Windows 10 20H2 information
Rollout information

Windows 10 20H2, October 2020 Update, release date

Starting October 20, Windows 10 20H2 (October 2020 Update) is available for devices running version 1903 or higher as an optional update — here are all the details.

Windows 10 20H2 (October 2020 Update) release date is on October 20, 2020, and this will be the second semi-annual update available for compatible devices, but it won’t include anything significant. Instead, it’ll only include some new features and changes to complement the May 2020 Update.

Windows 10 20H2 release date

According to the software giant, version 20H2 is now being offered to testers in the Release Preview Channel for seekers with devices enrolled in the Windows Insider Program who choose to download and install the feature update through Windows Update. Everyone else can get is starting October 20. 

Once the update is available to everyone, if the device is already running the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004), then it’ll receive the new version as an optional cumulative update through Windows Update, and the installation experience will be similar to those updates available every month.

This is possible since version 2004 and 20H2 share a common core file system and the features have already been deployed in an inactive state, and the system only needs the “enablement package” that activates the new version with a quick reboot without reinstallation.

However, if the computer is using an older release, such as the November 2019 Update, the process to upgrade won’t change and full reinstallation to version 2004 will be required before version 20H2 becomes available through Windows Update.

As always, Microsoft will use a gradual and controlled rollout, meaning that it’ll take some time for every device to receive the update, and only devices known to have a good upgrade experience will initially be offered version 20H2. Also, the company will continue to place temporary blocks on devices that may encounter problems. It has also been rumored that users may even receive a more detailed notification explaining a clearer reason of the temporary block, which may allow users to troubleshoot and resolve the issue to receive the new version.

On the Windows 10 20H2 release date, you’ll also be able to install the new version using the Media Creation Tool and Update Assistant. However, the upgrade process using these tools will remain the same, no matter the version you’re currently using.

Windows 10 20H2 is an optional install

Microsoft will make the new version available as an optional update, which means that it won’t download and install automatically until you manually start the process from the Windows Update settings. However, if the device is running a version of the Windows 10 nearing the end of service, then eventually version 20H2 will install automatically.

Windows 10 20H2 new features

As for new features and changes, the Windows 10 October 2020 Update is a minor update that introduces a new Start menu design that removes the solid color backplates behind the icon in the apps list and applies a partially transparent background to the tiles, which matches the menu color scheme that should help to make easier to scan and find apps.

For new accounts connected using an Microsoft account, there will be a new personalized taskbar experience that will pin apps tailored to your preferences.

Starting with this new version, the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge comes built into the operating system, and open tabs now show in the “Alt + Tab” experience.

Notifications are little less intrusive, you can now change the refresh rate from the Display settings, and the About page includes new options to make it easier to copy the device information to the clipboard.

You can check all the new changes shipping with Windows 10 20H2 in this guide.