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Microsoft: We're auto-upgrading more PCs to Windows 10 21H2, so get ready

Ready or not, Windows 10 20H2 users can expect Microsoft to push them up to the latest Windows 10 release, version 21H2.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Microsoft has extended the Windows 10 21H2 rollout further, to PCs on version 20H2 of Windows 10, as it nears end of life. 

It's the standard approach Microsoft has been taking to the Windows 10 rollout in recent years, which starts with a throttled release and accelerates a few months later. This release timing helps avoid early compatibility hiccups on different hardware and drivers, and then nudges machines on older versions of Windows 10 over to the current release. 

As of January 20, Microsoft's machine-learning algorithms began targeting devices on Windows 10 20H2 for automatic upgrades to 21H2. 

SEE: Windows 11: Here's how to get Microsoft's free operating system update

Version 20H2, aka the October 2021 Update, reaches end of life on May 10, 2022, at which point it no longer receives security updates. Microsoft usually starts force upgrading older versions of Windows 10 a few months before they reach end of life. 

"We also started the first phase in our rollout for machine learning (ML) training, targeting devices on Windows 10, version 20H2 that are approaching end of servicing to update automatically to Windows 10, version 21H2," Microsoft said on its update health dashboard. 

"We will continue to train our machine learning model through all phases to intelligently rollout new versions of Windows 10, and deliver a smooth update experience."

Editions of 20H2 that will reach end of life on May 10 include Home, Pro, Pro Education, and Pro for Workstations of Windows 10.

The forced upgrades to 21H2 commence a week after Microsoft released out-of-band updates to address several bugs that shipped with the January 2022 Patch Tuesday security updates for Windows 11, Windows 10 and earlier versions. 

Windows 10 21H2, which arrived in November 2021, was the first version of Windows 10 to align with Windows 11's annual feature update cycle rather than the bi-annual cycle.  As such, Windows 10 21H2 Home and Pro editions get 18 months of support, while Enterprise and Education editions get 30 months, just like Windows 11.

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