Microsoft is ending support for Windows 11 update 21H2, here's what you need to do next

A person using a touchscreen Windows 11 laptop.
(Image credit: Surface/Unsplash)

For those of you who haven’t kept up with updating your Windows 11 device, now is the time to do so. Microsoft announced that it will finally be ending support for Windows 11 version 21H2 for Home and Pro editions.

According to Microsoft’s official page, the October 2023 security update is the last one, and 21H2 will no longer receive monthly security and preview updates. Microsoft explains, “To help keep you protected and productive, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update for Windows 11 consumer devices and non-managed business devices that are at, or within several months of reaching, end of servicing.”

Windows 11 version 21H2 was released as a free upgrade two years ago. But now Microsoft will be recommending those still using it to upgrade to Windows 11 version 22H2 and, as outlined in the statement above, will remind users to do so. However, for those using Enterprise, Education, IoT Enterprise, and Enterprise multi-session editions of the OS, the tech giant will still deliver security updates until October 8, 2024.

Windows 11 continues to be unpopular 

Despite Windows 11 being out for about two years now, it still has a much lower adoption rate than its predecessor Windows 10. According to data from StatCounter, Windows 11 holds a 23.6% market share, which is barely higher than its April 2023 market share, when it was at 23.1%. Compare that to Windows 10, which holds a 71.6% share of the desktop market even now. And in its first two years, 10 had a 36.6% market share, much higher than 11. 

There are several reasons for this issue, the biggest one being its new system requirements for Windows 11, especially TPM (security), discounted older generations of processors unless users spent money to upgrade their rigs. Another reason is the lack of significant difference between Windows 10 and 11, which would especially discourage those who would need to update their PCs.

Not to mention the other problems of advertisements sneaking into the OS more, privacy issues cropping up from that, as well as a steady stream of bug reports popping up and persistent problems like slow SSDs.

Hopefully, this all will be a lesson to Microsoft when it eventually releases Windows 12, that to convince users to make the OS switch you need to actually give users a reason to convert in the first place.

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Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.