Windows 10 21H1 (May 2021 Update) is a minor update arriving in spring

Windows 10 21H1, May 2021 Update, has been confirmed as a minor update releasing in spring 2021 – here's what you need to know.

Windows 10 21H1 download
Windows 10 21H1 download

Microsoft is on track to release Windows 10 21H1 (May 2021 Update) for compatible devices in spring 2021, but it won’t be a major update. Instead, it will be a minor rollout.

According to an announcement, the company finally reveals that “version 21H1” for the desktop experience of Windows 10 is in the works, and it will follow the same guidelines as version 20H2.

In previous rollouts, we have seen the operating system receiving two types of feature updates each year, including a major update with features and improvements during the spring and then a minor update with fixes and small changes during the fall. However, with version 21H1, the first update will be minor, and the second update will be major.

System requirements

Also, since Windows 10 21H1 is based on version 20H2 (October 2020 Update), the software and hardware requirements won’t change. This means that devices running version 20H2 will be compatible with the May 2021 Update, and apps and drivers designed for version 2004 will be compatible with version 21H1.

Windows 10 21H1 new features

While the next feature update arriving in spring 2021 won’t bring significant changes or features, the release may still include some improvements and a small set of features (currently unknown) in addition to fixes. Also, it is said that this release will focus on improving the Settings app, and it will change the version number to build 19043.

Rollout strategy

As per usual, the Windows 10 May 2021 Update will roll out slowly in stages as an optional update to minimize problems during and after the upgrade.

If the device is running version 20H2, the upgrade to version 21H1 will be quick using a small enablement package, making the experience similar to a monthly quality update installation without the need for reinstallation.

Since Windows 10 version 21H1 will be considered the smallest update of the year, version 21H2 (internally known as “Sun Valley”) arriving in the fall is expected to include visual changes and more significant features.

The company has not yet officially revealed the release date, but the next version of Windows 10 is expected to be finalized in days, and testers are likely to see it in the Release Preview channel in the coming weeks.

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 14 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 20 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].