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Windows 10 lifecycle details

Learn when the lifecycle of each version of Windows 10 begins and when Microsoft stops supporting it.

Windows 10 lifecycle

It doesn’t matter if you have Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, or any other version. They all have a lifecycle. This cycle begins when the product is first made available to the public, and it ends when Microsoft stops supporting it. In the case of Windows 10, being aware of the product’s lifecycle is useful to understand when to update and upgrade.

On Windows 10, feature updates are released twice a year through the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC), governed by the new Modern Lifecycle Policy. This new policy means that the operating system is offered as a service, it is serviced and supported continuously, and it is never considered a complete product.

As long as you are using the current version with a genuine license, Windows 10 will remain supported. Microsoft maintains a version (feature update) for at least 18 months since it was first released to the public, and during this time, you want to continue installing cumulative updates (quality updates) to keep your device secure and running smoothly. Usually, you want to install the latest version before the release on the device reaches its end of service.

Windows 10 version historyUpdate nameRelease dateEnd of support
(consumer) *
End of support
Still supported
Windows 10 21H1May 2021 UpdateMay 18, 2021December 13, 2022December 13, 2023Yes
Windows 10 20H2October 2020 UpdateOctober 20, 2020May 5, 2022May 9, 2023Yes
Windows 10 2004May 2020 UpdateMay 27, 2020December 14, 2021December 14, 2021Yes
Windows 10 1909November 2019 UpdateNovember 12, 2019May 11, 2021May 10, 2022Yes
Windows 10 1903May 2019 UpdateMay 21, 2019December 8, 2020December 8, 2020No
Windows 10 1809October 2018 UpdateNovember 13, 2018November 10, 2020 (new)
May 12, 2020 (old)
May 11, 2021Yes, business only.
Windows 10 1803April 2018 UpdateApril 30, 2018November 12, 2019May 11, 2021 (new)
November 10, 2020 (old)
Yes, business only.
Windows 10 1709Fall Creators UpdateOctober 17, 2017April 9, 2019October 13, 2020 (new)
April 14, 2020 (old)
Windows 10 1703Creators UpdateApril 5, 2017October 9, 2018October 8, 2019No
Windows 10 1607Anniversary UpdateAugust 2, 2016April 10, 2018April 9, 2019No
Windows 10 1511November UpdateNovember 10, 2015October 10, 2017October 10, 2017No
Windows 10 1507Initial ReleaseJuly 29, 2015May 9, 2017 May 9, 2017No
* End of service for Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, Pro Education
** End of service for Enterprise and Education

Depending on the edition of Windows 10 installed on your computer, it’s possible to defer feature updates using the Windows Update advanced options. While this option is meant for organizations, anyone can delay a new feature update, typically, to avoid errors and other problems that are known to appear during the early days.

Windows 10 downloads and installs cumulative updates automatically but no longer forces feature updates unless the version you have is nearing the end of service. If you do not know the version you are running, there are many ways you can check and figure out if you need to upgrade to stay supported.

If you use the Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) editions, then the lifecycle is a lot different. Windows 10 LTSB is perhaps the best edition if you’re not into feature updates. They are editions supported for up to 10 years, there’s no bloatware, and they don’t get feature updates.

Windows 10 version historyDate of availabilityMainstream support end dateExtended support end date
Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2019
November 13, 2018January 9, 2024January 9, 2029
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB
August 2, 2016October 12, 2021October 13, 2026
Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSB
July 29, 2015October 13, 2020October 14, 2025

Windows 10 LTSB is an option for Windows 10 Enterprise, and it is only available for Volume License customers or with an MSDN subscription.