Microsoft is gearing up to release Windows 11 version 22H2, the first major update to Windows 11 since it originally made its debut on October 5th, 2021. This update comes with a slew of changes, including new features, design tweaks, and improvements to existing functionality. If you’re wondering whether you should install the 22H2 update for Windows 11, our general advice would be yes, but there are some things to keep in mind before you rush to do it.
What is Windows 11 version 22H2?
Windows 11 version 22H2 is what’s often called a feature update for Windows 11. You’ve probably noticed that Windows 11 gets updates roughly every month or so, but feature updates are much bigger. They actually include many new features and changes, and they take a while longer to install and download. Feature updates for Windows 11 are released on an annual cadence, and version 22H2 is the first one yet.
As for the actual changes packed in this update, there are a lot. Potentially the most notable of them is the addition of tabs in File Explorer, a feature Microsoft has been working on for years. That’s not all, though – this update has a redesigned Task Manager, it brings back the ability to drag items into apps on the taskbar, and it lets you customize the Start menu in more ways, including by creating and renaming folders. If you want to know everything, we have a big roundup of all the new features in Windows 11 version 22H2.
The point is, there are a lot of good changes in this update, and that’s why we’d generally recommend installing it. Another big reason why upgrading is a good idea is to extend the support period for your PC. Each version of Windows 11 gets two years of support (three for Enterprise and Education SKUs), meaning you get security updates every month. While the original release of Windows 11 will be supported for at least another year, upgrading to the latest feature update will extend that support cycle, and even if you don’t upgrade now, you’ll eventually have to.
Are there risks with installing it?
Any major software update can sometimes carry some risks. Microsoft tests these updates for months, both internally and with members of the Windows Insider Program, but all of these people are still only a subset of the entire population of Windows 11 PCs. Microsoft rolls out these updates gradually to avoid causing widespread issues, and it’s generally a good idea to at least be prepared in case something goes wrong.
Windows 11 has a built-in rollback feature that lets you go back to the previous version within 10 days of an upgrade, so if you do have any problems, you should be able to solve them easily. It’s also a good idea to backup your data to an external drive or a cloud storage service before installing a major update, just in case you end up having to reset the PC.
With that being said, the chances of something going terribly wrong are very low. If anything does happen, it might be some performance degradation or an unexpected crash in very specific scenarios, and these problems are usually addressed with cumulative updates over time. Windows 11 itself infamously had some issues with AMD processors for the first few months of its life, but they were mostly fixed in due time.
Who can install Windows 11 version 22H2?
Currently (as of June 2022), Windows 11 version 22H2 is only available for Windows Insiders, both in the Beta and Release Preview channels. That means the update is still officially in testing, and while anyone can become an Insider to try it right now, there’s more risk involved. There’s a higher chance that something will go wrong if you choose to install it this way, and it might be a good idea to wait for the official launch if you’re worried about having to fix any issues.
Once it is officially available, any PC that runs Windows 11 will be able to update to version 22H2. You’ll still need to make sure your PC meets the minimum requirements for Windows 11, since you might have a bad experience if it doesn’t. Aside from that, anyone that has the original Windows 11 release will be able to get this upgrade for free, and that’s the case with most of the best laptops available today.
Should you install Windows 11 version 22H2?
As we mentioned at the top, our general recommendation is that yes, you should install Windows 11 version 22H2 once it’s officially available. It comes with a lot of new features and it extends the support for security updates into the future, too. It’s a good idea to back up your data before doing it, but you shouldn’t run into any major problems after the update.
Of course, if you’re trying to get it through the Windows Insider program, there are some additional risks, and you might want to wait for general availability. The Release Preview channel should still be pretty safe, though, and if you’re careful with backing up your data, you’ll always be able to get back to a working state. You can then opt out of newer builds so you stay on the stable release once it comes out.