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Windows 10’s October 2020 Update (20H2) was released on October 20, 2020—kind of. As usual, Microsoft is slowly rolling out the update to small numbers of PCs at a time, letting people choose to install it and see how it works on their PCs.

If you’re not in a rush, we recommend you wait until Windows Update automatically offers the update to your PC. This ensures the update is as stable as possible before you get it. Here is Microsoft’s official list of the current known issues with the update.

How to Get the Update from Windows Update

As of October 20, 2020, Microsoft says this update will appear in Windows Update—for some devices.

To find it, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click “Check for Updates.”

If the update is available, you’ll see a message saying so and you can click “Download and install” to install it. Windows will download the update. When the download is complete, Windows will notify you and you can choose the time you want to finish the installation and reboot your computer.

If you don’t see the update, you may need to wait some more time—Windows is putting a “safeguard hold” on devices with compatibility issues so they won’t install the update until the problems have been fixed.


RELATED: What's New in Windows 10's October 2020 Update (20H2), Available Now

How to Force an Upgrade to the October 2020 Update

Microsoft recommends waiting until Windows Update offers the update on your PC. If you don’t see the update, it’s possible your PC has a compatibility issue that should be fixed before you install the update.

But, if you want to install the update anyway, that’s a choice you can make.

Warning: We recommend against doing this, as you’re skipping part of the testing process. You may experience bugs or other problems.

To skip Microsoft’s gradual rollout process, visit Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page. Click “Download Now” to download the Update Assistant and run the downloaded EXE file.

You’ll see a message telling you which version of Windows 10 you’re running. It will say the latest version of Windows 10 is version 2009, which is the October 2020 Update.

To go ahead with the update, click “Update Now” to install it. This skips any “holds” Windows Update may have to prevent your PC from upgrading. It will download the update and will eventually prompt you to restart your PC.

If you encounter a problem, you can roll back to your old version of Windows 10 from Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. However, you must do this within the first ten days after installing the update. Here’s how to uninstall the October 2020 update—or any other big Windows 10 update.

RELATED: How to Uninstall Windows 10's October 2020 Update

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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