New Update Windows 11 23H2 ISO download links available

silversurfer

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In late 2022, a report revealed Microsoft's plans to release three feature updates for its operating system in 2023. The first update, Moment 2, arrived in February (check out our full review here), and the second one, Moment 3, is about to land in the upcoming weeks (we have already published our review). All that is left for Microsoft in 2023 is to release the third update, and details about its launch are already spilling out.

Windows 11 "Moment 4," the final update for the OS in 2023, should change the OS version from 22H2 to 23H2. Naturally, users expect the release to bump the build number and introduce more features and quality changes. According to @ZacBowden and @PhantomOfEarth on Twitter, version 23H2 is coming later this year as a cumulative update release or "enablement package."


 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Microsoft to Release Windows 11 Version 22H3 as an ‘Enablement Package’
Microsoft has started sharing the first details on the Windows 11 version 23H2, the next annual update for the OS to be released later this fall. On the Windows IT Pro blog today, the company explained that Windows 11 version 23H2 will share the same servicing branch and code base as Windows 11 version 22H2 (the latest version of the OS), and that’s why it will be available to download as an enablement package.

This is the same upgrade process that Microsoft has been using with recent Windows 10 updates: The versions 21H2 and 22H2 of Windows 10 share the same codebase as the version 20H2 of the OS, and these updates have been released via enablement packages that turn on new features.

In recent years, it may seem that the way Microsoft updates Windows becomes more complex with each version of the OS. We’ve moved from bi-annual updates with Windows 10 to annual updates on Windows 11, then Microsoft started releasing “Moment” updates throughout the year.

Microsoft has yet to detail the new features we can expect to see in Windows 11 version 23H2, but the fact that it’s from the same branch as version 22H2 suggests that it should be pretty minor. Because Windows 11 version 23H2 will share the same source code as version 22H2, Microsoft emphasized that IT pros “don’t need to worry about application or device compatibility between the versions.”

Microsoft actually published today a short whitepaper titled “Windows and the shared servicing model.” It details the advantages of using a single shared servicing branch and how Microsoft determines if a branch can be shared with the next version of Windows. Microsoft is usually not great at making sense of all these different types of Windows updates, but this is well worth a read if you want to better understand the reasoning behind all this.
 

NormanF

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We'll have to wait and see what's going to come in the fall but for now its not at all clear 23H2 is a major improvement over the current 22H2 version of Windows 11.
 
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Gandalf_The_Grey

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Here is everything new in Windows 11 23H2, the next big feature update
Windows 11 turns two in about one month, and Microsoft is getting ready to ship another batch of improvements and new features to enhance your PC experience. The operating system has already received numerous feature updates, making it much more convenient and polished than the initial release from 2021. Unlike previous "Moment" updates, version 23H2 introduces more substantial changes, some of which are long-requested features, but also address complaints.

What is new in Windows 11 23H2?

Quick Links:
  1. Windows Copilot
  2. Taskbar upgrades
  3. A redesigned File Explorer
  4. Native RAR, TAR, 7Z, and other archive types support
  5. A redesigned Volume Mixer
  6. Windows Backup
  7. Windows Dev Home and Dev Drive
  8. Settings Improvements
  9. Other changes
  10. Accessibility Improvements
  11. Bonus: Wallpaper
 

Captain Holly

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None of those listed improvements interest me at all. I would not use any of them, especially the Windows Copilot. I have absolutely no interest or desire to interact with a robot on my computer. I never liked Cortana either. I used a registry edit to turn her off. I really don't like AI/Bing/GP Chat and will resist it as long as possible. I don't mean to disparage Windows but I really don't like how MS and Bing are trying to weasel their way into my online life. I use Windows less and less on a daily basis now because of it. I still visit here on MT and a few other computer security forums because I like to learn about online security and I am glad to be part of the community here.

C.H.
 

Jonny Quest

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I'm starting to find that the eye-rolling days of uninstalling bloatware were when you bought a new Dell or HP PC, and you had to spend the time uninstalling apps, and researching which one to maybe leave, is now Microsoft/Windows. Of all the bloatware we have to disable, uninstall, and at times do it over again with a major release update.

