Microsoft force installs Windows 10 version 21H2 on 20H2 devices

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 22, 2022
Windows 10
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49

Microsoft announced this week via the company's Windows Update Twitter channel that it is rolling out Windows 10 version 21H2 to devices running the older 20H2 version of the Windows 10 operating system.

windows 10 21h2

Microsoft plans to support the Windows 10 operating system until 2025, but individual versions of the operating system may run out of support earlier. Windows 10 version 20H2 will run out of support on May 10, 2022. The May 2022 Patch Day is the last for the version of Windows 10, and devices won't receive updates anymore unless they are updated to a newer version of Windows 10, or if compatible, to Windows 11.

The last major update version for Windows 10 was Windows 10 version 2004. Microsoft released it in May 2020 and ended support for it in December 2021.

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The tweet by Microsoft's Windows Update channel provides the following information:

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

The Health Status support page of Windows 10 version 21H2 confirms this:

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. 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.

Windows 10 version 20H2 devices will be upgraded automatically to Windows 10 version 21H2 according to the tweet. Microsoft uses the rollout for machine learning training as Windows versions will run out of support frequently in the coming years. The next version to run out of support is Windows 10 version 21H1, which will receive its last updates on December 13, 2022.

Devices running Windows 10 version 21H1 may also be pushed to version 21H2, as it will be supported until June 2023. Another option would be to push the devices to the 2022 release of Windows 10, which may come earlier than expected by many.

Closing Words

Should Microsoft install updates automatically on user devices? The positive effect of this is that security updates continue to be delivered to devices, as they would not receive any otherwise. Users who don't want to give up control on the other hand see this as interference.

Now You: what is your take on this? Should Microsoft install updates automatically on systems that will run out of support soon?

Summary
Microsoft force installs Windows 10 version 21H2 on 20H2 devices
Article Name
Microsoft force installs Windows 10 version 21H2 on 20H2 devices
Description
Microsoft announced this week via the company's Windows Update Twitter channel that it is rolling out Windows 10 version 21H2 to devices running the older 20H2 version of the Windows 10 operating system.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Herman Cost said on January 22, 2022 at 3:54 pm
    Reply

    I want Microsoft to keep its hands off my computer without my express permission to ‘update’ it (even if a licensing agreement that no one reads or understands allows them to do so). I’d like to see this kind of behavior made illegal for all of the Big Tech oligarchy, not just Microsoft, but obviously understand that their lobbying power makes that a pipe dream.

    Having said that, I am more than glad to take security updates after they have been beta tested for awhile by those who enjoy that sort of thing.

    1. John G. said on January 22, 2022 at 4:21 pm
      Reply

      They are not updating your computer, they are updating their OS. That’s the point. :|

      1. Mortov Molotov said on January 23, 2022 at 6:27 am
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        I remember in a similar discussion where someone said “scr*w Windows 10 with its forced updates, I’m going to switch to Manjaro Linux.”

        ?

    2. Dumbledalf said on January 22, 2022 at 4:45 pm
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      @Herman Cost, unless you’ve been out of touch for the last decade, you should’ve realized that Microsoft has continuously reduced freedom of customization of Windows, starting with Windows 8. With each version this freedom diminishes.

      Ranting about how you want your Windows freedom back on some random 3rd rate Tech News blog doesn’t solve anything. Either do something about it, like installing Windows 7 or Linux on your computer or don’t rant at all, because it doesn’t solve anything, neither for you, nor for anyone else.

      1. Herman Cost said on January 22, 2022 at 7:48 pm
        Reply

        @John G. – You are just parroting the Microsoft party line. I believe I should have the right to stop the updates on to my personal hard drive. Fortunately, however, I already have the ability to stop them, and in fact don’t accept any updates until I am ready to take them.

        @Dumbledalf. Well let’s see: 1) I did not rant at all; I just answered Martin’s question, rather matter of factly IMHO; 2) I’d prefer Windows 7, but bought a new computer that came with windows 10 installed so I am using it. I will in fact switch to another operating system when one comes along that suits my needs better than Linux. The free market tends to be good at providing freedom of choice over time when demand exists, so I do think I’ll most likely get away from Microsoft at some point. Right now Windows 10 (but not 11) is still the lesser evil for me; 3) Why the gratuitous insult to gHacks? If you really think its third rate, why not just go away?

      2. Anonymous said on January 23, 2022 at 2:21 am
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        Just curious, but what other operating system besides Linux, Macintosh, or Windows are you gonna switch to? It’s only been those 3 you can choose from and if you haven’t switch from Windows by now, then you might be waiting awhile for another O.S. I guess you could get a Chromebook, but I think that’s Linux.. I’d like some clarification please.

