Trusted Platform Module or TPM is a hardware-based security mechanism built into Windows Operating System devices. Most commonly, it is literally a chip that is inserted on a motherboard or attached independently to a CPU. There are numerous use-cases and justifications as to why that’s the case; in simple terms, know that TPM was developed to protect against attempts to tamper and exploit a Windows device.
How Exactly Does TPM Help?
One of the chief functionalities of TPM is often to authenticate and allow access (sign-in) to the device’s operating system, and in many cases, is even responsible for authorizing booting or starting a Windows machine. If TPM detects any changes in how things are supposed to be, it will not start your laptop — thus preventing entry into your device.
Moreover, Microsoft has stated that with the newly upgraded TPM 2.0 — which actually is a prerequisite to running Windows 11 — users can also be safeguarded against ransomware attacks.
Outside of the must-dos for verification, threat protection, and whatnot, there are many more scenarios in which TPM helps. For examples:
- Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox use TPM to preserve SSL certificates of websites.
- TPM is regularly employed for disk encryption.
- Other software and services leverage TPM for worry-free & smooth running of Windows.
- Seriously, if you dig enough, several situations make use of TPM, and it gets all quite technical, which is why this post is written to ease any concerns of non-technical folks as to what TPM is and why it’s needed. It’s perfectly safe & sensible to have TPM — especially if it came along during your purchase of the Windows device. Microsoft knows what they’re doing here.
Is It OK To Clear Trusted Platform Module?
In most cases, clearing TPM is not something many of us would need to worry about. Its primary purpose is for troubleshooting reasons, and it can be argued that when doing a clean installation of the operating system, it might be a good idea to clear TPM. But even without doing so, TPM should function without any glitches, according to Microsoft. Additionally, the organization cautions us to take a few measures before clearing TPM. You can read about all on their documentation site, but the important highlights are listed below.
- Have backups and recovery methods in place.
- Suggests not to clear TPM on your school or work systems unless your IT Team mandates it. In all honesty, this ability should be disabled if the IT team frets about it.
- In all likelihood, your TPM is an actual chip, so Microsoft advises you to read the instructions manual from your Manufacturer to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of their TPM.
- Lastly, it is highly recommended to clear TPM within the OS by using the feature in Windows Security or by running tpm.msc.
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Is There a Way Around TPM (Get By Without It)? But Even if It Is, Should You?
Without forgetting the premise that TPM exists for your security and privacy, there might be a way to get around it, especially on older devices not running Windows 11. But as and when time passes by, and when you try to upgrade your hardware and the Windows OS, TPM may feel more of a necessary aspect.
Hackers and cybercriminals constantly evolve their methods of attacks and exploitation, so it is only natural that the organizations providing services that have a significant role in our everyday life — from personal to professional, will up their game too. So even if you find a way to make your Windows device operate without TPM, you probably shouldn’t.