Starting October 20, 2020, Microsoft has began the gradual rollout of the Windows 10 20H2 (October 2020 Update) to compatible devices. This is the tenth refresh for laptops and desktops, and it’s a minor update that only introduces a small set of features and changes to improve the work done with the May 2020 Update.
The feature update is available as an optional update that you will need to install manually from the Windows Update settings. If you’re already running version 2004, the new release will download and install as a regular quality update without reinstallation. If you’re running an older version, then reinstallation will be required. Also, if the device is running a version nearing the end of service, the October 2020 Update will eventually install automatically to maintain the device supported.
Download Windows 10 20H2 with Windows Update
If the device already has the May 2020 Update installed, you can upgrade by checking the “Windows Update” settings page, and clicking the Download and install option. Once the update downloads, you’ll need to restart the device to complete applying the new version. The entire process should not take more than five minutes. If the installation option is missing, you may receive a message indicating the reason why the update isn’t available.
In the case that you’re using an older version, you can also install version 20H2 through Windows Update, but Microsoft is currently throttling the rollout, so it’ll take a while before the update becomes available for your device. Also, initially, the company is only updating version 2004, 1909, and 1903. If you have an even older version, you’ll need to wait a little longer.
Upgrade to Windows 10 20H2 with Update Assistant
Alternatively, you can download Windows 10 20H2 manually using the Update Assistant, which allows you to force the upgrade in case that Windows Update isn’t working. Or you can use the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade without losing your files, apps, or settings, but using these tools will require complete reinstallation of the operating system.
You can even use the Media Creation Tool to perform a clean install of the October 2020 Update, which can help to fix problems and improve performance. Also, you can download the ISO file with version 20H2 to perform a clean or in-place upgrade using a USB flash drive.
What’s new on Windows 10 20H2
The tenth refresh of Windows 10 is a small update that doesn’t include a lot of changes, but you’ll still find a number of subtle incremental improvements. For instance, the Start menu is getting an update that streamlines the design that moves away from the solid color backplates behind the icons in the apps list and applies a semi-transparent background on tiles to match the menu color scheme.
The taskbar now will pin apps on new accounts based on how you use Windows 10 across your devices with a Microsoft account.
The “Display” settings now includes an option to change the refresh rate within the Settings app without having to open Control Panel, and the “About” page includes an new option to copy the computer hardware and software information to the clipboard.
Starting with version 202H2, the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge comes pre-installed on Windows 10, and the browser now shows open tabs in the “Alt + Tab” experience, and more. (You can learn more about the new features in this comprehensive guide.)
You can download the tenth semi-annual feature update starting on October 20, 2020. If you want to avoid problems during and after the upgrade, you can use this guide to upgrade without issues.
If you’re not ready, Windows 10 won’t try to install the new version automatically unless your version is getting close to the end of service. If that is the case, you can use this guide to block and postpone the October 2020 Update on your device.