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The Windows 10 'May 2021 Update' is official, and it's coming soon

Windows Update Insider
Windows Update Insider (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced the May 2021 Update.
  • It will arrive in... well, May.
  • There's really not much else to it.

Microsoft has today confirmed that the next Windows 10 feature update, known up until now as version 21H1, will begin rolling out in May. The update will be called the "May 2021 Update" and will be a very minor release featuring the ability to choose between multiple Windows Hello webcams and a couple of enterprise-focused additions.

As was the case with the last Windows 10 feature update, the May 2021 Update (version 21H1) will roll out as a cumulative style release to users running Windows 10 version 2004 and up. Version 21H1 features the following new changes:

  • Windows Hello multicamera support to set the default as the external camera when both external and internal Windows Hello cameras are present.
  • Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements including optimizing document opening scenario times.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvement to support remote work scenarios.

It's fair to say that 21H1 will be the smallest Windows 10 feature update to date, featuring no surface-level changes or new features for users to play with. All of the additions in 21H1 are more settings-based, which is fine, as users often complain when too many things change at once.

Microsoft is also introducing a new "news and interests" Taskbar widget to Windows 10 users this spring, however that feature is being backported to all Windows 10 versions down to 1909. So, even if you don't upgrade to 21H1, you will get the new Taskbar feature. That said, updating to 21H1 should expedite access to the new feature.

Windows Insiders can download the final 21H1 media now, and it will begin rolling out to users via Windows Update as an optional feature update over the coming weeks. Will you be updating to 21H1? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

11 Comments
  • There are multiple Windows hello cameras to chose from?
  • For some people, yes. For example I had a laptop which supported Hello but it was always docked with the lid closed. I purchased a second camera that I put on my monitor, but by default, Windows wanted to use the laptop camera. My work-around was to disable that laptop camera. This change would have let me select my external camera to use for login.
  • "users often complain when too many things change at once" So MS is letting this small minority dictate the extent of changes in these releases? How dumb...
  • No, Zac is just pointing out the positive side of fewer changes. Microsoft is putting most of the work into Sun Valley for this fall. That will have many changes.
  • This update is barely worth it, they might as well not have bothered. Though I'm sure some people will be happy about the Windows Hello change, but it seems odd to restrict that plus the two other barely mentionable changes behind an enablement package when it's in the code for 2004 and 20H2 as well anyway.
  • To avoid to become "beta tester", all of you should defer windows 10 feature update for a year
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/defer-feature-updates-in-win...
  • No, just don't join the Insider program. If you want to be really conservative, don't hit "Check for updates," which triggers your system to download optional updates. Just wait for them to install on their own.
  • This "update" is a real example of "why did they even bother?" ever since it was announced. The only three minor improvements it has could’ve easily been as backported as much as they did with News and interests without alarming people with another "feature update" just as all Insiders are waiting to see what will Microsoft offer in terms of polishing the user interface. But no, Microsoft in their belief of "we must have two new releases each year no matter what" decides that 21H1 be another service pack installed on top of the 20H1 codebase, makes three improvements that could’ve worked right in motherfilling 20H2 exclusive to 21H1 and calls it a day.
    "Forget H1N1, 21H1 is the new most undesired virus for Windows users."
  • Calling it a virus. Really? Are you suggesting that this update hurts people or computers in some way? I suppose it might turn out to have some negative consequences for some users, as a few of the prior updates have to small subsets of users. But on net, each of these updates has done far more good than harm. If you're concerned, just don't manually update -- that's the process that can prematurely force an update to your system. If you let it install automatically, it won't install on your computer until MS believes it's safe.
  • Maybe you need to search "Windows Update BSOD". Microsoft has a bit of a reputation for screwing up updates... https://www.extremetech.com/computing/320757-new-windows-10-update-is-ca... However, like you, I have always enjoyed nearly-flawless forced updates. Others may not have been so lucky, and have a different opinion on whether they "believe it's safe".
  • @Alejandro and yet you don't work at Microsoft. If you have things to complain about, spend time giving them proper Feedback instead of complaining here. Comparing the update to what you are complaining about.. Your complaint is just silly.