Windows 11: A guide to the updates


A Windows launch isn’t the end a process — it’s really just the beginning. As with Windows 10, Microsoft continually works on improving Windows 11 by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

In this story we summarize what you need to know about each update released to the public for the most recent version of Windows 11 — currently version 23H2. For each build, we’ve included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it. The most recent updates appear first.

The easiest way to install updates is via Windows Update. Not sure how? See “How to handle Windows 10 and 11 updates” for full instructions. Note that Windows 11 version 23H2 is being released as a phased rollout and may not be available to you in Windows Update yet.

If you’re still using Windows 10, see “Windows 10: A guide to the updates.” And if you’re looking for information about Insider Program previews for upcoming feature releases of Windows 11, see “Windows 11 Insider Previews: What’s in the latest build?

KB5034765 (OS Builds 22621.3155 and 22631.3155)

Release date: February 13, 2023

In this build, the Copilot in Windows icon now appears on the right side of the system tray on the taskbar. Also, the display of “Show desktop” at the rightmost corner of the taskbar will be off by default. To turn it back on, go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar. You can also right-click the taskbar and choose Taskbar settings. These changes will be gradually rolled out.

This build also has a wide variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and February 2024 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

(Get more info about KB5034765.)

KB5034204 (OS Builds 22621.3085 and 22631.3085) Preview

Release date: January 23, 2024

This build fixes a variety of bugs, including one that stopped search from working on the Start menu for some users because of a deadlock, and another that that caused devices to intermittently stop responding after you installed a print support app.

There is one known issue in this build, in which Windows devices using more than one monitor might experience issues with desktop icons moving unexpectedly between monitors or other icon alignment issues when attempting to use Copilot in Windows (in preview).

(Get more info about KB5034204 Preview.)

KB5034123 (OS Builds 22621.3007 and 22631.3007)

Release date: January 9, 2024

This build fixes several bugs, including one in which devices shut down after 60 seconds when you used a smart card to authenticate on a remote system, and another in which some Wi-Fi adapters could not connect to some networks, particularly those that use 802.1x to authenticate.

It also has a wide variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and January 2024 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

There are three known issues in this build, including one affecting ID admins, in which using the FixedDrivesEncryptionType or SystemDrivesEncryptionType policy settings in the BitLocker configuration service provider (CSP) node in mobile device management apps might incorrectly show a 65000 error in the “Require Device Encryption” setting for some devices in your environment. To mitigate the issue in Microsoft Intune, you can set the “Enforce drive encryption type on operating system drives” or “Enforce drive encryption on fixed drives” policies to not configured.

(Get more info about KB5034123.)

KB5033375 (OS Builds 22621.2861 and 22631.2861)

Release date: December 12, 2023

This build has a wide variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and December 2023 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

There are four known issues in this build, including one which affects ID admins, in which using the FixedDrivesEncryptionType or SystemDrivesEncryptionType policy settings in the BitLocker configuration service provider (CSP) node in mobile device management (MDM) apps might incorrectly show a 65000 error in the “Require Device Encryption” setting for some devices in your environment. To mitigate the issue in Microsoft Intune, you can set the “Enforce drive encryption type on operating system drives” or “Enforce drive encryption on fixed drives” policies to not configured.

(Get more info about KB5033375.)

KB5032288 (OS Builds 22621.2792 and 22631.2792) Preview

Release date: December 4, 2023

In this update, Copilot in Windows (in preview) can be used across multiple displays, and it can be used with Alt+Tab. When you press Alt+Tab, the thumbnail preview for Copilot in Windows appears among other thumbnail previews of open windows. You can switch between them using the Tab keystroke. This is available to a small audience initially and will deploy more broadly in the months that follow.

The update also fixes a wide range of bugs, including one in which the Copilot icon did not show as being as active when it’s open on the taskbar.

There are four known issues in this update, one applicable to IT admins, in which using the FixedDrivesEncryptionType or SystemDrivesEncryptionType policy settings in the BitLocker configuration service provider (CSP) node in mobile device management (MDM) apps might incorrectly show a 65000 error in the “Require Device Encryption” setting for some devices in your environment.

(Get more info about KB5032288 Preview.)

KB5032190 (OS Builds 22621.2715 and 22631.2715)

Release date: November 14, 2023

This build introduces a preview of the Copilot for Windows AI assistant and a File Explorer with a new interface that includes new files displayed as a carousel, and that recognizes local and cloud folders. It also introduces the Windows Backup app that can be used to quickly get your current PC backed up and ready to move to a new PC. In addition, there are many other new features and interface changes throughout Windows, including for Settings, Windows Spotlight, security graphics, voice access, Narrator, and others.

