How to get the final version of the Windows 10 November 2021 Update before everyone else

Microsoft plans to begin the slow rollout of the Windows 10 November 2021 update (version 21H1) in the coming days. However, since the update has already been finalized, you can get it quickly through the Windows Insider program.

The program gives developers, network administrators and enthusiasts early access to versions of Windows through the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels to test new enhancements and submit feedback. However, since the final version must go through all channels, you can use the Release Preview Channel to install the latest Windows 10 feature update before it’s available to everyone.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to download the final version of the November 2021 update before its official release.

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How to install Windows 10 November 2021 Update through the Insider Program

The Release Preview Channel has the version that Microsoft plans to release as a final version of Windows 10 (version 21H2). However, since releases at this readiness level are still pre-releases, this release still includes unknown issues.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that modifying an installation of Windows 10 can negatively impact your current setup. We recommend that you create a temporary backup before proceeding as a precaution.

To enroll a device in the Windows Insider program to download the May 2021 update before everyone else, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update and security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.
  4. Click it To start button.

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click on Link an account.

    Microsoft account linkSource: Windows Central

  6. Select your Microsoft account from the list.
  7. Click it To continue button.
  8. In the “Choose your insider settings” section, select the Release Preview Channel option.

    Subscribe to version previewSource: Windows Central

  9. Click it To confirm button.
  10. Click it To confirm button once more to agree to the terms.

    Inside informationSource: Windows Central

  11. Click it Restart now button.

    Complete the Insider setupSource: Windows Central

  12. Open Settings.
  13. Click on Update and security.
  14. Click on Windows Update.
  15. Click it Check for updates button.

    Windows 10 checks version 21H1Source: Windows Central

  16. If the computer is eligible to run Windows 11, click the button Stay on Windows 10 for now option.

    Stay on Windows 10 for nowSource: Windows Central

  17. Click the Check for Updates button (if applicable) again.
  18. In the “Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H2” section, click the button Download and install option to trigger the upgrade.
  19. If the computer is not compatible with Windows 11, under the “Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H2” section, click the button Download and install option to trigger the upgrade.
  20. Click it Restart now button.

After you complete the steps, the November 2021 update (build 19044.1288 or higher) will install on the computer. If you already had version 21H1, 20H2, or 2004, the installation process will be as quick as a monthly update. However, if you plan to upgrade from the November 2019 update or earlier, the process will require a full reinstallation.

Disable the Windows Insider program

After installing the November 2021 update, you can opt out of the device to stop receiving previews for the next version of Windows.

To opt out of the Insider program for free, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update and security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.
  4. In the “Stop getting preview versions” section, enable At the toggle switch.

    Stop preview builds after version 21H2Source: Windows Central

Once you have completed the steps and Windows 10 November 2021 Update is officially released, the computer will be removed from the program smoothly and will continue to receive updates as long as the version is supported.

How to install Windows 10 November 2021 update via ISO file

Alternatively, Microsoft has already released the Windows 11 November 2021 update ISO file which intends to ship when the feature update is officially available.

You can download and use the ISO file to upgrade any computer that meets the requirements. However, regardless of the version installed on the computer, this process will perform a complete reinstallation, which is usually unnecessary on a device running version 2004 or higher.

To upgrade a computer to the Windows 10 November 2021 update, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Insider Preview Downloads page.
  2. Connect with your Microsoft account.
  3. Under “Select”, click on the button Windows 10 Insider Preview – Build 19044.1288 option.

    Windows 10 version 21H2 final previewSource: Windows Central

  4. Click it To confirm button.
  5. Select the product language (for example, English).
  6. Click it To confirm button.
  7. Click it 64-bit download to save the Windows 10 ISO file to the computer.

    Download Windows 10 November 2021 Iso UpdateSource: Windows Central

  8. Open File Explorer.
  9. Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the ISO file.
  10. Right click on the Windows 10 ISO file and select it Rise option.

    File Explorer Mount Windows 10 ISOSource: Windows Central

  11. Open the installation media in the left navigation pane.
  12. Double click on the Setup.exe file to begin the upgrade process.

    Installing Windows 10 21h2 IsoSource: Windows Central

  13. Click it Next button.

    Windows 10 November 20210 update update setup ISOSource: Windows Central

  14. Click it I accept button to accept the conditions.
  15. Click it To install button if you are upgrading to a new version and want to keep your files and apps.

    Upgrade ISO File to Windows 10 November 2021 UpdateSource: Windows Central

If you plan to boot with a fresh configuration, you can use the ISO file to create a bootable USB (with Rufus) that you can use to boot the device and perform a fresh install.

Once the steps are completed, the upgrade process will begin and after installation, since this is an upgrade, you will not need to go through the out-of-the-box experience ( OOBE).

More Windows 10 resources

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

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Steven L. Nielsen

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