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How to download Windows 11 21H2 ISO after 22H2 releases

You can still download the Windows 11 21H2 ISO file if you must downgrade after version 22H2 releases, and in this guide, you'll learn how.

Windows 11 21H2 ISO download

When Windows 11 22H2 releases, it’ll still be possible to download the ISO file for version 21H2 to perform a clean install of the previous release or roll back to the previous version.

Usually, as soon as a new version of the desktop operating system becomes available, Microsoft will also make available an updated version of the Installation Assistant and Media Creation Tool to upgrade devices to the latest release, making it impossible to use the same tools to install an earlier release.

If after the upgrade you need to roll back, you can use the recovery settings to uninstall version 22H2. However, if the option is no longer available or doesn’t work, you can use “Rufus” to download the Windows 11 21H2 ISO file after version 22H2 becomes available.

Rufus is a third-party tool to create a USB flash drive to visually install any Windows version. The difference with the Media Creation Tool is that the tool includes an option to download the ISO file and prepare a bootable media using an older version of Windows 11.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to use Rufus to download the ISO file and create a USB to install Windows 11 21H2 after version 22H2 releases.

Download Windows 11 21H2 ISO after 22H2 releases

To download the Windows 11 21H2 ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Open Rufus’ website.

  2. Under the “Download” section, click the download link for the latest version.

  3. Double-click the file to launch the tool.

  4. Click the Settings button (third button from the left) at the bottom of the page.

    Open Rufus settings

  5. Under the “Settings” section, use the “Check for updates” drop-down menu and select the Daily option.

    Rufus enable updates

  6. Click the Close button.

  7. Click the Close button again.

  8. Open Rufus again.

  9. (Optional) Under the “Device” section, use the drop-down menu, and select the USB drive to create the installation media.

    Quick tip: You do not need to connect a USB flash drive if you only want to download the ISO file.
  10. Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu, and select the Disk or ISO image option.

  11. Click the down-arrow button on the right side, and select the Download option.

    Rufus download option

  12. Click the Download button.

  13. Select the Windows 10 option.

  14. Click the Continue button.

  15. Under the “Release” section, select the 21H2 (Build 22000.xxx – 2021.11) option to download the Windows 11 version 21H2 ISO file.

    Rufus download Windows 11 21H2 ISO download

  16. Click the Continue button.

  17. Select the Windows 11 Home/Pro/Edu option.

  18. Click the Continue button.

  19. Select the language of Windows 11 21H2.

  20. Click the Continue button.

  21. Select the x64 architecture option.

  22. Click the Download button.

  23. Select the location to save the Windows 11 21H2 ISO file.

  24. Click the Save button.

  25. (Optional) If you connected a USB flash drive, continue with the default settings after the download.

  26. Click the Start button.

  27. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, you can use the ISO file to install the 2022 Update using a clean or in-place upgrade installation.