      3. Khelban said on January 24, 2022 at 6:14 am
        Reply

        Maybe he prefers BSD or FreeDOS. Perhaps ChromeOS or illumos or ReactOS. Haiku is another alternative as is MorphOS. Another is AROS and then you have MenuetOS. Finally we have PrimeOS and RISC OS.

      4. semce said on January 23, 2022 at 5:19 pm
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        It was a perfect conversation. Now where have I heard that before?

      5. Brian said on January 27, 2022 at 12:04 am
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        @Herman Cost – No one is parroting anything. This is simply a fact. There are people who still have versions of windows 10 from its launch. Working in a computer repair shop we regularly have people who have been actively using Windows online with it hooked up and running constantly. We regularly see 1803 and 1903 as well as rarely 1507, 1511, and 1607 versions. These people simply left the default of asking if it is okay to install the feature update and just saying no. The only people who have ever had Windows automatically update the feature updates are those who had it set that way and let it do it.

    3. NA said on January 23, 2022 at 1:50 pm
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      It’s almost all marketing. When google started the “agile” revision numbers with the Chrome browser, eventually all the major companies followed it. These windows “versions” are basically updates, but they no longer separate security from feature updates for home users. This rapid release cycle was a weird Linux thing for geeks, and now it’s a virus that’s everywhere.
      I understand keeping home users up to date, making it “illegal” to force updates will most likely do more harm than good. Microsoft used to make solid updates, and even that benefit is gone.

  2. common sense computing said on January 22, 2022 at 4:15 pm
    Reply

    Thankfully it’s still not too difficult to use Windows Update Blocker to disable forced updates, which is a form of malware at this point.

    If you absolutely need to install an update, you can download the relevant update from the Microsoft Update Catalog, disconnect the Internet, and install the update while off-line.

  3. Akina said on January 22, 2022 at 4:32 pm
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    Ahh the good old Win 7-8.1 that let you choose whether you want to update or not.

  4. JohnIL said on January 22, 2022 at 4:53 pm
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    I don’t have an issue with Windows update upgrading an end of support version to a current supported version. Why on earth would you stay on a Windows version unsupported in these times??

    1. VioletMoon said on January 22, 2022 at 6:56 pm
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      Nor I, and I would recommend that users download the 21H2 iso and follow the basic procedure for a non-destructive repair/reinstall. Many problems occur when users let MS install updates through the currently running OS Windows Update function–or that has been my experience.

    2. Anonymous said on January 23, 2022 at 3:39 am
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      Same reason why I would switch to Mac rather than have to use Win 11.

      The Windows user experience has consistently degraded since Win 7 even if the kernel has marginally improved. Microsoft design and its attitude towards customers SUCKS.

  5. Tim said on January 22, 2022 at 5:14 pm
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    While I might agree to get enforced security updates, I would definitely not like to have obligatory feature updates. These often bring features few people need and tend to break the os. True, you may get a useful feature, but why pull it down the user’s throat when the user is knowledgeable and can decide for himself?

    1. Tachy said on January 22, 2022 at 6:30 pm
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      @Tim Therein lies the problem, most user are not knowledgeable.

      Even though I hate big tech making my devices do what they think they should do instead of what I want them to do, I’m going to have to answer yes, security updates should be forced.

      The good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one.

    2. Kek said on January 22, 2022 at 10:29 pm
      Reply

      >why pull it down the user’s throat when the user is knowledgeable and can decide for himself?

      Normies don’t know (or care) much about maintaining their system. And 20H2 is about to be EOL, so they push people towards the latest release that gets security updates. And yes, knowledgeable people can indeed block this update as well, so i dont get what you are complaining about.

      1. Anonymous said on January 23, 2022 at 7:49 am
        Reply

        @Kek i disagree, i think its due localization/language. most people probably use it in english but didnt understand much especially jargon word. which is probably why the use of icon is a thing because it universal duh.

  6. Anonymous said on January 22, 2022 at 6:03 pm
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    You have forgotten that since the inception of Windows 10, it is no longer an operating system, but a service Microsoft provides. If you are using it, you have consented that they may do with their service as they please.

    In this logic, this is well within their terms an services of providing you with their service.

    See also https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-overview for details.

  7. Rick said on January 22, 2022 at 7:42 pm
    Reply

    I feel that if they want to ‘train their machine learning’, they should do it own their own test machines. My computers are not the equivalent of lab rats to be used for their ‘training’. Of course, my opinion will not change anything.

