Windows 11 22H2 questions and answers you need to know

Do you have a question about Windows 11 22H2? Here is the answer where it's about the installation, features, or problems.

Windows 11 2022 Update
Windows 11 2022 Update

Windows 11 22H2 (2022 Update) started rolling out on September 20, 2022, for compatible devices. This is the first feature update since the original release that introduces several new features, updates for existing features, visual changes to make the experience more consistent, and a slew of fixes and improvements.

Since version 22H2 is a significant update that requires reinstallation and brings a lot of changes, you are probably wondering a bunch of questions about the upgrade, features availability, and problems. Also, you may want to know why tabs in File Explore are missing after the upgrade. For these reasons, I compiled a number of questions to provide the answers.

This guide will answer the most common questions about installing and using Windows 11 22H2.

Windows 11 22H2 frequently asked questions

These are the most common questions on Windows 11 22h2.

  • Should I install Windows 11 22H2 on my computer?

Yes, you should upgrade your device to version 22H2. At the time of this writing, the new version doesn’t seem to have many known issues that should discourage you from installing the update. However, this question has a more complex answer.

  • Will the installation delete my files?

If you plan to perform an in-place upgrade with the Installation Assistant or mount the ISO file, the setup should not delete your files, settings, or apps. However, there’s always a chance of something going wrong with the installation or hardware failure. As a result, you should never proceed with any installation (in this case, the Windows 11 2022 Update) without creating a full backup of your computer and files.

  • How big is the Windows 11 22H2 download?

It depends. If you plan to upgrade from Windows Update, the system will only download the necessary files based on your current installation. So, depending on your device configuration, the download may be bigger or smaller than on other computers.

However, Microsoft has noted that the team has made changes to this release, reducing download size by around 450MB (14 percent).

If you plan to upgrade using the ISO file or other tools, the file size is around 5.2GB.

  • Can I upgrade my device with unsupported hardware to Windows 11 22H2?

Technically, you can upgrade a device with unsupported hardware to Windows 11 22H2, but it’s not recommended because it’s not supported. 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 or an in-place upgrade.

  • Can I upgrade my Windows 10 computer to Windows 11 22H2?

Yes, upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 22H2 is a supported option. If you have a computer that meets the minimum requirements, you will find the option to upgrade in the Windows Update settings.

  • Is Windows 11 22H2 free?

Yes, Windows 11 22H2 is free on devices already running the original version of Windows 11 or Windows 10.

  • Can I activate Windows 11 22H2 with a Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 product key?

Yes, you can use a product key that belongs to Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 to activate a new installation of Windows 11 22H2.

  • Will Windows 11 22H2 download and install automatically on my computer?

No, version 22H2 is available as an optional update, which means the update won’t download and install automatically. If the device is compatible, you need to trigger the upgrade through Windows Update manually.

The only exception is if the computer has a version of Windows nearing the end of support. If this is the case, the feature update will install automatically. However, this doesn’t happen during the early days of the rollout. Usually, Microsoft will announce its intention to upgrade devices automatically days before it occurs.

  • How long does it take to install Windows 11 22H2?

If you are using the Windows Update approach to upgrade, the installation should take around 30 minutes. However, it’ll also depend on your internet connection and hardware configuration.

If you plan to perform a clean installation, the installation should take around one to two hours since you have to reconfigure your settings, restore your files from backup, and reinstall applications.

  • Where are the Tabs in File Explorer on Windows 11 22H2?

Tabs in File Explorer are considered part of the Windows 11 22H2, but the feature won’t be available after the upgrade. Microsoft is holding off this and a few other features to release them in the next moment update is expected to arrive in October (as a preview) and then in November for everyone.

If you can’t wait, you can enable tabs in File Explorer using these instructions.

  • Can I move the Taskbar to the top on Windows 11 22H2?

No, you cannot move the Taskbar to the top or either side of the screen on Windows 11 22H2. Microsoft is adding several improvements to the Taskbar, but according to the last comment, there is not enough demand to make these changes.

  • Do I need to prepare the computer before the installation?

Yes, it’s not required, but you want to prepare your computer before upgrading to minimize the chances of problems. For example, before the upgrade to version 22H2, you want to create a full backup to protect your files and the current setup. If something happens, you will have a way to roll back to the previous version.

You may want to review the available storage to make sure you have enough space to complete the upgrade. Also, you may want to remove apps and disconnect peripherals that may cause conflicts during the upgrade. You can learn more about how to prepare for version 22H2 in this guide.

  • Where do I start after upgrading to Windows 11 22H2?

The Windows 11 22H2 is a big update that includes new and updates existing features. It also introduces visual changes and a slew of improvements and changes. You can learn about everything that’s new with this release in this guide.

  • Why is the computer running low in space after the upgrade?

When you perform an in-place upgrade, the setup will create a copy of the previous installation in case something happens during the upgrade and a rollback is necessary.

The only caveat is that even if the installation completes successfully, the setup will keep the files of the previous installation, and if your computer has limited space, you may find that the hard drive is running out of space.

Fortunately, this is only temporary since the system will delete the previous installation files after ten days during the maintenance task. If you need the space immediately,  you can go to Settings > System > Storage > Temporary files and delete the “Previous Windows Installation(s)” item.

  • Does the Windows 11 22H2 have any performance issues?

According to a few reports, you may run into some installation issues, such as the update appearing stuck during download or installation.

Some users are noticing frame rate drops (FPS) on Nvidia graphics while playing games. In addition, some users are reporting Blue Screen of Death.

You can use this guide to learn more about the known issues on version 22H2 blocking the installation.

  • What’s the best way to install Windows 11 22H2?

The best way to get the Windows 11 22H2 is through the Windows Update settings. If you don’t see the notification, you shouldn’t force the upgrade using other methods because it could be the case that your computer configuration is not yet fully compatible with the feature update.

If you have had the same installation for some time, instead of upgrading, you should consider wiping out the hard drive and starting from scratch with a clean install of Windows 11 22H2. It takes longer, but it will help to resolve existing issues, including performance and shutdown problems.

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].