Windows 11 update settings

Microsoft released September update for version 22H2 instead of version 23H2. Here’s why

Microsoft rolls out new features previously planed for version 23H2 into a moment update for Windows 11 22H2, and here's the reason.

  • Windows 11 23H2 is still on track to launch this fall before the end of 2023.
  • The September update rolls out most of the features to version 22H2. 
  • Sources say that this release approach was planned to force new features on devices.

Microsoft is making a confusing rollout by releasing the September 2023 update for Windows 11 22H2 instead of releasing version 23H2, and the reason is that the company wants to force the new features as quickly as possible. According to a new report from Windows Central, sources familiar with the matter say that the reason why the new features are available for the current version of the operating system is because “moment” updates are not optional since they’re part of the Patch Tuesday releases, and feature updates (version 22H2, 23H2, etc.) are optional, and users can choose not to install them.

If the company made the new features part of version 23H2, users could have chosen not to install the update, making it longer for the company to deploy the Copilot AI, the new Windows Backup app, the redesigned version of File Explorer, the new Dynamic Lighting feature, and a slew of other improvements.

Since most of the features will be available starting with the September 2023 update (build 22631.2361 – KB5030310), the report suggests Microsoft will use version 23H2 to apply any remaining improvements and update the support cycle of the operating system for the different editions of Windows 11, including Home, Pro, and Enterprise.

According to the company, Windows 11 23H2 will receive 24 months of support for Home and Pro, while the Enterprise edition will receive 36 months of support.

Similar to the September 2023 update, Windows 11 23H2 will roll out as a cumulative update without requiring reinstallation. The only difference is that the September update is a relatively big update since it includes many of the new features and changes, and version 23H2 will be a relatively smaller update (usually referred to as an enablement package) that will deliver the remaining improvements planned for 2023 and switch the version number from 22H2 to 23H2.

Another difference is that currently, the September update is available for version 22H2. If you want to update a computer with version 21H2 or a supported version of Windows 10, you first need to upgrade to version 22H2 and then use Windows Update to install the new features.

On the other hand, version 23H2 will include all the previous “moment” updates shipped throughout the year, which could make it possible to upgrade an older system with a single download. Furthermore, at the time of the release of version 23H2, Microsoft is also expected to update the Media Creation Tool, Installation Assistant, and ISO file to upgrade different systems.

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 15 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 21 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].