Even their shameless promotions on the lock screen without you having to disable it in Personalization is nuts. Microsoft is going to bombard us with everything it can throw at us, then it becomes up to us to disable, uninstall, and tweak it to make it an OS we would want to use. I'm still going to use it daily, as most of my business software runs on Windows, and I am familiar with it and have used it since XP, but at times, it is getting to be a bit much.

lock screen two.jpg loch screen.jpg
 
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vtqhtr413

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This reminds me of a quote from George Carlin, "The FDA announced today that saliva causes cancer, however, only if swallowed in small amounts over long periods of time". 😊
It is worth noting that Windows Backup is not exclusive to Windows 11 version 23H2—it is also available on Windows 10. However, you cannot restore a backup on a Windows 10 machine as that feature is only available during Windows 11's onboarding (OOBE or initial setup) experience.
 

silversurfer

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During its special event in New York, Microsoft announced the next feature update for its operating system. It will be available as a free update for all users on September 26, 2023.

The upcoming update will bring plenty of various changes and new features, with the biggest upgrade focusing on AI and the recently announced Copilot. Like the update itself, the Copilot will come out of its preview stage on September 26, 2023. Other AI-powered features include background removal in Paint (also layers, transparency and PNG support, and more), optical character recognition in Snipping Tool, background blur in the Photos app, and more.
 
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silversurfer

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Microsoft separating system apps and components on Windows 11 23H2 to help users
This past week, Microsoft released a Release Preview build for Windows 11 Insiders flighting the channel. The new build, 22621.2500, was released under KB5031455. Alongside all the announced changes, improvements, and fixes, Twitter (X) user and Windows enthusiast techosarusrex noticed that Microsoft has made an interesting modification in the Settings in relation to the default system applications on Windows 11.

The build has added a new separate "System Components" section in the Windows 11 Settings under the "System" menu. When one launches this System Components option, all the system applications appear under this section.

1697437362_system_apps_in_system_components_windows_11_23h2_release_preview_via_techosaurus_rex_twitter.jpg
 

CyberTech

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1698046036_win_11_23h2_techbench.jpg

Back in July, Microsoft for the first time, publicly announced Windows 11 version 23H2. Alongside that, the company also clarified that the system requirements for the feature update will remain unchanged.

While many thought, including Neowin, that the September 26 feature update was 23H2, the reason being the tech giant had earlier disclosed a Q4 release time frame for the update, Microsoft clarified later that it had been planned for a different date (also in the same quarter). However, Microsoft did roll out a bunch of 23H2 features early with the Moment 4 update (We had an in-depth look at all such features back in early September).

Following that, the company announced the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP) certification for Windows 11 version 23H2 to ensure system compatibility. Microsoft has also announced upgraded Microsoft 365 testing for Windows 11 23H2.

Now that most of the groundwork has been laid out, Microsoft is seemingly quite ready to release the feature update. ISO download links for Windows 11 23H2 and Windows 11 23H2 Home China editions have been spotted on the TechBench dump website (via Deskmodder).

While one can not download the update yet since the links aren't live, their presence confirms the general availability (GA) rollout of the 23H2 feature update for Windows 11 is quite close. In the case of Windows 11 22H2 and Windows 10 22H2, the links were also added just a few days ahead and a couple of weeks before their releases respectively.

One thing many Windows enthusiasts and fans hope for is a faster, snappier File Explorer experience and Microsoft looks to be making active efforts towards just that. The latest Dev build too has received additional File Explorer performance improvements.
 

CyberTech

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Microsoft has been working to make sure the software and hardware side of things are in tandem when it comes to the upcoming Windows 11 version 23H2 feature update.

While it was expected that the update would have been out by now as we reach the end of October, - since this has been the norm with the past two features, ie, 21H2 and 22H2 - much of the groundwork to ensure compatibility and reliability is still being deployed. So in a way, it is good that Microsoft did not rush it out. However, we did get a bunch of supposed 23H2 features early via the 22H2 Moment 4 update. (We had an in-depth look at all such features back in early September).

So far in the case of 23H2, Microsoft, towards the end of September, announced the WHCP certification for the feature update. This is to ensure that the system requirements are validated. In case you were not aware, the tech giant reassured users that there would be no change in "device compatibility" between 22H2 and 23H2. Aside from that, Microsoft also made improvements to Microsoft 365 testing.

