Microsoft Finalizes Windows 10 Version 21H2

Posted on October 21, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 11 Comments

Microsoft revealed today that it has finalized Windows 10 version 21H2 and will soon offer it to existing users.

“We are preparing the Windows 10 November 2021 Update ([which will upgrade users to] Windows 10 version 21H2) for release,” Microsoft announced to Insiders for some reason. “We believe that build 19044.1288 is the final build for [Windows 10 version 21H2], and the ISO for [Windows 10 version 21H2] can be downloaded here. We will continue to improve the overall experience of the November 2021 Update on customers’ PCs through our usual servicing cadence.”

Windows 10 version 21H2 is just a cumulative update and is not a major version upgrade, similar to the previous several versions of Windows 10. It includes no major new features or changes.

Insiders who wish to upgrade to Windows 10 version 21H2 now can do so via the Release Preview channel, but you will need to manually check for updates to be offered the update. Once you have upgraded, you will automatically receive new servicing updates through Windows Update via the normal monthly update process.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft Finalizes Windows 10 Version 21H2”

  1. Bart

    So, this is end of the line for Windows Insiders on Windows 10. Windows 11 or bust.

    At least, that is how I read it.

    • dftf

      Not necessarily... easiest way I can think of is to install a 32-bit version of a Windows 10 Insider Preview OS, instead. As Windows 11 is 64-bit only, a 32-bit Win10 IP install cannot be upgraded to Win11 full-stop (period). Though how far in-advance its updates will now be, I don't know... probably only a few months ahead of the current stable. But it's something.

      Alternatively, I wonder now Microsoft is enforcing the requirements for Windows 11 updates more-strictly, whether a 64-bit Windows 10 Insider Preview install on a non-compliant machine (such as inside a VM which lacks TPM support) would also not get upgraded?

      • Bart

        I meant to say I don't think Microsoft will keep the Insider builds on Windows 10 alive for bug fix updates. Insider builds will be Windows 11 only.

        Agree with your comments though.

    • blue77star

      That's good. Only security updates and fixes for the next 5 years, could not be better.

    • blue77star

      Planning to update to Windows 11 in 2025 when Windows 11 enters the stage Windows 10 21H2. At that time I am expecting to see Windows 12.

  2. retrodrone

    Have they fully resolved ALL the PrintNightmare vulnerabilities in this release? Or is that scheduled for 22H1?

  3. ianw789

    Based on your screenshot I have a question, Paul: Do you do your Windows testing with the PC set up and logged in as Domain-Joined, Domain-Connected, Microsoft Account, or local account? And why? (Maybe that's an article!)

    • Daniel Kay

      If you are referring to the fact it says some settings are managed by your organisation this message also appears when you are part of the Windows Insider programme - meaning that it cannot be assumed the screenshot is taken from a domain joined or organisationally controlled device

  4. sherlockholmes

    Thank God there is a solution for my biggest complaint about Windows 11 to get the old context menu and the old File Explorer back with a registry setting.

  5. waethorn

    "Windows 10 version 21H2 is just a cumulative update and is not a major version upgrade"

    Then what's the point of calling it a new release version? If you install 21H1 and this is offered as the first update, just like cumulative updates, it shouldn't make any difference.

    If this about re-rolling new ISO's, Microsoft needs better automation tools for updating installation images. They already have multiple pre-rolled ISO's for previous builds with cumulative updates on the VS download site.

  6. sandeepm

    Have you ever written an article on Windows developer mode nonsense?

    They have been trying to block you from connecting to one PC from another in your LAN last 8 or 10 years. They want it to behave like android. I am starting to lose patience in trying to find all the registry settings to unblock these. I do not have the luxuary of living in a metropolitan with a fibre optic connection so that I can use azure to transfer 10 gb files from one room to the other