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 ends when Microsoft stops supporting it. In the case of Windows 10, being aware of the product’s lifecycle is helpful when upgrading.

On Windows 10, feature updates are released twice a year through the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC), governed by the new Modern Lifecycle Policy. However, starting with version 21H2, the OS only receives one feature update annually during the second half of the year via the General Availability Channel. This new policy means that the operating system is offered as a service, serviced and supported continuously, and never considered a complete product.

As long as you use the current version with a genuine license, Windows 10 will remain supported. Microsoft maintains a version (feature update) for at least 18 months since its original release to the public. (The Enterprise and Education variants of the operating system receive at least 30 months of support.) You want to continue installing cumulative updates (quality updates) during the supported time to keep your device secure and running smoothly. Usually, you want to upgrade to 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 22H22022 UpdateOctober 18, 2022May 14, 2024May 13, 2025Yes
Windows 10 21H2November 2021 UpdateNovember 16, 2021June 13, 2023Jun 11, 2024Yes
Windows 10 21H1May 2021 UpdateMay 18, 2021December 13, 2022December 13, 2022No
Windows 10 20H2October 2020 UpdateOctober 20, 2020May 10, 2022May 9, 2023No
Windows 10 2004May 2020 UpdateMay 27, 2020December 14, 2021December 14, 2021No
Windows 10 1909November 2019 UpdateNovember 12, 2019May 11, 2021May 10, 2022No
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, 2021No
Windows 10 1803April 2018 UpdateApril 30, 2018November 12, 2019May 11, 2021 (new)
November 10, 2020 (old)
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 for organizations, anyone can delay a feature update to avoid potential errors and other problems 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.

Microsoft plans to end the support of Windows 10 on October 14, 2025. When Windows 10 was first announced back in 2015, the company touted it as the last version of Windows. However, the lifecycle page now states that the company will “continue to support at least one Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel until October 14, 2025,” for the Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Educations versions.

The retirement date means that after October 14, 2025, devices running Windows 10 will no longer receive security and quality updates, and you will no longer be able to contact the company for support.

The lifecycle is different if you use the Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) editions. 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 2021
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021
November 16, 2021January 12, 2027January 12, 2027
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.