Windows 11 is the latest operating system for Microsoft, with the 21H2 and 22H2 versions being its two most recent updates. This post from MiniTool provides details about Windows 21H2 vs 22H2. Now, keep on your reading.

Windows 11 22H2 is the latest feature update for Windows 11. It contains all the features and fixes from cumulative updates before Windows 11 21H2 (the original Windows 11 release). Some users want to get information about Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2.

Windows 11 21H2 was released on October 20, 2021, and it will reach the end of servicing on October 4, 2023. Windows 11 22H2 was released on September 20, 2022, and according to Microsoft, it will end its support on October 8, 2024.

In the next part, you can see the differences between Windows 11 21H2 and 22H2 in 8 aspects.

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22h2: Start Menu

Windows 11 22H2 now supports additional CSPs (configuration service providers) for customizing the layout of the Start menu. These CSPs allow you to hide the application list and disable the context menu. In other words, you can manage the recommended apps in the Start menu with the Settings app by yourself in Windows 11 22H2.

manage the recommended apps in the Start menu

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: Tabbed File Explorer

Windows 11 22H2 increased the tabbed File Explorer. This feature allows you to view multiple folders and documents at the same time, making it easier to compare, organize and browse. Besides, Windows 11 22H2 also refreshes the layout of the left navigation pane.

File Explorer in Windows 22 H2 as the following picture:

File Explorer in Windows 22 H2

File Explorer in Windows 11 21H2 as the following picture:

File Explorer in Windows 11 21H2

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: New Task Manager

The second aspect of Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2 is Task Manager. Windows 11 21H2 still uses the classic Task Manager.

Windows 11 22H2 Task Manager added a new command bar to each page for easy access to common actions and it will automatically match the system-wide theme configured in Windows Settings. Besides, it added efficiency mode, allowing you to limit resource usage of processes. You can have an updated user experience for Task Manager!

Task Manager in Windows 11 22H2:

Task Manager in Windows 11 22H2

Task Manager in Windows 11 21H2:

Task Manager in Windows 11 21H2
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Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: Phone Link App Supports iOS

Windows 11 21H2 only supports Phone Link with Andriod devices. Windows 11 22H2 supports your Android and iOS devices connecting with the Phone Link app, which provides more control and flexibility. The app allows you to quickly transfer data from one device to another. It also offers support for multiple accounts, allowing you to access all of your accounts from one place.

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Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: Encryption

Windows 11 22H2 provides better encryption than Windows 11 21H2 and it keeps your information more safe from malicious actors. It has a new feature called Personal Data Encryption (PDE), which differs from BitLocker since it encrypts individual files rather than entire volumes and disks.

PDE leverages Windows Hello for Business to link data encryption keys with user credentials and minimize the number of credentials users must remember.

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: Security

Windows 11 22H2 not only provides a secure connection between two devices running different operating systems but also offers several other security features designed to protect user data.

  1. Microsoft Pluton is a chip-to-cloud security technology that provides a hardware-based root of trust, secure identity, secure attestation, and encryption services.
  2. Enhanced phishing protection in Microsoft Defender SmartScreen helps protect school or work passwords from phishing attacks and insecure usage on websites and apps.
  3. Windows Defender Application Guard stops potentially malicious applications before they can cause any damage, enhancing significant protection against malware.
  4. Windows 11 22H2 supports additional protection for the Local Security Authority (LSA) process to prevent code injection that could compromise credentials.

Related post: New Security Features in Windows 11 22H2: Data Protection Matters

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: HEVC Support

Starting with Windows 11 22H2, it support High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). You can play HEVC videos in any video app on your Windows 11 device.

HEVC is designed to take advantage of hardware capabilities on some newer devices to support 4K and Ultra HD content. For devices without HEVC video hardware support, software support is available, but playback experience may vary depending on video resolution and device performance.

Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2: Other Features

There are some other improvements on Windows 22H2.

  1. Windows 11 22H2 allows you to block user notifications for Windows Update during active hours. This setting is especially useful for educational organizations that want to prevent Windows Update notifications from appearing during school hours.
  2. Organization names are now displayed in Windows Update notifications when Windows clients are associated with an Azure Active Directory tenant.
  3. Students can deploy educational themes to their devices on Windows 22 H2. Sticker is also a new feature that allows students to decorate their desktops with digital stickers. Students can choose from over 500 cheerful and educationally appropriate number stickers. Stickers can be arranged, resized, and customized on the desktop background.
  4. Windows 11 22H2 includes other improvements for people with disabilities: system-wide Live Caption, Focus Conversation, Voice Access, and a more natural Narrator voice.