It also includes a wide variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and November 2023 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

There are three known issues in this build, including one that affects ID admins in which using the FixedDrivesEncryptionType or SystemDrivesEncryptionType policy settings in the BitLocker configuration service provider (CSP) node in MDM apps might incorrectly show a 65000 error in the “Require Device Encryption” setting for some devices in your environment. To mitigate the issue in Microsoft Intune, you can set the “Enforce drive encryption type on operating system drives” or “Enforce drive encryption on fixed drives” policies to not configured.

(Get more info about KB5032190.)

KB5031455 (OS Builds 22621.2506 and 22631.2506) Preview

Release date: Oct. 31, 2023

This update introduces a preview of the Copilot for Windows AI assistant and File Explorer with a new interface that includes new files displayed as a carousel, and that recognizes local and cloud folders. It also includes minor interface changes to many parts of the operating system, including taskbar, system tray, security notifications, and more.

There is one known issue, which applies to IT admins: using the FixedDrivesEncryptionType or SystemDrivesEncryptionType policy settings in the BitLocker configuration service provider (CSP) node in mobile device management (MDM) apps might incorrectly show a 65000 error in the “Require Device Encryption” setting for some devices in your environment.

(Get more info about KB5031455 Preview.)

KB5031455 (OS Build 22621.2506) Preview

Release date: Oct. 26, 2023

This build introduces a preview of the Copilot for Windows AI assistant and a File Explorer with a new interface that includes new files displayed as a carousel, and that recognizes local and cloud folders. It also introduces the Windows Backup app that can be used to quickly get your current PC backed up and ready to move to a new PC.

There is one known issue in this build that applies to IT admins: using the FixedDrivesEncryptionType or SystemDrivesEncryptionType policy settings in the BitLocker configuration service provider (CSP) node in mobile device management (MDM) apps might incorrectly show a 65000 error in the “Require Device Encryption” setting for some devices in your environment.

(Get more info about KB5031455 Preview.)

KB5031354 (OS Build 22621.2428)

Release date: October 10, 2023

This build includes a wide variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and October 2023 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

(Get more info about KB5031354.)

KB5030310 (OS Build 22621.2361) Preview

Release date: September 26, 2023

This update adds websites to the Recommended section of the Start menu. These websites come from your browsing history. You can remove any website URL from the Recommended section using the shortcut menu. To turn off the feature, go to Settings > Personalization > Start.

It also fixes a variety of bugs, including one in which the search box tooltip did not appear in the correct position, and another in which the search button disappeared when you interacted with the search flyout box.

In addition, if you want to use a variety of new features, such as the AI-driven Copilot for Windows and improvements to File Manager, Paint, and other apps, go to Settings > Windows Update, toggle on “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available,” and then restart your PC. For more details, see Microsoft’s blog post.

(Get more info about KB5030310 Preview.)

KB5030219 (OS Build 22621.2283)

Release date: September 12, 2023

This build removes a blank menu item from the Sticky Keys menu and includes a variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and September 2023 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

(Get more info about KB5030219.)

KB5029351 (OS Build 22621.2215) Preview

Release date: August 22, 2023

This update makes a variety of changes to the way app defaults are handled. For details, see “A principled approach to app pinning and app defaults in Windows.” It also adds a new policy called “Enable optional updates,” which administrators can use to configure the monthly, optional cumulative updates for commercial devices. You can also use this policy for the gradual Controlled Feature Rollouts (CFR). To learn more, see “Enable and control optional updates for your organization.”

It also fixes a variety of bugs, including one in which Start menu icons were missing after you signed in for the first time, and another in which settings did not sync even if you turned on the toggle on the Windows Backup page in the Settings app.

(Get more info about KB5029351 Preview.)

KB5029263 (OS Build 22621.2134)

Release date: August 8, 2023

This build includes a wide variety of security updates. For details, see Microsoft’s Security Update Guide and August 2023 Security Updates.

What IT needs to know: Because this is a security update, it should be applied relatively soon. Over the next few weeks, check for reports about problematic issues, and if all seems well, apply the update.

There is one known issue in this update, in which using provisioning packages might not work as expected.

(Get more info about KB5029263.)

KB5028254 (OS Build 22621.2070) Preview

Release date: July 26, 2023

This update makes brightness settings more accurate and fixes a wide variety of bugs, including one in which the Defender Firewall Profile failed to automatically switch from a trusted LAN to a public network. Another fix makes the connection between the client and the Windows Push Notification Services (WNS) server more reliable.

There is one known issue in this update, applicable to IT admins, in which using provisioning packages might not work as expected.

(Get more info about KB5028254 Preview.)

KB5028185 (OS Build 22621.1992)

Release date: July 13, 2023

This build introduces a wide variety of new features, including improved sharing of a local file in File Explorer with Microsoft Outlook contacts, the rollout of notification badging for Microsoft accounts on the Start menu, and new text selection and editing voice access commands, such as for selecting a range of text in a text box and deleting all text in a text box. It also adds a “USB4 hubs and devices” Settings page at Settings > Bluetooth & devices > USB > USB4 Hubs and Devices.



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