The latest version of Windows 11 is the 2022 Update, version “22H2,” which was named “Sun Valley 2” during development. Microsoft says it will release major updates once per year, and this is the first major update Microsoft has released since the initial launch of Windows 11 in 2021.
Major updates like 22H2 can take time to reach individual PCs. Microsoft has a slow rollout process and spends time testing updates on different hardware and software configurations to ensure they’re as bug-free as possible when Windows Update automatically downloads them. Let’s see what’s new in the latest version, how to check which version of Windows 11 you’re running, and how you can skip the wait and get the latest version of Windows 11 now—if your PC isn’t already running it.
The Latest Version of Windows 11 Is the 2022 Update
The latest version of Windows 11 is the 2022 Update, which was released on September 20, 2022. This is also known as Windows 11 version “22H2”, as Microsoft released it in the second half of 2022. Microsoft’s internal codename was “Sun Valley 2” during the development process, as the original version of Windows 11 was codenamed “Sun Valley.”
Since Microsoft is now on a yearly release cycle for major Windows updates—no more big updates every six months—the 2022 Update was released nearly a year after Windows 11’s initial release. (Windows 11 was initially released on October 4, 2021.)
Windows 11’s 2022 Update is packed with new features and changes, including a redesigned Task Manager, tabs in File Explorer, the return of taskbar drag-and-drop, a new video editor, a redesigned print dialog, live captions generated for any audio playing on your PC, and a lot more.
Note: Still using Windows 10? Microsoft also released a 2022 Update for Windows 10, but it’s much lighter on new features. Microsoft is spending its time adding features to the latest version of Windows.
How to Check if You Have the Latest Version of Windows 11
To see which version of Windows 11 you have, head to Settings > System > About. (You can open the Settings window from the Start menu or by pressing Windows+i anywhere on Windows.)
Look under “Windows specifications” and read the “Version” field. If you see “22H2” here, your PC has Windows 11’s 2022 Update.
If you see “21H2,” your PC is running the initial version of Windows 11, which was released in the second half of 2021.
If you see a higher number than 22H2, you’re likely running an unstable Insider build of Windows 11.
How to Update to the Latest Version of Windows 11
When Microsoft has flagged the update as likely compatible with your PC, Windows Update will offer it on your PC. Your PC may automatically install the update, or it may give you some time to install it. Whatever the case, you can skip the wait and install Windows 11’s 2022 Update immediately.
To see if the update is available on your PC, head to Settings > Windows Update and click “Check for Updates.” If you see a message saying “Windows 11, version 22H2 is available”, you can click the “Download & install” button to install it.
You can also use Microsoft’s downloadable Windows 11 Installation Assistant to upgrade your PC to the latest version of Windows 11. This will update your PC to the latest version even if Windows Update isn’t offering it for your hardware yet.
Warning: By using this tool to update, you’re skipping Microsoft’s careful rollout process and increasing the likelihood of encountering bugs and other problems on your PC. If you’re not comfortable with this, you should wait for Windows Update to offer the update for your PC.
To use the tool, visit Microsoft’s website, click “Download Now” under Windows 11 Installation Assistant, and run the downloaded tool. It will offer to upgrade your PC to the latest version of Windows 11.
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