Download and install the latest update for Windows 11

ByLance T. Lee

Sep 9, 2021

The wait is finally over – Windows 11 is here as Microsoft officially launched the Insider Preview program for the next generation of Windows. The company is also rolling out several updates in addition to the base version of Windows 11 for possible deployment through the stable channel. This article will serve as the central repository of Knowledge Base (KB) articles and download links for all Windows 11 related updates, including both Insider Preview and stable releases.

Contents:

Glossary

Windows Updates are compressed in a special archive file format called Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) that supports embedded digital certificates used to maintain the integrity of the archive. When published via Microsoft Update Catalog, Microsoft often encapsulates them in the MSU (Microsmany times Uupdate).

Windows Update MSU CAB

The internal structure of an MSU package

The primary focus of this index is on cumulative updates (also known as monthly rollups), which include both security and reliability updates bundled together. Since they are cumulative in nature, the latest rollup package has the ability to update the target version of Windows to the latest version regardless of the previous version number.

In some cases, it may be necessary to apply a servicing stack update (SSU) before installing the latest cumulative update (CU). The servicing stack is the code that installs other operating system updates, so Microsoft typically bundles them with CUs before releasing a stand-alone MSU package. Power users or system administrators may still prefer to deal with the CAB variant to facilitate deployment. In this case, always install / integrate the SSU before engaging with the CU.

Microsoft also provides CUs for the .NET Framework portion of the Windows operating system. Unlike SSU, they are distributed separately from regular CUs.

Windows Feature Experience Pack is another type of update that provides new feature enhancements to customers outside of major Windows feature updates.

This is followed by dynamic updates (DU) for the Windows configuration engine. They are automatically downloaded and applied on the fly in order to repair Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), installation binaries, or any files used by Windows installation for feature updates. However, we have decided not to include them in this index in order to avoid clutter.

To get a clear idea of ​​Windows Update terminology, see the article on types of Windows updates. Keep in mind that a cross-OS update (e.g. from Windows 10 to Windows 11) or inter-build (e.g. from Windows 10 November 2019 Update / Build 18363 to May 2020 Update / Build 19041) is a much more complex scenario. Microsoft manages these upgrade paths by using the Unified Update Platform (UUP), the details of which are not part of this tutorial.


Windows 11 Build Index

Build number 22000

Cumulative update for .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8

How to install these versions of Windows 11

CAB Packages

To install a CAB update package, you must use a built-in system utility called Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM). The command line syntax should be as follows:

dism /online /add-package /packagepath:

Installing Windows 11 DISM CAB

CAB and PSF packages

Since Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21382Microsoft has made a significant change to the format of the Latest Cumulative Update (LCU). Therefore, the end user cannot directly use the CAB file. To install using the integrated update module, the Patch storage files (PSF) must be present. This is the exact reason why one can find PSF files corresponding to each LCU in the UUP dump of Windows 11. In the case of an online installation, Windows Update only downloads and generates the PSFX payloads (PSF Express) missing, while the CAB package only contains manifests.

However, DISM alone cannot handle PSF packages, which means we have to combine PSF and CAB files manually before we try to install them offline. Fortunately, there is an open source tool named PSFX reconditioning for this job.

  • Extract the archive of the PSFX Repack tool to a folder with a short path (like “D: PSFX_Repack “).
  • Download the CAB and PSF files corresponding to the LCU and move them to the aforementioned folder.
  • To run repack_psfx.cmd to generate the combined CAB file.

Windows LCU PSFX Repack

  • Use DISM to install the latest CAB SSU first, then the resulting CAB LCU file.

LCU PSFX Repack install DISM

MSU Packages

The MSU variant, on the other hand, is somewhat self-contained in nature as one can simply double-click on it to install the package. Note that DISM can also install MSU files.

Once the installation is complete, you will be prompted to restart the PC for the changes to take effect.

Verification

The Windows 11 Settings app provides an option to display the list of updates installed on your PC. Here’s how to get there.

  • Open Settings and click on Windows Update.
  • Click / tap on “Update history”.

Windows 11 settings update history page

The good old “Programs and Features” applet in the classic Control Panel can also show you the list of installed updates.

  • Right click on Start, click on Run.
  • Type appwiz.cpl and click OK. This opens the Programs and Features in the Classic Control Panel.
  • Click the View installed updates link on the left side. This shows you the list of updates along with the install date column.

Windows 11 Control Panel installed updates

If the command line is your thing, you can also opt for DISM or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMIC). You must run the command from an elevated instance of Windows Terminal.

dism /online /get-packages /format:table | findstr "Package_for"

Windows 11 DISM updates installed

wmic qfe

Windows 11 WMIC installed updates

We hope this article not only serves as a common update index for Windows 11, but also provides general installation instructions that may be useful for other versions of Windows as well. We’ll update this guide with links to newer versions of Windows, so check back later!


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