Microsoft reminded us: “These editions will no longer receive security updates after October 10, 2023.”
What does that mean? Feature updates are one thing – upgrades that add new capabilities and refine the interface of Windows 11 in one way or another – but security updates are the really important bit.
They patch up vulnerabilities that have been discovered in Windows 11, and if not fixed, could be exploited by attackers to compromise your system in some way (usually with dire results).
If you’re still running Windows 11 21H2 – which is the version of the OS from 2021, as the name suggests – then you need to upgrade to 22H2, and do so before October arrives.
Analysis: Get going on that upgrade
Upgrading to Windows 11 22H2 is an easy process. Just head to Windows Update (in Settings), and click the ‘Check for updates’ button, whereupon the upgrade should show up with the option to install it.
Not sure what version of Windows 11 you have? You can find out simply by typing ‘winver’ into the search box on the taskbar and clicking on ‘Run command’. Winver stands for Windows Version and will pop up a panel telling you if you are currently running Windows 11 21H2 or 22H2 (or whatever flavor of Microsoft’s OS you’ve got for that matter, if it’s another).
Windows 10 users have already seen their 21H2 version pushed out of support, which happened last month – the June cumulative update contained the final round of security patches for that incarnation of the OS. That means Windows 10 users should already have upgraded to 22H2, and indeed Microsoft is forcing the upgrade on folks (to ensure they stay protected).
Microsoft has also been forcing upgrades to Windows 11 22H2 for the same reason over the course of 2023, and as the final October deadline for 21H2 support approaches, more users are going to get an automatic upgrade coming into play, again to ensure their PC continues to receive security fixes.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).