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How to force the Windows 11 2022 Update and get it early on your PC

Windows 11 version 22H2 install
Windows 11 version 22H2 install (Image credit: Future)

Microsoft has started the gradual rollout of the Windows 11 2022 Update (version 22H2) to devices known to have a good upgrade experience. This is the first feature update since the original release, and it's a significant update with many design improvements and several new features.

Since this is technically a new version, this release will require complete reinstallation regardless of your current setup. Similar to previous releases, the company will deploy the latest version of Windows 11 slowly and in stages, starting with compatible devices that will have a smooth transition experience. Once the feature update has been tested further, it will be available more broadly.

Usually, if you have a device with no compatibility issues, the option to update will be available within the first weeks of the release date. However, it will take some time until version 22H2 reaches every desktop computer, laptop, and tablet.

If you don't want to wait until the feature update is offered to you automatically, it's possible to trigger the upgrade manually in at least four ways, including using Windows Update, Installation Assistant, Media Creation Tool, and the direct download of the ISO file.

This guide will walk you through the steps to install the Windows 11 2022 Update on your computer.

Important: This is a non-destructive process, but there is always a chance of something going wrong during and after the upgrade. You should consider creating a temporary backup before proceeding. You've been warned.

How to install Windows 11 2022 Update via Windows Update

To install the Windows 11 2022 Update through Windows Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update.
  3. Click the Check for updates button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the "Download and install now" button.
  2. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, the installation process will proceed to apply the 2022 Update on your computer. Since this is a new version of Windows 11, the installation may take some time.

In the case that the new version isn't available, it's probably because of a compatibility problem that is blocking the installation. If there's a compatibility problem, using a different method to update is not recommended as you may run into issues.

How to install Windows 11 2022 Update via Installation Assistant

To upgrade the system to the Windows 11 2022 Update with the Installation Assistant tool, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft support website (opens in new tab).
  2. Under the "Windows 11 Installation Assistant" section, click the Download Now button.

Windows 11 version 22H2 upgrade

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Double-click the Windows11InstallationAssistant.exe file to launch the tool.
  2. Click the Accept and install button.

(Image credit: Future)

After you complete the steps, the tool will download the files to install the new version of Windows 11, preserving your files, settings, and apps.

How to install Windows 11 2022 Update via Media Creation Tool

On Windows 11, you can no longer use the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade, but you can create a USB bootable media that you can then use to upgrade to version 22H2.

To use the Media Creation Tool to create a USB media to upgrade a device to Windows 11 2022 Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft support website (opens in new tab).
  2. Under the "Create Windows 11 installation media" section, click the Download Now button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Double-click the MediaCrationToolW11.exe file to launch the tool.
  2. Click the Accept button.
  3. Click the Next button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Select the USB flash drive option. 
  • Quick note: You will need to connect a USB flash drive with at least 8GB of storage. Any data in the flash drive will be erased through this process, as such make sure to backup any important information on it.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the USB flash drive from the list.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Finish button.
  3. Open File Explorer.
  4. Click on This PC from the left pane.
  5. Open the USB drive with the Windows 11 2022 Update setup.
  6. Double-click the setup.exe file.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Next button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
  2. Click the Install button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)

Once you complete the steps, the setup will proceed with the in-place upgrade to the Windows 11 2022 Update.

How to install Windows 11 2022 Update via ISO file

Instead of using the Media Creation Tool, you can directly download the Windows 11 2022 Update ISO file to upgrade the system to the latest version.

To upgrade to the Windows 11 2022 Update using the official ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft support website (opens in new tab).
  2. Under the "Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)" section, select the Windows 11 option.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Download button.
  2. Select the ISO language.
  3. Click the Confirm button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the 64-bit Download button to save the ISO file to the computer.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Right-click the image file and select the Mount option.
  2. Select the virtual drive from the left navigation pane (if applicable).
  3. Double-click the setup.exe file to launch the setup manually.

Windows 11 2022 USB install

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Next button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)
  1. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
  2. Click the Install button.

(Image credit: Mauro Huculak)

After you complete the steps, the upgrade to version 22H2 will begin preserving your files, settings, and applications.

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.