Haven’t got round to installing Windows 11 23H2 yet? You’ll soon be forced to get the latest update

The 23H2 update is coming, whether you're ready or not, for those holdouts who have yet to upgrade their Windows 11 installation from 22H2 (or indeed 21H2).

Tom’s Hardware noticed that Microsoft updated its Windows 11 23H2 status document to let users know what’s happening, and that eligible Windows 11 devices will be automatically upgraded to version 23H2.

That means you’ll have no choice in the matter, of course. Updating to Windows 11 23H2 is mandatory at this point, with the caveat that this automatic upgrade process may not come to your PC all that soon.

Microsoft uses AI to “safely roll out this new Windows version in phases to deliver a smooth update experience,” and therefore some PC configurations may find it’s still a while before they have 23H2 foisted on them.

Alternatively, you may find the upgrade is piped to your machine imminently. It’s a roll of the hardware (and software) configuration dice, in short.

Analysis: Staying safe

Automatic upgrades being forced on Windows users is nothing new, of course. This happens whenever an update has been around for a good deal of time, and Microsoft feels everyone who is running an older version of Windows 11 (or Windows 10) needs to step up and move away from it (because it’s running out of road for support, or indeed has run out).

Regarding Windows 21H2 users (the original version of the OS), you may be thinking – didn’t they already get forced to upgrade to 22H2? Yes, they did. So why are some folks still on 21H2 then? Well, there may be a small niche of users remaining on 21H2 as anomalies, basically (we spotted a couple on Reddit), and they will be transferred direct to 23H2 instead. (Hopefully, anyway – though it’s possible that not having been offered an upgrade at all so far could be the result of a bug).

Microsoft needs to push upgrades like this for security reasons. If a Windows 11 user remains on an unsupported version, they won’t get monthly security updates, which is bad news of course – their PC could be vulnerable to exploits. Hence the big updates become mandatory eventually.

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