    It reminds me of a bed bug inspection I had a few years back. The whole inspection seemed sketchy and even the property manager noticed the sketchiness. Eventually the inspection company owner admitted that he was training the bug sniffing dog. Our manager told him that our building was not a testing facility. After spending too long in my apartment and informing me that I had bed bugs (i.e., they had planted one for the dog to find), we later brought in another inspection dog and nothing was found.

    Do your training in your own testing / training facility.

    1. Apple said on January 23, 2022 at 1:16 am
      Reply

      They already did test on their machines. Unfortunately, they don’t have every possible configuration of hardware and software because there are literally billions of those.

      1. ilev said on January 23, 2022 at 10:51 am
        Reply

        “They already did test on their machines”

        No, they didn’t. They tested on insiders machines.

        Microsoft doesn’t have a QA anymore.

  8. ilev said on January 22, 2022 at 8:02 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft should have forced updating Windows 10 2004 first.

    1. BMO said on January 23, 2022 at 1:40 am
      Reply

      Unless they not disable the Windows Update using registry hacks or any third-party tools (especially for Home edition), or just their machines are not connected to the internet using an LTSC variant of Windows 10.

      1. d0x360 said on January 23, 2022 at 9:52 am
        Reply

        People can already shut Windows updates off without registry hacks or 3rd party programs.

        As for this “issue” I’d rather Microsoft force an update than let average joe try and figure it out.

        If people don’t like it they have 2 other mainstream operating systems to choose from. It’s always the same story… Microsoft this or that blah blah. Except the complaint is usually based on a half truth.

        One example is telemetry. It can easily be removed from a system. Of course removing it only hurts everyone because what little data they do collect is used to fix security issues, improve the kernel, improve general stability with programs, improve performance with programs and improve hardware compatibility. Also telemetry has ZERO user identifiable data. In fact the system was designed so a user could never be identified. They aren’t monitoring everything you do either. It’s a myth that only lives on because it generates clicks everytime someone write another article.

        Kinda like this one…

  9. Anonymous said on January 22, 2022 at 9:19 pm
    Reply

    Glad I still use Windows 7 ESU. Anything above 8 has been garbage.

  10. STX4 said on January 22, 2022 at 9:55 pm
    Reply

    Using Manjaro Linux since 2014 — no enforced updates, no hours of update installations, no driver issues, no stability problems, no GBs of garbage wasting my disk space, no foreign control over My PC.

    1. LettingGoWindose said on January 23, 2022 at 9:34 pm
      Reply

      I wish I could fully switch. I been slowly moving over to EndeavourOS. There are some legacy programs I need, and I can’t get them working in Wine. I don’t game anymore so gaming isn’t an issue for me.

  11. Jak said on January 22, 2022 at 10:26 pm
    Reply

    I really don’t get this ‘old man yelling at the clouds’ that is so common in posts about Microsoft updates.

    They are updating a version that’s running out of support in 4 months, and the vast majority of people don’t know anything about updates and whatnot. Of course they shouldn’t let normies run non-maintained versions, that would be stupid and dangerous. Any novice can easily block this, if they need to stay on 20h2.

  12. 1337 said on January 23, 2022 at 12:24 am
    Reply

    At this point I only use windows for gaming and some office work. I’ve been slowly migrating to Linux for a couple years now, having decent results with proton but I have an OP cpu, gpu. In the meantime,tiny wall, learn it, live it, love it…

    For those contemplating Linux gaming this site has some useful info.
    https://www.protondb.com/

  13. James Rogers said on January 23, 2022 at 12:57 am
    Reply

    ,All I want to know is is Microsoft going to bring out a Windows 11 version, with a 32-bit! So as individuals that got older computers can have the new software without having to buy new computers, some of us cannot afford or even think about getting a new computer, we’re stuck with what we have..

    1. Anonymous said on January 23, 2022 at 7:45 am
      Reply

      unfortunately i dont think old pc can have “new” software anymore, seeing left & right that 32-bit are being dropped from both os and software alike.

  14. Yuliya said on January 23, 2022 at 3:40 am
    Reply

    I don’t see the problem. If you want to use Windows 10, you should be on 1507, 1607, 1809 or 21h2 (19044/20348).

    1. Anonymous said on January 23, 2022 at 7:42 am
      Reply

      problem is…you know update/upgrade most of the time always come with problem/bug. thats the problem, stuff could bricked ya know.

  15. Arget said on January 23, 2022 at 7:21 am
    Reply

    No regrets switching to ArchLinux entirely an year ago

  16. frack said on January 23, 2022 at 7:44 am
    Reply

    21H2 are stable based from months of testing for enterprise. I’m thinking to push it to all as well

  17. Ted Henry said on January 23, 2022 at 9:37 am
    Reply

    Fine with updating to new version of windows as long as i can choose when to do it and be at my computer incase something goes wrong so i can correct the problem myself.

