Is Windows 11 version 22H2 a free update?

Is Windows 11 version 22H2 a free update?

Windows 11 version 22H2 is almost here, and it’s a packed update for Windows 11 users – and even more so if you’re still on Windows 10. It includes new touch gestures, Start menu folders, the return of taskbar drag-and-drop, and more. But with this being such a big update, you may be wondering whether you can get it for free if you’re running the initial release of Windows 11, or even a prior version of Windows. And the answer is yes, Windows 11 version 22H2 is a free update as long as your PC is compatible.

For those running Windows 11 already, the update to version 22H2 should be a breeze. Once it’s available to you, you can check for updates in Windows Update and it should show up as an optional update. You can just download and install it, which could take up to a couple of hours (it should be under one hour for most modern PCs) but otherwise, there’s nothing else to worry about. It likely won’t install automatically, but you can get it for free.


You’ll need to meet the Windows 11 system requirements

If you’re running an older version of Windows, most likely Windows 10, you might have a hurdle when it comes to the system requirements. Windows 11 version 22H2 doesn’t bring any major changes compared to the initial release of Windows 11, which means Windows 10 users still have some major things to worry about. Windows 11 requires newer CPUs, more RAM, and more storage compared to Windows 10 and earlier.

As a reminder, these are the system requirements for Windows 11:

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM: 4 gigabyte (GB)
Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
Internet connection and Microsoft accounts: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.
Windows 11 version 22H2: Windows 11 Pro edition also requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account for device setup for personal use. Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. Learn more about S mode here.For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.

If your PC doesn’t meet these requirements, you’ll naturally need to find a way to meet them, which could mean buying a new laptop. In that sense, if you’re running Windows 10, Windows 11 isn’t exactly a free upgrade, but it’s no different with version 22H2.

The only new “requirement” for Windows 11 version 22H2 is that you need a Microsoft account to set up Windows 11 Pro for personal use, whereas previously, only Windows 11 Home required it. But that’s not a hardware change, and it won’t affect your ability to update to it.

That’s all there is to it. The update to Windows 11 version 22H2 is free for everyone who has a supported PC, and if you have Windows 11, you’re in the clear. Things may be a bit more complicated if you’re still on Windows 10, but if your PC supports Windows 11, then version 22H2 is supported just as well. If you do need a new laptop to run Windows 11, maybe check out our roundup of the best laptops you can buy today – all the Windows-based options will run Windows 11 without a problem.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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