Windows 11 2022 Update is available now. With a surprising new feature. Here all the details.
The first major update for Windows 11 is now officially available. The update, which was developed under the name Update 22H2 and then renamed in August 2022, updates Windows 11 to
Windows 11 2022 update.
Also on board is a surprising new feature, the name
“Smart App Control”
carries. More on that later.
On the other hand, it didn’t make it in Windows 11 2022 Update
– for now –
the tabs feature in File Explorer. So we still have to be patient here, although we reported in March 2022 how you can use a trick to unlock this function in the pre-release versions of Windows 11 that were available at the time. More on this below in the section “The next steps for major and minor updates for Windows 11”.
How to get Windows 11 2022 Update (Windows 11 22H2)
Microsoft provides the free Windows 11 2022 update for both Windows 10 and Windows 11. You can also switch directly from Windows 10 to Windows 11 2022 Update for free, if you wish.
You can get the Windows 11 2022 Update via Windows Update. If you’re dying to have it right away, just go to Windows Settings, then Windows Update and select “Check for updates”. Alternatively, you can simply leave your PC switched on and connected to the Internet. Microsoft’s telemetry should already know your PC’s capabilities and forward the update to it if it meets specs.
Although Windows 11 2022 Update is now officially available, it will not be delivered to all users at the same time!
“The measured and gradual rollout will offer the update via Windows Update when the data shows that your device is ready because our goal is to offer a high-quality update experience,” explains Microsoft and continues: “We will Increase update availability in the first few weeks while we monitor ‘quality signals’.”
This is in Windows 11 2022 Update
The Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2) only adds some new features in Windows 11, but maybe not the features that most users were hoping for.
Notable changes include new folders in the Start menu, an overhaul to the File Explorer UI, a Snap Bar, and major accessibility improvements including AI-generated live captions for videos stored on PC. In addition, the core isolation feature is enabled by default, but it may degrade the performance of the system!
Folders can now be created in the start menu, in each of which several applications can be stored. This means that more applications now fit into the start menu than before. However, we still miss the option known from Windows 10 to change the size of the entries in the start menu. Maybe Microsoft will add this later.
On the other hand, there is a nice improvement with the snap bar: when you drag a window to the middle, top edge of the screen, the available snap options are presented for selection. If you snap an application to part of the screen, you can fill the remaining desktop area with one or more windows. In 22H2, these “snap” groups now persist as unified groupings when using the Alt+TAB keyboard shortcut to switch between applications.
There are three notable applications that have been added or revised in Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2):
( we reported ), Microsoft Family and the Task Manager. Clipchamp and Microsoft Family are added in Windows 11 as pre-installed applications, while Task Manager gets an aesthetic and functional makeover.
Surprising innovation with a catch: What is Smart App Control?
One of the most important new features in Windows 11 2022 Update is the “Smart App Control” function. Microsoft first talked about this new security feature in April 2022, which we reported on in detail here.
Essentially, SAC (that’s the acronym) is like Windows Defender’s SmartScreen app, but for Windows: if you download a known app, nothing happens. However, if you download a questionable application or script that Microsoft doesn’t really trust, Windows will either ask for permission to run it or block it altogether.
(or the benefit, depending on your point of view) is that Smart App Control only installs on new PCs with a recent build of Windows 11 Update 2022. If you already have a PC and want to upgrade to 22H2, you must first upgrade and then reset your PC. This lays a foundation for the Smart App Control to move on.
If you wish to disable SAC after installation, you can do so from Windows 11’s Settings menu as well. But to do that, you’ll also need to reset your PC again!
Smart App Control seems like a handy safety net for those who need it – but it might be a nuisance for those who like to install scripts, utilities and the like.
So it goes on with major and minor updates for Windows 11
Microsoft’s use of “Windows 11 2022 Update” indicates an important change. Instead of releasing new features in spring and autumn, Microsoft plans to only release one major Windows 11 release per year going forward. Any features that miss this window will be added in what is known as “controlled feature rollouts”. Ultimately, this means nothing more than: Microsoft always wants to deliver smaller updates for Windows 11 when the developers feel like it.
A first such “feature rollout” is already planned for October 2022 and is then expected to add the tabs to File Explorer that didn’t make it into Windows 11 Update 2022.
Windows 11 2022 Update: Hardware Requirements Remain (Workaround)
The hardware requirements for Windows 11 do not change with Windows 11 2022 Update. Microsoft continues to turn a blind eye to those users who bypass the requirements and install Windows 11 on an unsupported PC.
“It’s flattering for us to see that we have a lot of genuine fans out there willing to take those extra steps,” said John Cable, vice president of program management for Microsoft’s Windows Servicing and Delivery members of the press recently. And he added: “You [Diese Nutzer] know that we do not officially support it. And we’ve made that position pretty clear. So it’s definitely not something we would support. But at this time we are not taking any active steps to prevent it.”
Windows 11 2022 Update: Delay installation
You will not be forced by Microsoft to install Windows 11 2022 Update. At least not immediately. In the Windows 11 settings, you can delay the installation of the update by up to five weeks. You can find the corresponding setting under “Windows Update” in the “Suspend updates” drop-down menu.
Business customers and Windows 11 Pro users can delay new feature updates for up to a year via a group policy setting. You’ll likely have similar options once the additional “controlled feature rollouts” (see below) also ship.
By the way:
If you want to check whether you have already received Windows 11 2022 Update, then click on the magnifying glass icon in the taskbar and then type
a. You will then see the text “Version 22H2” under “Microsoft Windows” followed by the build number (we tried version 22621.382 beforehand).