Windows Configuration Updates explained

Martin Brinkmann
May 29, 2023
Windows 11 Help

Microsoft released KB5026446 for Windows 11 version 22H2 a few days ago. The official changelog for the Windows update lists just two new features, even though it is also including the features of the Moments 3 update for the operating system.

Some users may have wondered how that can be. The explanation is straightforward: Microsoft decided to separate the features of the Moments 3 update from the actual preview update for Windows 11 version 22H2.

The Windows Configuration Update comes into play right then and there. It holds the key to the features of the Moments 3 update, and any future Moments update. Whether devices get the configuration update is determined by the new Windows Update setting Get Updates as soon as they're available, which I explained previously.

When the setting is enabled in Windows Update or via Group Policy, devices will receive the required configuration update that unlocks the new features on the device. Devices to which just the regular KB5026446 is downloaded, receive only the changes of that update, but not those of the Moments update.

Microsoft has published a new Windows configuration updates history page on its Support website. The company will publish all configuration updates for Windows 11 and likely also future versions of Windows there.

The company explains: "The updates listed here are turned on using Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) technology. Using CFR, we gradually roll out new features. When we have confirmed that each feature is ready, we will gradually roll it out to other devices. Eventually, it will be included in a later monthly update."

For now, only the May 24, 2023 configuration update is listed on the page. It lists all the feature improvements that are associated with the Moments 3 update for the Windows 11 operating system.

Windows 11 devices will receive the features of the Moments 3 update in a cumulative update for the operating system, likely on the June 2023 Patch Tuesday on June 13th, 2023.

Windows 11 administrators may enable the features using the ViVeTool, if they do not want to enable the "get the latest updates as soon.." option in Windows Update or Group Policy.

To summarize:

  • Installing a preview update is not enough anymore to receive Moments feature update, and maybe other updates, as early as possible in the future, starting with Moments 3.
  • The box "get updates early" determines whether devices will receive configuration updates that will unlock the new features.
  • The ViVeTool may be used to unlock the features, without enabling the get updates early option.
  • Feature updates will become available as part of cumulative updates for all Windows 11 users.

Now You: what is your take on the new approach? (via Neowin)

Windows Configuration Updates explained
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Windows Configuration Updates explained
Windows Configuration Updates determine if new features or changes are enabled on Windows 11 devices or kept disabled.
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  1. Tachy said on May 29, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    So, am I getting this right, they are changing nothing the terminology?

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