What is the Latest Version of Windows 10?

The latest version of Windows 10 is the Fall Creators Update—version “1709”—and was released in September 2017. Microsoft releases new major updates every six months.

These major updates can take some time to reach your PC, since Microsoft and PC manufacturers do extensive testing before fulling rolling them out. Let’s take a look what’s included in the latest version, how to find our what version you’re running, and how you can skip the wait and get the latest version if you don’t already have it.

The Latest Version is the Fall Creators Update

The latest version of Windows 10 is the Fall Creators Update. This is Windows 10 version 1709, and it was released in September 2017.

Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update includes a number of new features and smaller improvements, including OneDrive Files on Demand for streamlined access to cloud files and the Windows My People feature for pinning contacts to your taskbar. Other tweaks like automatic throttling of background tasks to save battery power, integrated exploit protection, and graphics processor information in the Task Manager are also very useful.

How to Check if You Have the Latest Version

To see which version of Windows 10 you have, open your Start menu, and then click the gear-shaped “Settings” icon to open the Settings app. You can also fire up the app by pressing Windows+I.

Head to System > About in the Settings window, and then scroll down toward the bottom to the “Windows Specifications” section.

A version number of “1709” indicates that you’re using the Fall Creators Update. This is the latest version. If you see a lower version number, you’re using an older version.

How to Update to the Latest Version

When Microsoft provides the update to your PC, it automatically installs itself. You also can find it by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and then clicking the “Check for updates” button.

But Microsoft doesn’t provide new Windows updates to all PCs at once. Instead, Microsoft rolls them out slowly over time, after both Microsoft and the various PC manufacturers check to see if they cause problems with different hardware configurations. If your PC doesn’t get the update, Microsoft isn’t completely confident it will work on your hardware just yet.

However, you can override this and choose to install the update anyway. After all, you can always downgrade back to your current version of Windows 10 if you have any problems, assuming you choose to do so within 10 days after upgrading. There’s some risk here, but you are still installing a stable operating system update.

To force the update, just visit Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page. Click the “Update now” button to download the Update Assistant tool, and then run the tool to update to the latest version of Windows 10.

If you see a higher version number than 1709 on your system, you’re likely running an unstable Insider Preview version of Windows. The next major update is currently codenamed Redstone 4 and is version “1803,” which means it will likely launch in March 2018.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.