    As for choice of operating systems these days they are all the same with their forced updates from Apples to Microsoft.

    They do it in many ways from their web browsers which can stop you browsing if your time and day zone is not match to the month and year your in.

  18. Anonymous said on January 23, 2022 at 12:07 pm
    Reply

    Good luck with force updates Microshaft. People like me were wise to ur game made it so windows updates don’t do auto updates anymore by way of measured connections which stale windows update until we the people chose to install updates. I have had updates for 5 months that won’t install cause I won’t let them cause I don’t update on their time I do it on my time so for anyone who wants to tell microshaft to keep thejr hands off out private machines just turn metered connections on and tell them to screw off

  19. Tyler said on January 23, 2022 at 12:11 pm
    Reply

    Lolololol. Good luck with that I use metered connection to stop that. Metered connections makes it so Microsoft can’t install updates without you manually doing so. So let them force whatever they want won’t get thru to my system till I authorize it.

  20. Mike S. said on January 23, 2022 at 2:31 pm
    Reply

    Good. People who are gonna complain about “forced updates” are the same people who will blame Microsoft if they don’t update for years, and their unpatched and insecure operating system gets taken over by malware and viruses. Security updates help all of us. Stop thinking about only yourself.

  21. ULBoom said on January 23, 2022 at 4:22 pm
    Reply

    Meanwhile versions of windows server released far before current versions of windows receive support into the future. They’re all “protected” by adept IT Admins and super secure although anyone who wants to pay for it can run win server? Whatever.

    Security updates? Whatever.

    Rolling release Linux distros? Whatever.

    I use ISO’s to upgrade offline (21H2 is an upgrade, not update) and will do so sometime soon. Then delete Chredge, remove all the other crapware, banner ads from Settings, reset the firewall, tasks and services, blah, blah, a huge pain, the last one, apparently.

    Until MS conjures up 22H1.

    For most users, like almost everyone, those who can’t tell you without looking what computer or phone OS they’re using, automatic updates are a good thing. Did that metastisizing printer bug ever get completely fixed?

    No pain, no gain.
    /s

    1. MK said on January 24, 2022 at 9:20 am
      Reply

      No the printer issues is still there even with all latest updates. I battled that tonight at a client site for 3 hours. Just to be clear I am talking to connecting to a shared printer from Windows 10 to mostly any printer shared via an older server OS like 2008 for example.

  22. J.T. said on January 24, 2022 at 1:05 am
    Reply

    So, I actually had to restore to an earlier version because 21H2 broke Elan trackpad drivers. So, I’m curious to see how this goes down.

  23. Latif said on January 24, 2022 at 2:04 am
    Reply

    Unfortunately sometimes M$ updates can brick machines completely or send them into a constant installing/uninstalling updates loop. I have experienced this several times in PC’s and laptops I have been administering in the past. I have several machines on the shelf that developed this issue after version 1803. These machines can not update to 1903 nor run any version above 1803. M$ response to this issue was too bad, time to buy new pc.

  24. wiphala said on January 25, 2022 at 2:25 am
    Reply

    simply, stop wU service, delete download folder of systemdistributionsoftware windir and finally limit the measure of download packs on wireless settings.

  25. scotty said on January 25, 2022 at 3:06 pm
    Reply

    No one wants MS to touch their equipment. you fail to understand you don’t buy the OS you just buy a license to use the OS.
    Plus, it sounds all nice to say its mine don’t do that until YOU are compromised then. these same people would cry they didn’t protect me they had OS issues.

  26. Kel said on January 25, 2022 at 9:10 pm
    Reply

    I’m trying to upgrade from 21h1 to 21h2 but it’s not showing up for me in Windows Updates. Is there something I need to do to get it show up or do I have to go download it manually?

  27. Karl said on June 16, 2022 at 4:14 am
    Reply

    Who knows what they are actually putting on your computer when they do these updates. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but for almost a year, MS has been putting what it calls a “Security Update” which includes a feed on my task bar that has MS generated news and weather that is on constantly and there is no way to turn it off or uninstall it. How can they call that a “Security Update”?

    I’ve uninstalled the whole update probably 10 times and they always put it back on next time. I might be losing security updates that I really do need because I don’t want this weird “feed” running on my computer all the time. How can they call this obvious commercial ware a security update? It’s just more shit using up resources, probably spying on me and definitely trying to sell me something I don’t want

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