Starting on September 26, anyone with a device already running Windows 11 version 22H2 can download a preview of the next cumulative update that includes several new features and improvements that are part of the 2023 Update, and these are instructions on how to get it.
In this release, instead of rolling out the new version of Windows 11 using a single update, Microsoft plans to gradually roll out some of the new components (such as Copilot, Windows Backup app, Outlook app, redesigned File Explorer, and various updates to its inbox apps) through Windows Update without changing the version of the operating system. Once this phase ends, sometime before the end of 2023, the company will release an enablement package to complete the upgrade and switch the version number to 23H2.
As a result of this approach, initially, the company won't be releasing an update for the Media Creation Tool, ISO file, or Installation Assistant, making the Windows Update settings the only method to get the first wave of features.
This how-to guide will walk you through the steps to download and install many new features coming to Windows 11.
How to install new features for Windows 11
To install the September 2023 Update for Windows 11 through the Windows Update settings, use these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Windows Update.
- Turn on the "Get the latest updates as soon as they're available" toggle switch.
- Click the "Check for updates" button.
- Click the "Download & install" button.
- Click the Restart now button.
Once you complete the steps, the installation process will apply the non-security update to enable the new features on the device without reinstalling the entire operating system.
If you're not getting the update through the Stable Channel, you can enroll your device in the Release Preview Channel to download the latest preview that contains the new features.
Since during the first phase of the rollout, there won't be updates to the installation files, if you plan to perform an in-place upgrade or clean installation of the operating system, you will have to create a media to install version 22H2 and then after the setup use the Windows Update settings to download the latest cumulative update that installs and enables the new features.
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:
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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.