Microsoft starts rolling out the annual Windows 10 feature update, Windows 10 22H2

Microsoft is making Windows 10 22H2, its annual feature update, available to mainstream users on select devices starting today, October 18.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

One month after starting to roll out the annual feature update for Windows 11, Microsoft is doing the same for Windows 10. On October 18, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 22H2 -- the one and only "feature update" for Windows 10 this year -- is available to those who manually download it. 

The ISOs for Windows 10 22H2 (Build 19045.2006) are available today. Version 22H2 also is now available through Windows Server Update Services (including Configuration Manager), Windows Update for Business and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). The support countdown clock for 22H2 begins today, with Home and Pro users getting 18 months of support for Windows 10 22H2 and Enterprise and Education getting 30 months.

Update: As expected, Microsoft also made available today, as part of its optional/non-security updates (for "Week C") the promised missing features of Windows 11 22H2 Users can check out the tabbed file explorer, suggested actions, taskbar overflow and other Windows 11 22H2 supplemental features today. These will go out to mainstream users on the next Patch Tuesday, November 8.

Microsoft officials have been quiet about the feature list for Windows 10 22H2, other than to say it would be available as a "scoped set of features." This is Microsoft's way of saying a feature update is small enough to be delivered via an enablement package that activates the new features, which will make the update process fast and easy for those already running the previous release (Windows 10 21H2, in this case). Windows 11 22H2, in spite of its fairly small number of new features, was not delivered via an enablement package.

I asked again today for a feature list for Windows 10 22H2. No word back. 

Update (October 21): After asking a few times and continuing to get this non-answer from a company spokesperson ("This update is a "scoped release focused on quality improvements to the overall Windows experience in existing feature areas."), I finally got a bit more of a real answer: "There are no net new features within the Windows 10 22H2 update. As the blog outlines, the update is focused on quality and security improvements to the overall Windows experience that don't fit neatly into a features list." 

I believe Microsoft will continue along this path with Windows 10 until support ends. I would assume there will be a 22H2 "feature update" for 2023 and 2024, neither of which will contain any substantial new features. But the spokesperson said Microsoft would not comment at all on future update plans for Windows 10. I would guess this lack of new features would make at least some IT pros very happy to stick with Windows 10. 

In July 2022, Microsoft entered the final test phase for Windows 10 22H2, making it available to testers in the "Release Preview" channel. As of today, Windows 10 22H2 is available today to "seekers" running Windows 10 20H2 or later.  This means Windows users who are running "select devices" with Windows 10 can proactively seek it out by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and checking for updates. Once the update appears, users can select Download and Install. For anyone running older versions, the 21H1 update will feel and update like a regular Windows 10 feature update.

Microsoft officials continue to decline to say how many of the 1.4 billion monthly active Windows 10 and 11 users combined are on Windows 10, but most industry watchers believe there are still relatively few running Windows 11 a year from its initial introduction. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until October 2025.

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