Windows 11 22H2 desktop

Windows 11 22H2: Everything you need to know and how to get it

Microsoft releases Windows 11 22H2, and here's how to download and install it and get started.

  • Microsoft officially launches Windows 11 22H2.
  • The feature update is also known as the Windows 11 2022 Update.
  • It’s now available for download on compatible devices.
  • You can get it from Windows Update, the Media Creation Tool, or Installation Assistant.
  • It’s a free upgrade for computers running Windows 11 and 10.
  • Starting October 4, the feature update is available more broadly through Windows Update.

Windows 11 22H2 (2022 Update) is officially available as a free upgrade for devices that meet the minimum system requirements starting September 20, 2022. This rollout marks the first feature update (build 22621.382) for the operating system that (as always) brings a new set of features and improvements to enhance productivity, security, and the overall user experience.

In this new release, Microsoft introduces an updated version of File Explorer that finally brings support for tabs and redesigned navigation page. You will find a new Task Manager app with a modern interface. And two new accessibility features, including Live Captions and Voice Access. 

Furthermore, the Windows 11 2022 Update is updating many components to make the desktop experience more consistent. For example, the Start menu gains support for folders and options to control recommendations. As part of the Snap assist experience, you will find a new Snap layouts flyout that appears from the top of the screen. This release also updates the title bars for legacy components like the Run dialog with the new mica semi-transparent material. In addition, you will find visual tweaks everywhere, such as in Quick Settings, Notification Center, Print Queue, and more.

Windows 11 22H2 release and requirements

Windows 11 22H2 is a free upgrade available as an optional install for computers that meet the minimum requirements. This means that similar to the original release, you will need a device with at least an Intel 8th Gen (or newer) or Ryzen 2000 (or more recent processor), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 and Secure Boot.

If you are still on Windows 10, you can use the Microsoft PC Health Check app to confirm if you can upgrade to Windows 11 22H2.

Even if the device meets the requirements, it’s not likely to receive the feature update at launch. On September 20, the rollout will start gradually and could take months before every computer receives the update.

Microsoft plans to start with devices that have newer hardware known to have a smooth upgrade experience. Over time, the Windows 11 2022 Update will expand to more computers based on hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of the hardware, and other factors, and eventually, it’ll become fully available.

Upgrade to Windows 11 22H2

The easiest way to upgrade to Windows 11 22H2 is to use the Windows Update settings. However, you can install the new version with the Installation Assistant or a USB flash drive. Alternatively, you can perform an in-place upgrade with the official ISO file.

The upgrade process requires a complete reinstallation, whether you are coming from the original release of Windows 11 or the most recent version of Windows 10. However, your files, settings, and apps will be preserved during the process. Although this is a non-destructive process, creating a full backup is always recommended before proceeding.

On the other hand, if you choose to perform a clean installation of Windows 11, your files, apps, and settings will be deleted.

Whether you choose to install the new version using the upgrade or clean install process, the download size of Windows 11 will be around 5GB.

If the device was previously activated version of Windows 7, 8.1, or Windows 10, then the Windows 11 22H2 will activate automatically without needing a new product key.

Unsupported devices

Although you shouldn’t install the Windows 11 2022 Update on unsupported hardware, it’s still possible to proceed with the upgrade. However, this won’t be possible through the Windows Update settings. Instead, you will need to use the ISO file or USB bootable media to perform a clean installation. 

The only problem is that you will need to acknowledge that the device will be in an unsupported state, which means that Microsoft won’t support the installation, updates, and drivers. And you may come across crashes, errors, and other problems more often than on a device with supported hardware.

If you still want to upgrade at your own risk, the computer will still need to meet other minimum requirements, including a 64-bit processor with at least two cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and an enabled TPM 1.2 chip.

In the case that your computer doesn’t meet one or more of the requirements, you can use this workaround to bypass all the requirements.

Insider information

If you are a participant of the Windows Insider Program with a computer enrolled in the Release Preview channel, the final version of Windows 11 22H2 is already installed on your device.

You only need to stay on the stable version and stop preview builds is to turn on the “Unenroll this device when the next version of Windows releases” option in the Windows Insider Program settings page from Windows Update.

Once you complete the steps, the computer will gracefully opt out of the program, and it will continue to get updates for as long as version 22H2 is supported. However, you need to enable this option before the computer downloads and installs another preview for the next feature update.

If you currently have a computer in the Dev Channel, you will need to reinstall the operating system to stay in the stable version.

Get started with Windows 11 22H2

Windows 11 22H2 isn’t much different from the original release, but you will find many new visual updates that make the desktop design more consistent. Of course, you will also find several new features and improvements. You can check the ultimate field guide, highlighting all the new features and changes on the Windows 11 2022 Update. You can also check out this guide, which explains the biggest changes, and this article highlights the changes with File Explorer (if available on day one).

You can also check these guides to get started with the new version:

These guides will help you install version 22H2 in virtually any scenario:

You can always check the Windows 11 22H2 help page for even more tutorials.

Update October 5, 2022: Microsoft is now expanding the rollout of version 22H2 to even more compatible devices starting on October 4. This means that if the update wasn’t available before, the next time you click the “Check for updates” button in the Windows Update settings, you will see the option to upgrade to the latest version.

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 15 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 21 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].