All versions of Windows, especially within Windows 10, receive regular updates. Each of these updates usually brings bug fixes, performance improvements, and most of all, vulnerability fixes and security improvements. Therefore, regardless of what we use the computer for, it is vitally important to ensure that we update Windows to always use the latest version of the operating system.
Today Microsoft maintains 3 versions of Windows. On the one hand, we have Windows 7, the oldest version of the supported operating system that will stop updating in January 2020. On the other hand, we have Windows 8.1, the successor to Windows 7 that never finished conquering users. And finally we have Windows 10, the latest version of the operating system and which is currently the most used in the world.
Next, we are going to explain the update model for each of these operating systems and how to update them to the latest version.
Windows 10 versions
Fortunately, Microsoft has changed the way we develop and maintain Windows 10, and instead of releasing new versions of Windows 10 to us every few years, it is constantly evolving the operating system. This operating system is almost nothing like the one that arrived in 2015. And also, every 6 months Microsoft usually releases new versions of its operating system with improvements in operation, performance, security and new functions.
The complete list of Windows 10 versions, their release date and end of support, is:
|Name||Version||Launch||End support||With support?|
|RTM||1507||July 29, 2015||May 9, 2017||NOT|
|November Update||1511||November 10, 2015||October 10, 2017||NOT|
|Anniversary Update||1607||August 2, 2016||April 10, 2018||NOT|
|Creators Update||1703||April 5, 2017||Oct 9, 2018||NOT|
|Fall Creators Update||1709||October 17, 2017||April 9, 2019||NOT|
|April 2018 Update||1803||April 30, 2018||Nov 12, 2019||NOT|
|October 2018 Update||1809||November 13, 2018||November 10, 2020||NOT|
|May 2019 Update||1903||May 21, 2019||December 8, 2020||NOT|
|November 2019 Update||1909||Nov 12, 2019||May 11, 2021||YES|
|May 2020 Update||2004||May 27, 2020||December 14, 2021||YES|
|October 2020 Update||20H2||October 20, 2020||May 10, 2022||Yes|
|May 2021 Update||21H1||May 2021||December 2022||Insider Beta|
|“Sun Valley”||21H2||October 2021||May 2023||Insider Dev|
What version do i have
To check the version of the operating system that we have installed, what we must do is execute the command “winver” (from the Windows search engine, or from the run window that we open with Windows + R) and we can see a window like the following .
We can also see this information directly from the Windows 10 Configuration menu. We can open it with the Windows + I keyboard shortcut, and in the System> About section we can see this same information.
In it we can see the version of the operating system that we are using and its compilation. The version, 2004, indicates that we are using the May 2020 Update and the build level of installed patches. We can also know if we use the second form, the date on which we have installed the last update and the version of the Windows feature Experience Pack.
What is the build, and how does it differ from the version
In addition to the version itself (1909, 2004, 20H2, 21H1, etc), we can also find another value in the system information, which we know as the compilation, or “build”. Windows is an operating system that is in constant development, and although new versions arrive every 6 months, each time a patch is installed, the OS build number changes.
This compilation number is not very useful to us, since the important one, in the end, is the general version of the program. But it can be useful to us when checking if we have our Windows 10 with the latest patches applied. This number changes every time we install a security update or a quality patch, always increasing an indeterminate number in the value to the right of the period. The value on the left of the point varies only each time we install a new version of the OS.
Update the Windows Feature Experience Pack
Windows Feature Experience Pack is a tool provided by Microsoft to simplify updates to your operating system. Instead of including all functions and features within a single system patch, the company includes some of these features within this “pack.”
Thanks to the Windows Feature Experience Pack, our version of Windows 10 may receive some features without having to install the latest version. Thus, if Microsoft adds new functions to its snipping tool, or wants to enable changes in the Windows search engine or the News and Interests function, they can do so through this function.
It is not necessary to download or install anything in the OS. This Windows Experience Pack is updated alongside the operating system through Windows Update.
How to install the latest version of Windows 10
The updates for Windows 10 can be divided into 3 types. The first updates are security updates, which reach users once a month. The second of these are the optional updates, which usually arrive on the third or fourth Tuesday of the month with fixes and improvements not related to security. And thirdly we have the feature updates, the big semi-annual updates that continue the development of Windows.
Security and optional updates usually do not change the version of Windows, but only change the build. Feature updates do change the version number.
