UPDATED 11/8/2023: Windows 11 23H2 (2023 Update) was released on October 31, and if you are wondering whether you should install the new version, the short answer is “yes,” but there are a few things to consider. The new version represents the second feature update for the operating system based on the same core file system available in version 22H2. However, the rollout is gradual to ensure that devices have a good upgrade experience, which means it’ll take time before the new version reaches everyone.
Microsoft usually offers updates to computers with newer hardware, and it continues expanding to more eligible devices. Since this is an optional update, the decision to install it now or wait longer to avoid possible issues is up to you.
This guide will help determine whether you should install or skip the Windows 11 23H2 upgrade on your desktop, laptop, or tablet.
Should you upgrade to Windows 11 23H2?
The best and short answer is “Yes.” It’s OK to upgrade to Windows 11 23H2 on (most) devices that meet the requirements using the “Windows Update” settings. However, it’s important to note that the update may still not be fully compatible with every computer, and it’s expected that the company will slow down the rollout to ensure that only fully compatible hardware received the update initially.
When a new release of the operating system becomes available, problems are expected during the early days. As a result, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) allows Microsoft to analyze and only offer the new version to devices with a good upgrade experience. As the update proves more stable, the rollout will expand to other computers based on hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, and many other factors.
Before upgrading, it’s always recommended to ensure there aren’t any known issues that may negatively affect the experience before proceeding with the installation. At the time of this writing, it only includes three problems that have been confirmed and resolved, and there aren’t any holds preventing users from upgrading. However, Microsoft has confirmed that the update KB5031455 (containing the new features) has an issue that messes up the desktop icons when opening Copilot.
If you have a computer with unsupported hardware, it’s not recommended to upgrade to Windows 11 23H2. However, there are ways to upgrade an unsupported computer. If you install version 23H2, the device will be in an unsupported state, and it’ll likely experience more crashes, support won’t be available, and updates won’t be guaranteed to work as expected.
It’s important to note that versions 23H2 and 22H2 share the same core file system. This means that the upgrade requires the installation of the update KB5031455 on version 22H2, and then the KB5027397 is an enablement package that only changes the version number to 23H2 and enables the new features and changes previously installed and kept in a dormant state on version 22H2. Also, KB5027397 is still a relevant component since it marks the beginning of a new support cycle with 24 months for Windows 11 Home and Pro and 36 months for the Enterprise and Education editions of the operating system.
If you have a computer running Windows 11 21H2 or a supported version of Windows 10, you must upgrade to Windows 11 22H2 and then download the 2023 update to enable the features of version 23H2. Once the company makes the new update fully available, you may be able to upgrade directly from an older version.
Also, consider that during the early days of the rollout, it’s not guaranteed that you will have access to all the features and enhancements since Microsoft now uses the Control Feature Rollout technology to enable the new experiences only when they are ready for the device. Once the new features have been validated, Microsoft will enable them by default.
Should I wait to install Windows 11 23H2?
Yes, you should always wait at the beginning. It is never a good idea to quickly jump into a new release of the operating system since unknown bugs, errors, and compatibility issues are expected during the early days of a rollout.
After version 23H2 becomes available, your device will (eventually) receive a notification through the Windows Update settings to upgrade manually. If you don’t receive the message, forcing the Windows 11 23H2 upgrade is not recommended because you will likely run into issues.
Typically, it’s recommended to wait until Windows 11 23H2 is fully available to install the most stable build.
If your computer has an older Windows release without issues, you shouldn’t rush to upgrade. You should wait a little longer. However, you should not skip the update entirely. Eventually, that specific version will be discontinued, and it will no longer receive maintenance updates, leading to other issues and making it vulnerable.
It’s important to note that this time around, it doesn’t really matter whether you wait or not since Microsoft is rolling out the innovations as a cumulative update for version 22H2, and cumulative updates are mandatory, meaning that you don’t have much control over them, and then version 23H2 is merely a package to flip the switch to the new version.
Update October 12, 2023: The content has been updated to include information about the October 2023 update, the importance of feature updates, and how the company now uses a process to enable features gradually.
Update November 8, 2023: This content has been updated to reflect the update is already available, the update process, and known issues to consider.