Windows 11 22H2 update is official - and could be a PC game-changer

Windows 11
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The next major version of Windows 11 will officially be called Windows 11 22H2, according to notes within a recent update. 

While many of us assumed that this would actually be the name, due to Microsoft's previous naming conventions for its Windows operating system, this is the first time the major upgrade has been officially referred to as Windows 11 22H2.

Previously, this major feature update for Windows 11 went by the codename “Sun Valley 2”. From what we've heard about this update, it looks to be one of the biggest changes to Windows 11 yet, adding some exciting new features to the operating system, many of which users have been asking for since the launch of Windows 11 last year.

Some of the most exciting changes, such as bringing Android apps to Windows 11, allowing you to potentially use your favorite smartphone apps on your Windows 11 device, overhauls to iconic apps like Note Pad and Windows Media Player, and additional features for the taskbar could be real game-changers for the new operating system, finally convincing people to make the leap from Windows 10.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft refers to 'Windows 11, version 22H2' in the release notes for a new Windows update, the first time the company has used that name. 

Not only does this show us what the official name for the next big update to Windows 11 will be called, but it's also gives us an idea of when this update will release.

The ‘22’ part of the name refers to the year the update will launch in, and the ’H2’ part of the name corresponds to the part of the year the launch will be. So, this essentially confirms that we'll see the update previously known as Sun Valley 2 in the second half of 2022 - sometime after June.

Windows 11 launched on October 5 2021, so could Microsoft be planning to launch Windows 11 22H2 to coincide with the operating system’s first anniversary? It's certainly a possibility, as it’s something Microsoft has done before with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update back in 2016.

Analysis: When could it arrive?

However, October may feel like too long a wait for some people, especially anyone excited for the new features Windows 11 22H2 is said to be bringing.

It's not all bad news, however, as the Windows 11 22H2 update could also launch earlier in the second half of this year. After all, the fact that Microsoft has now confirmed the name could mean that the update is almost ready to launch.

Windows Insiders who have been trying early versions of the 22H2 update have also stated that, even at this stage, the update feels pretty solid, again suggesting that Windows 11 22H2 could be ready for launch soon.

While Microsoft will want to make sure that a major update like this is thoroughly tested for any potential issues and bugs, the company also wants to help keep momentum up for the new operating system. 

It’s still struggling to convince some Windows 10 fans to upgrade, but a big headline-grabbing update packed with new features could spur on people who were holding out.

If you’re eager to try out some of these new features, including Android app support, plus improved Notepad and Windows Media Player apps, then you can sign up to be a Windows Insider to help test it out before launch.

To start, open up the Settings app on your PC. Head to the ‘Update & Security section, then select ‘Windows Insider Program’ and choose the channel you want to join. You will then begin receiving updates through ‘Windows Update’ on your PC corresponding to the channel you joined.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops in our best laptops guide - and since joining TechRadar in 2014, he's reviewed over 250 laptops and computing accessories personally.