- Microsoft officially released the Windows 11 2023 Update.
- The update is cumulative, containing previously announced features plus additional changes and fixes.
- It’s not fully available, meaning that you need to turn on the option to receive the latest updates.
- The feature update changes the version number from 22H2 to 23H2.
After a very confusing rollout, on October 31, 2023, Microsoft officially released the Windows 11 2023 Update (version 23H2) for compatible devices already running version 22H2. The update defines the second feature update for the operating system. It resets the support cycle for another 24 months for the Home and Pro editions and 36 months for the Enterprise and Education editions.
Microsoft was originally scheduled to release version 23H2 in September, but then, the company decided to start gradually rolling out most of the features and changes through a cumulative update for version 22H2 instead. As a result, Windows 11 23H2 is only a minor update with additional changes and fixes for devices that have already installed the September release and October Patch Tuesday update. However, since version 23H2 is cumulative, it includes all the previously released features and improvements for systems that skipped the previous updates.
Whether you skipped the previous updates or not, as long as you have version 22H2, then the Windows 11 2023 Update won’t require reinstallation. It’ll install a regular monthly update.
As part of this release, Windows 11 23H2 introduces new features like Copilot, the new digital assistant powered by AI that replaces Cortana. It has an updated version of File Explorer with new visual designs, a new Gallery page, an updated Details pane, native support for RAR, 7z, and TAR file formats, and changes to Nearby Sharing. The update also brings support to control smart lighting with Dynamic Lighting and passkeys and changes to the Taskbar and Start menu. In addition, Windows 11 23H2 introduces a new Windows Backup app, a redesigned Outlook email client application, and updates for Paint, Photos, Snipping Tool, Clipchamp, Notepad, and more.
If you want to know about this update, read up on my comprehensive guide to Windows 11 23H2, which includes everything you need to learn about this release.
It’s important to note that the new version of the operating system isn’t (technically) fully available on October 31 since, to download it, you have to turn on the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” option from the “Windows Update” settings, click the “Check for updates” button, and then click the “Download & install” option.
Also, unlike the previous cumulative updates that were mandatory as part of the Patch Tuesday release, version 23H2 is an optional install that you must trigger manually.
In addition, starting October 31, Microsoft is also making available an update for the Media Creation Tool, Installation Assistant, and ISO file to use these tools to perform an in-place upgrade or clean installation. If you already have version 22H2, the option to upgrade is using the “Windows Update” settings since the update won’t require reinstallation.
Furthermore, the new version is now available through Windows Server Update Services (including ConfigurationManager), Windows Update for Business, and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).