A Windows on Arm laptop with various accessories around it

Windows on ARM uses a different architecture than the traditional x86-64 systems. ARM processors are energy-efficient and performant. Also, they are suitable for cloud computing, edge computing, and AI implementation. However, most manufacturers design their accessories and peripherals for the x86-64 systems. So, they might not be fully compatible with Windows ARM devices.

What are the limitations of Windows on ARM devices?

According to Microsoft, there are some limitations for the ARM-based systems. For example, drivers will only work if they are specifically for Windows on ARM devices. So, you should check if the hardware developer designed its drivers for ARM systems.

In addition, you won’t be able to install some third-party antivirus software. Besides, some apps that customize the Windows experience don’t support the ARM architecture. 

Some devices compatible with Windows on ARM lack the ports you need. So, to make them compatible with the ARM architecture, you might want to get a dongle. Additionally, wireless accessories that use a Bluetooth connection should work smoothly as long as they don’t require third-party drivers for specific features.

Monitors are also compatible with Windows on ARM. However, according to Windows Central, some devices using this architecture might lack support for 4K. On top of that, you can use multiple screens freely with the help of a dongle. In addition, you can wirelessly connect LG TVs via webOS.

Can you play games on ARM PCs?

Windows on ARM devices work well with Xbox Cloud gaming and Nvidia Geforce NOW. So, you can use cloud streaming to play games on your device. Yet, most ARM devices are not for gaming, especially the older Windows on ARM PCs.

Some games will not work unless their anti-cheat drivers are compatible with the architecture or if they are using an OpenGL version above 3.3.

The Windows Fax and Scan aren’t working well or at all with Windows on ARM-based systems. There are some options, but they offer basic printing support and not scanning. However, you could use the optical character recognition feature of the stock Snipping tool to decipher the text on a photographed page. Additionally, you can easily connect wireless printers.

In a nutshell, most wireless accessories and peripherals work with ARM-based systems. However, you might have problems with the ones needing specific drivers for different functions. Yet, you should always check if your devices are compatible with Windows on ARM. The biggest issue is the lack of scanning, but there are workarounds.

Are you already using an ARM device? Let us know in the comments.

More about the topics: ARM processors, Windows 11