The Windows 10 May 2021 Update (version 21H1) is rolling out to compatible computers, and while it is best to install the feature update with Windows Update, you can also upgrade by installing the enablement package (KB5000736) manually.
The ability to download and install the enablement package is only available for devices running versions 20H2 and 2004. If you use version 1909 or an older release, you cannot use the enablement package to upgrade. The reason is that two to most recent versions of Windows 10 and version 21H1 are based on the files core system. As a result, the new improvements have already been deployed in a dormant state to devices running version 20H2 and 2004 using quality updates throughout the development process. However, these new features will remain inactive until the KB5000736 update is installed.
Using this approach significantly reduces the time to upgrade from version 20H2 or 2004 to version 20H2, and reduces the reboots to only one.
In this guide, you will learn the steps to download and install the enablement package manually to upgrade your device to Windows 10 21H1.
Upgrade to version 21H1 with update KB5000736
Although it is recommended to wait until the updates become available automatically, installing the enablement package can be useful in many situations. For example, if it has been some time and the device is not getting the update through Windows Update, or you want to test the update on a spare computer before upgrading your primary device. (See also the video tutorial on YouTube.)
Download KB5000736 enablement package
To download the enablement package to upgrade your device from version 20H2 or 2004 to version 21H1 use the following links:
Before going through the update process with the enablement package, you have to make sure the device is running version 2004 or 20H2. It is also required to have installed the servicing stack update for September 8, 2020 (or later) and the update KB5003173 (build 19041.985) or higher.
Install Windows 10 21H1 enablement package
To apply the May 2021 Update (KB5000736) enablement package, use these steps:
Open File Explorer.
Browse to the .msu (windows10.0-kb5000736-x64 or windows10.0-kb5000736-x86) file location.
Double-click the standalone installer.
Click the Yes button.
Click the Restart now button.
Once you complete the steps, the computer will switch the version to 21H1, and then you can start using the new features and improvements. (See also How to check if the Windows 10 May 2021 Update is installed on your PC.)
If you prefer to watch the steps, check this video tutorial outlining the instructions to apply the enablement package on your computer. If you come across issues or bugs, you can always uninstall the update to roll back to the previous version using these steps.
In the case that you have version 1909 or an earlier version, you can still upgrade, but you will need to use other tools like the Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant. Or you can wait until the new version becomes available through Windows Update automatically.