Update Windows 10 21H2 has been released for testing, but not for everyone

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Microsoft has officially announced the Windows 10 21H2 feature update (build 19044.1147) and released the first preview build to Insiders for testing.

While Windows 11 is the hot topic right now, most enterprise users will likely be staying with Windows 10 until the bugs are worked out of the new operating system.

Microsoft will continue to release feature updates, such as Windows 10 21H2, through October 2025 to allow businesses and consumers time to switch to Windows 11.

As most of the development for new features is going into Windows 11, Microsoft will be releasing limited features for Windows 10 going forward.

"Windows 10, version 21H2 will have a scoped set of features focused on productivity and security, prioritized to meet our customers’ needs based on feedback," Microsoft's John Cable, Vice President, Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, explained in a blog post tonight.

However, for the initial test of Windows 10 21H2, Microsoft is only making the new feature update available to Windows Insiders who were moved from the 'Beta' channel to the 'Release' because their PC did not meet the system requirements for Windows 11.

Even for these users, Microsoft is only making it available to 'Seekers,' or those who manually check for updates in Windows Update.

After installing the update, Windows 10 will be upgraded to build 19044.1147.

Windows 10 21H2 is a Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release, which means it will receive support for 30 months after it is released.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Official announcement:
Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19044.1147 (21H2)
Hello Windows Insiders, today we are announcing Windows 10, version 21H2 as the next feature update to Windows 10. As part of today’s announcement, we’re also releasing 21H2 Build 19044.1147 (KB5004296) to the Release Preview Channel ONLY to Insiders who were moved from the Beta Channel to the Release Preview Channel because their PC did not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11.

We are releasing this build to those Insiders via our “seeker” experience in Windows Update. This means these Insiders will need to go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and choose to download and install 21H2.

The features highlighted in John Cable’s blog post for Windows 10, version 21H2 are not yet in this build but will be included in a future update.
 

silversurfer

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Three features are highlighted on the Windows Experience Blog:
  • Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
  • Windows Hello for Business supports simplified passwordless deployment models for achieving a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes
  • GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows
The 18 months of support that Windows 10 version 21H2 receives will keep systems running the operating system supported until 2023.
 

The_King

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Can't download Windows 10 21H2? Here's how to get it​

Microsoft released the first preview build of Windows 10 21H2 this week, but it is not being offered to everyone at this time. However, for those who want to test the new build, a way has been discovered that allows anyone to upgrade to the new feature update now.

On Thursday, Microsoft released the first Windows 10 21H2 preview build. While it is not a very large release, it does have a few new security features that better protect your account and Wifi connection.

However, unlike other releases of new feature updates preview builds, Microsoft is only making it available via Windows Update to Insiders who were moved to the 'Release' channel for not meeting Windows 11's hardware requirements.

This means that Windows Insiders can't just switch to the Release channel and be offered the new Windows 10 21H2 update as we could in the past.

The good news is that Windows sleuth Albacore has shared a method that allows users running Windows 10 2004, Windows 10 20H2, and Windows 10 21H1 to upgrade their device to Windows 10 21H2 quickly.

Manually installing the enablement package​

The Windows 10 21H2 feature update is being rolled out to Insiders as an enablement package for Windows 10 2004, Windows 10 20H2, and Windows 10 21H1, allowing these versions to update quickly with a single reboot.

This enablement package acts as a "master switch" that enables the dormant features already present in Windows 10 2004/20H2/21H1 and upgrades the Windows version and build number.

For Windows Insiders not being offered the Windows 10 21H2 package, it is possible to upgrade to the new feature update by downloading the appropriate enablement package and manually installing it.

To manually upgrade your Windows 10 Insider device to Windows 10 21H2, please follow these steps:
  1. Switch to the 'Release' channel in your Windows Insider settings.
  2. Download the appropriate enablement package for your version of Windows to the Downloads folder. It will be the 64-bit version for most people, but you can confirm if you are 32-bit, 64-bit, or running ARM using these instructions.

    Albacore has shared Windows 10 21H2 enablement packages for 64-bit systems (Windows10.0-KB5003791-x64.cab), 32-bit systems (Windows10.0-KB5003791-x86.cab), and ARM systems (Windows10.0-KB5003791-arm64.cab).
  3. Open a Windows 10 Elevated Command Prompt and type cd %userprofile%\downloads and press enter on your keyboard. You will now be in your Downloads folder.
  4. Now type DISM /online /add-package /packagepath:[name of file you downloaded] and press enter on your keyboard. For example, 64-bit users would enter DISM /online /add-package /packagepath:Windows10.0-KB5003791-x64.cab.
  • The command will now install the enablement package on your computer, and when finished, prompt you to restart your computer.
  • After rebooting your computer, you can click on the Start button, and type winver, and press enter to see your new version of Windows 10, which should now say Version 21H2 Build 19044.1147, as shown below.
  1. You can now close the About Windows dialog and the command prompt.
Now that you are upgraded to Windows 10 21H2, you will continue to receive new updates for the operating system as they become available.
 

CyberTech

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Microsoft has released Windows 10 21H2 19044.1200 with the awaited new Windows Hello security feature, WPA3 HPE support, and GPU computing in the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

In July, Microsoft officially released the Windows 10 21H2 feature update to Insiders for testing but stated that its new features would be coming later.
Today, Microsoft released Windows 10 21H2 19044.1200 with the promised features:
For more information
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Will Windows 10 21H2 (build 19044) be the last feature update?
With Microsoft now putting its focus and resources to Windows 11, what’s with the Windows 10 development? We will still see a feature update to Windows 10 version 21H2 in the coming weeks. But with build 19044, the last development branch for Windows 10 might have been initiated. So far, there’s been no sign of a 22H1 in the Insider channels, and a tweet from Microsoft employee Brandon Le Blanc could further fuel that theory.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Agreed. I will be onw of those who don't plan on upgrading anytime soon.
In my household no laptops are compatible with Windows 11.
I'm thinking of trying the iso loophole myself and see if we will get security updates.
If that doesn't work out it's back to Windows 10 for four years.
Who knows what wil happen in that time... Windows 12? :D
 

VecchioScarpone

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Aug 19, 2017
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My desktop is not compatible, to upgrade it it will cost me just a couple of hundred bucks less than buying a new computer.
W 11 see you in 2025, maybe or if I get here sooner...
 

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