By default, Windows 10 is configured to receive updates automatically. In this way Windows is always automatically updated to the latest version in terms of security patches and maintenance. Feature updates, on the other hand, although they are downloaded from Windows Update as well, we must launch them manually when we are ready to make the leap.
How to update Windows 10
Everything related to Windows 10 updates is received through Windows Update. To do this, what we must do is enter the Windows Settings menu (Windows keyboard shortcut + I), and there scroll to « Update and security> Windows Update «.
Here we will be able to see a list with all the updates that we have pending to install. If we want to install the latest version of Windows, then we must click on the “Check for updates” button so that Windows Update will check our computer and tell us if there are new versions available.
From here the process is automatic. Windows Update is responsible for downloading all the updates that exist and installing them on our computer. When the process is finished, it will ask us to restart the computer and, after doing so, we will have our computer updated to the latest version.
How to remove the latest update from Windows 10
Just as Microsoft tries to make it easier for us to update Windows as much as possible, it also proposes a way to uninstall these updates easily. And it is that after updating the system we can find a problem derived from some incompatibility that causes failures to occur. Therefore, if necessary, the best we can do is remove that update as soon as possible. To do this, we access the Settings application, where we again go to the Update and security section.
Now, in the same section of Windows Update that we mentioned before, now what we have to do is click on the link called View update history. Then we will see that the most recent updates received in the system appear on the screen. These are cataloged in different sections depending on their nature, but in the upper part of the window we see what interests us now.
Here we find a link that says Uninstall updates, where we click. Now we will see the latest installations sent by Microsoft so that we can delete them with just clicking the right mouse button.
How to install the latest version of Windows 10 manually
It may be that when searching for updates manually in Windows, the latest version will not appear. This is because Microsoft has not yet released it for all users, or because our computer is not ready to receive the update. If there is a driver problem, for example, the new patch will not appear.
In this case, what we can do is force the update manually on our computer. To do this, in the following link Microsoft provides us with a wizard with which we can update our computer, use the version you use, to the latest version of Windows.
From the previous link we will also be able to download the media creation tool. This will allow us, in addition to downloading an ISO of Windows 10 and creating an installation USB, update our computer to the latest version.
Whatever method we choose, we must bear in mind that the update process can take a long time. And while there are usually no problems, there is a small chance that something will go wrong. And therefore it is recommended to have a backup of the system before starting. For what it could happen.
How to update Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
If we still use any of the old versions of Windows, we will also be able to install the latest patches on them, in addition to having the possibility of making the leap to Windows 10 to be able to enjoy the Microsoft operating system to the fullest.
How to install the latest version of Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1, unlike Windows 10, does not receive new versions. This operating system is already in the extended support phase and, therefore, its support only focuses on security updates. Therefore, if we still use this operating system, the way to install the latest version of Windows is very simple.
To do this, we just have to go to the Windows 8.1 Control Panel, enter Windows Update and search for and download the updates from there.
How to update Windows 7
If we are one of those who have not yet made the leap to Windows 7, we must know that as of January 2020 this operating system will stop receiving all kinds of media. We won’t even get security updates. Therefore, it is advisable to think about updating to Windows 10 to continue enjoying the latest version of Windows.
To install Windows 7 updates, what we must do is go to the Control Panel of the operating system, locate Windows Update and download the updates from there. The process can take a long time, as the operating system has to download and install, in order, all the patches that have been released to date.
Windows Service Packs are kind of versions of old versions of Windows. By installing one of these Service Packs we make sure to update our operating system, avoiding having to download dozens of updates. At least up to the date the service pack was released.
Windows 7 only has one SP, Service Pack 1, which we can download from the following link. Once installed, we can go back to Windows Update and download the missing updates in order to have the latest version of Windows 7.
We remember that Windows 7 is no longer supported, so, although we can download updates, it has not received new patches for a long time.
How to upgrade Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10
If we really want to use the latest version of Windows, the first thing we must do is be using Windows 10. And within Windows 10 make sure we have all the Windows Update installed and use the latest feature update in the operating system. This is what we have explained to you throughout this article.
If, for example, we are still using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, we should be thinking about updating to the latest version of this operating system. For this it is not necessary to format our computer, but Microsoft offers us a series of tools that allow us to jump to the latest version very easily and in less than an hour.
In the following link we explain how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 step by step and without losing the programs and data that we have on our computer.
Once the process is finished, we can start enjoying the latest version of Windows.