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You can now check if your PC can install Windows 11's first big update - here's how

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Microsoft is making the finishing touches to Sun Valley 2, Windows 11's first major update since its release back in 2021, but users have been unsure of whether their PC would be able to support it.

According to Windows Latest (opens in new tab), there's a way of going into the Registry Editor, and checking if your PC can update to 22H2 once it's available (supposedly later this year).

Called Sun Valley 2 internally by the company, there still hasn't been a clear indication of what the update will involve, but there have been announcements of tabs in File Explorer, and further updates in the look of Windows Media Player and Paint for example.

We're expecting these to come to the major update, but of course, it's no use to you if your PC can't update to it. With this in mind, here's how you can check.

Checking the Registry

The Registry is the backbone of Windows, and has been for decades. It's a series of values that will determine the settings for every app and every aspect of the operating system.

Based on a certain value, the PC will follow that command from the Registry. But due to its design, there's always a danger of mistaking the wrong registry, making parts of your PC show errors, or simply not working as it's intended to.

However, when it comes to this short guide, it's only a matter of finding a registry value, not changing anything.

  • On your Windows 11 PC, open Windows Registry Editor by going to Start Menu > then type in 'regedit'.
  • In the Registry Editor, select the address bar at the top and clear it.
  • Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\TargetVersionUpgradeExperienceIndicators
  • Once you've arrived, open the NI22H2 registry.
  • If you double-tap on this value, it should display “RedReason“. If the value is NONE, it means your device is ready for the feature update.
  • However, if this value shows anything else, your PC won't be eligible for 22H2.

While this won't give the reason as to why your PC won't be able to update to 22H2, you can quickly check a few things and see if your eligibility changes. Not installing the most recent Windows updates, or having low storage could cause you to be ineligible, so changing these could be all you need to get your PC ready for 2H22.

If all of these are all in order then it could be, unfortunately, due to the fact that your PC is too old to update itself.

We still don't know when this update will arrive, but with Microsoft's aim to release these big updates every year, we suspect it will be around November, to line up with Windows 11's original release around that time in 2021. If you want to use the latest Windows release at launch then you likely have until around then to upgrade your PC.

Daryl Baxter
Daryl Baxter

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.