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Windows 10: A guide to the updates

In mid-October, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 10 version 20H2, known as the October 2020 Update. But the launch of a major Windows 10 update isn’t the end of a process — it’s really just the beginning. As soon as one of Microsoft’s twice-yearly feature updates is released, the company quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we’ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to version 20H2, with the most recent updates on top. Next come updates to version 2004, known as the May 2020 Update; then updates to version 1909, the November 2019 Update; and so on. For each build, we’ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it.

Note that Microsoft has not yet begun actively pushing Windows 10 20H2 to most users, so you may not be on it yet. (To find out what version you’re on, click Start > Settings (the gear icon) > System, and on the left side at the bottom, click About.) You can seek out and install the release on your PC, but why rush things? In fact, we recommend keeping 20H2 off your machine for now to avoid any bugs that may crop up with the new release.

If you’re looking for information about Insider Program previews for upcoming feature releases of Windows 10, see “Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds.” And if you’re still using an earlier version of Windows, see the Microsoft support site for details about updates to Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 version 1607 / Windows Server 2016.

Updates to the October 2020 Update (version 20H2)

KB4598242 (OS Build 19042.746)

Release date: January 12, 2021

This build fixes a variety of security vulnerabilities, including one with HTTPS-based intranet servers, and a security bypass vulnerability in the way the Printer Remote Procedure Call (RPC) binding handles authentication for the remote Winspool interface.

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