- Microsoft releases enablement package KB5027397 to flip the switch to version 23H2.
- Windows 11 requires the update KB5031455 and package KB5027397 to complete the upgrade.
- The update KB5031455 installs the new features, and package KB5027397 activates the new version.
- You can download these packages now through the Windows Update settings page.
Alongside the update KB5031455, Windows 11 devices are also required to download and install the enablement package KB5027397 to change the version number from 22H2 to 23H2. On October 31, 2023, Microsoft officially announced the release of Windows 11 23H2 (2023 Update) as a preview for compatible devices in the Stable Channel with the update KB5031455. However, the update only installs the contents (such as new features, changes, and fixes) and keeps the version of the operating system to 22H2, and enablement package KB5027397 is required to change the version number to 23H2.
According to Microsoft, Windows 11 23H2 and version 22H2 share a common core with the same system files. This means that the new features for the Windows 11 2023 Update are also included in the most up-to-date cumulative update for version 22H2 (KB5031455), but they’re in an inactive and dormant state. As a result, the features will continue to be in a dormant state until installing the enablement package KB5027397. This process is a more efficient way to update devices and reduces downtime.
In other words, after installing the required updates to install the new features (such as Copilot, Windows Backup, the redesigned version of File Explorer, etc.), the enablement package KB5027397 is needed to enable all the new features, change the version number from 22H2 (build 22621.2506) to 23H2 (build 22631.2506), and to reset the support cycle for another 24 months for the Home and Pro editions and 36 months for the Enterprise and Education editions.
However, it’s important to note that some features may still be unavailable after the upgrade. For example, at the time of this writing, Copilot is only available as a preview in North America, the United Kingdom, and parts of Asia and South America. However, in the future, the AI chatbot will expand to more markets. In the meantime, you can try these instructions to enable Copilot on your device.
You can download the enablement package KB5027397 directly from the Microsoft servers for x64 systems and ARM64 devices. However, you must first install the update KB5031455 before applying the enablement package.
The easiest way to upgrade to version 23H2 is from Settings > Windows Update, turning on the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” toggle switch, and then clicking the “Check for updates” button. When you complete these steps, the system will automatically download the update KB5031455, and after the update is applied, it will install the enablement package KB5027397 labeled “Windows 11, version 23H2.”
It’s important to note that the update KB5031455 is currently available as a preview, and it’s expected to become fully available on November 14, 2023, as the Patch Tuesday update rollout, which will also include security fixes, in addition to the new features and improvements already available on October 31.
If you want to install the new version through an in-place upgrade or clean installation, these are also options, especially for those devices running an older version of Windows 11 or 10 (with these instructions).