How to check WSL version on Windows 10 or 11

You can easily determine the version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux version with this wsl.exe command.

Windows 11 check WSL version
Windows 11 check WSL version

On Windows 10 (and on Windows 11), as of this writing, two versions of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) are available, including versions 1 and 2.

WSL 1 was the original release and introduced the ability to run Linux distros natively alongside Windows 10. WSL 2 is the second version that now uses virtualization to run the Linux kernel inside a lightweight virtual machine, offering the same benefits as the first version, plus better system performance and full system call support compatibility.

If you recently upgraded from WSL1 to WSL2 and want to confirm the installation was completed successfully or wonder what version of the architecture you have, Windows 10 and 11 include a command to check whether you have WSL2 or WSL1 installed on your device.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to confirm the Windows Subsystem version for Linux installed on Windows 11 or 10.

To check the WSL version installed on Windows 10 or 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt (or PowerShell), right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to check the version of WSL installed on the device and press Enter:

    wsl --list --verbose

    WSL check version command

    Quick tip: You can also write the command like this: wsl -l -v.
  4. Under the “Version” collum, confirm the WSL version installed on Windows 11 or 10.

Once you complete the steps, if the output is 2, then WSL2 is installed on your machine. Since the command became available with version 2, if you get an error or there is no version number, you have WSL1 installed on Windows.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].