The rest
 

CyberTech

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The Windows 11 Moment 4 update and its features are now available to all users willing to install non-security updates before Microsoft makes them mandatory.

KB5031455 (build 22621.2506) is rolling out via Windows Update, bringing Windows 11 users a redesigned File Explorer, more archive formats support, taskbar improvements, a brand-new volume slider, the Windows Backup app, and a metric ton of other changes.

Check out our Windows 11 Moment 4 update here.

If you are slightly confused or having a deja vu moment, do not worry. Microsoft launched the Moment 4 update in September 2023 as a staggered rollout, delivering new features to select users. Now, the update is available to all users with the "Get the latest updates as soon as they're available" option toggled on. It is still optional, though—Microsoft plans to make it mandatory and push it to all users in November 2023. Therefore, expect another "Moment 4 update is now available to all" article on the second Tuesday of November.

Here are quick links you can use to jump to a specific part of the update:
 

silversurfer

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Windows 11 version 23H2 is now available. Microsoft has released the latest "major update" for its operating system, allowing users to download official images for clean installations or in-place upgrades.

Like its predecessors, version 21H2 (the initial release) and 22H2, Windows 11 23H2 will get two years of active support with monthly cumulative updates, fixes, and new features. As a reminder, Windows 11 21H2 reached its end of life earlier this month. As for version 22H2, Microsoft will discontinue it in one year, on October 4, 2024.

New versions of Windows 11 are released once per year—in the second half of the calendar year—via the General Availability Channel. They are serviced with monthly updates that include security and non-security items. Today, October 31, 2023, marks the start of 36 months of servicing support for Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 11, version 23H2. Home and Pro editions of Windows 11, version 23H2 receive 24 months of support.
 

CyberTech

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Last week, Microsoft began the broader rollout of its Moment 4 update for Windows 11 users. While the update is still not mandatory, Microsoft is now offering it to users as a non-security update. This comes just a month after the Redmond giant officially started rolling out the Moment 4 update to Windows 11 users.


However, things do not seem to go as per the plan for some users who are facing issues with the new update. Microsoft's update is causing issues while installing for some users while others say the new update is causing performance issues.

Going through Reddit and Microsoft Feedback Hub, it looks like most of the users are facing installation issues with a variety of errors like 0x800f081f, 0x8007007e, 0x8000ffff, 0x800f0984, and 0x80073701. Unfortunately, it looks like the issues extend to Update Catalog as well with users saying that the installation froze even when using the update package from Microsoft's Update Catalog.
The rest


Microsoft has been working to make sure the software and hardware side of things are in tandem when it comes to the upcoming Windows 11 version 23H2 feature update.

The tech giant, towards the end of September, announced the WHCP certification for the feature update. This was to ensure that the system requirements are validated. In case you were not aware, the tech giant reassured users that there would be no change in "device compatibility" between 22H2 and 23H2. Aside from that, Microsoft also made improvements to Microsoft 365 testing. Following those, Microsoft also released an updated Windows Driver Kit (WDK) for 23H2 to help develop "high-quality" drivers for the 2023 Windows 11 update.

And we knew the release was not too far off as ISO download links were spotted about a week ago; which is why it comes as little surprise that Microsoft released the feature update earlier today.

Previously, the Redmond company had already confirmed that 23H2 would be based entirely on 22H2 and it could be enabled via an enablement package (EKB). As such, Microsoft has published a support article explaining how to get the EKB (KB5027397) now that the feature update is available publicly.

It writes:
 

silversurfer

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Windows 11 23H2 upgrade likely possible on unsupported PC (CPU/TPM requirements not met)
Longtime Neowin forum member Mockingbird posted an easy way to upgrade to Windows 11 23H2 if you are running 22H2 on an unsupported PC. The inspiration came from a Windows 11 forum thread where a senior member Brink published download links for the KB5027397 enablement package.

Aside from this, users can also download the 23H2 ISO from Microsoft's official website and upgrade by using various bypass tricks like the one we recently reported on that bypasses requirements check using a single command. Other methods include using USB formatting utilities like Rufus, or Ventoy, or WintoUSB.

As mentioned above, the system requirements are supposed to remain unaltered so individuals who are successfully running 22H2 on incompatible PCs should be able to able to upgrade.
 

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