It’s that time of year again: Microsoft is determined to push out its latest and greatest iteration of Windows 11 to users, either very slowly but automatically or fairly quickly, if you’re a determined early adopter. Let’s break down what to expect and give you the resources you need to get Windows 11 updated, should you please.
First, it’s important to clarify that you actually have two early access releases to choose from at the time of writing — not just one. The easiest is acquiring the “Moment 4 (Version 22H2) Update”, since all you need to do is opt into the Windows Insider Program so you can test the latest Windows Insider Preview builds with a few clicks inside your existing Windows install.
The full experience is the proper Windows 11 2023 Update, though, which is Version 23H2. In order to acquire this version as soon as possible, instead of waiting for it to roll out to your PC over time, head over to Microsoft’s Windows Download page, where you can choose from three options for installing the current version of Windows. To guarantee this specific version, you’ll need to use the manual ISO install or do an in-place upgrade. Unfortunately optimization issues on Microsoft’s end mean that the Media Creation Tool won’t work until (an estimated timeframe of) November 15th.
So, what’s the difference between 22H2 and 23H2, considering they’re releasing so close together? Well, they’re mostly the same update since many of the changes coming with 23H2 are already present in 22H2. For more on the changes introduced to Windows with 23H2 specifically, head to that link for our coverage of the 23H2 Update. For more information on 22H2 and the overall major additions being made to Windows, consult Microsoft’s dedicated blog post.