Should You Update Windows 11 21H2 to 22H2?

Should you update Windows 11 from 21H2 to 22H2? According to Microsoft, it’s recommended you update your Windows to the latest version (22H2) since Windows 11 22H2 is stable and provides better security. However, some unknown issues may happen in Windows 11 22H2 such as File Explorer search history not showing, the system becoming slow after the update, and more.

Thus, you can make the decision based on your actual needs.

If you decide to upgrade from Windows 11 21H2 to 22H2, you had better back up your system in advance since you can restore the PC to the previous state with the backup when you don’t want to use Windows 22 H2 or encounter some issues. Besides, if you want to roll back to Windows 11 21H2 after 10 days, the PC system backup can do you a favor.

Back up Your System in Advance

To finish the task, you can try Minitool ShadowMaker Free. It supports backing up systems, files, folders, disks, and partitions on Windows 11/10/8/7. Besides, it supports syncing files & folders and cloning disks. Now, you can download its Trial Edition to back up your system.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

1. After downloading and installing MiniTool ShadowMaker, double-click the exe file to run it to enter the main interface.

2. Go to the Backup tab and you can see the system has been selected by default in the SOURCE part. Then, you just need to click the DESTINATION part to choose a location to store your backup. It’s highly recommended to choose the external hard drive as the backup destination.

choose a location to store your backup

3. Then, you can click the Options button to set some advanced settings.

  • Backup Options: You can compress your backup files, choose the image creation mode, set the password for your image, etc.
  • Backup Scheme: There are 3 ways – full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup.
  • Backup Settings: You can set the automatic backup – daily, weekly, monthly, and on event.
the backup settings

4. Then, you can click Back Up Now to start the backup task immediately or click Back Up Later to delay the task. If you choose Back Up Later, you can find and start the task in the Manage tab.

5. When the backup process finishes, you can go to Tools > Media Builder to create a bootable media. Once your system can’t boot, you can restore your system to the normal state with the media.

click Media Builder

Update Windows 11 21H2 to 22H2

Here are two ways for you to update Windows 21H2 to 22H2. Before starting, you need to check if your Windows 11 is compatible with 22H2.

Way 1: Via Windows Update

1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.

2. Click Windows Update from the left menu and click Check for updates.

3. Check if there is a “Windows 11, version 22H2 is available” message. If yes, you can click the Download & install button to start the installation.

Way 2: Via Windows 11 22H2 ISO File

If there is no “Windows 11 22H2 is available” message on Windows Update, you can choose to update to Windows 22H2 via the ISO file. Follow the below guide:

1. Go to the Microsoft official website to download the Windows 11 22H2 ISO file.

2. Under the Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) section, choose Windows 11 and click Download.

3. Then, click the drop-down menu to choose Windows 11(multi-edition ISO for x64 devices).

4. Choose a language to continue and click the 64-bit Download button to get the ISO file.

download Windows 11 22H2 ISO file

5. Find the Windows 11 22H2 ISO file and right-click it to choose Mount.

6. Then, click the setup.exe file to get Windows 11 Setup interface. Just start an update by following the instructions on the screen.

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Can You Downgrade Windows 11 22H2 to 21H2?

Can you downgrade Windows 11 22H2 to 21H2? The answer is Yes! Windows gives you an option for an update rollback that is only available 10 days after the update/installation.

If you have upgraded to Windows 11 22H2 and the period is still within 10 days. See how to downgrade Windows 11 22H2 to 21H2/Windows 10:

Note: Before you downgrade Windows 11 22H2 to 21H2, you should back up your important files, especially the files on the desktop to avoid data loss. To do this task, MiniTool ShadowMaker can also help you to back up your critical data.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Here are the steps for downgrading Windows 11 22H2 to 21H2.

1.  Press the Windows + I keys together to open the Settings page.

2. Go to System > Recovery and click the Go back button under the Recovery options section.

3. Choose the reason for uninstalling Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2) and click Next to continue.

4. When you are asked to check for updates again, click No, thanks.

5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the rest steps. Once the operations are finished, your Windows will be reverted to Windows 11 21H2.

Bottom Line

This post has introduced Windows 11 21H2 vs 22H2 in 8 aspects. Besides, you can know how to update Windows 11 21H2 to 22H2 and how to downgrade Windows 22H2 to 21H2. Before you perform the actions, you had better back up your important data or the whole system with MiniTool software. I hope that this post can be useful to you.

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