We know that Windows 10 is the last edition of Windows. That is easy, but new versions of Windows 10 pop up for download and installation each year. We’ve had Windows 10 with Anniversary Update, November 2019 Update, October 2020 Update, and many other feature updates. What do all these names mean? How do you check the Windows 10 version that you have? How do you know what edition of Windows 10 you use, what build, or what type? Read this guide to make sense of Windows 10 versions, build numbers, and more:
This method works the same no matter what version of Windows 10 you have: use the search box near the Start button, type winver and click or tap the search result with the same name.
Alternatively, press the Windows + R keys to bring up the Run window, type winver, and press Enter or click or tap OK.
This command opens About Windows, where you see your Windows 10 version followed by the OS Build and the Windows 10 edition. For example, here is a PC with Windows 10 Pro and October 2020 Update installed. The version is 20H2, and the OS Build version is 19042.630.
Here is another one with Windows 10 Home and October 2018 Update. The version is 1809, and the OS Build is 17763.379.
Is all this data confusing? Continue reading this tutorial to make sense of the Windows 10 version numbers, the OS Build, the Windows 10 edition you have, and so on.
This method works in all versions of Windows 10, but things look different, depending on the specific Windows 10 version that you have. First, open the Settings app (the quickest way is to press Windows + I on the keyboard) and go to System.
On the left, scroll to the bottom and choose About. On the right, you see information about your system. The amount of information you see differs depending on the Windows 10 version that you have. Identify the Device specifications and Windows specifications sections. There, you get to see the data that interests you:
- System type - it tells you whether you use a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10
- Edition - it shares the edition of Windows 10 that you have: Pro, Home, Enterprise, Education, etc.
- Version - displays the version of Windows 10 that is installed
- OS Build - see the Windows 10 build number that you use
These lines are positioned differently, depending on the version of Windows 10 that you are using. For example, here is how the About section looks in the Windows 10 November Update from 2015. The lines we mentioned exist here too, but in different positions.
Now that you have some data about the Windows 10 version, OS Build, edition, and system type, let’s make sense of it:
We are not going to have Windows 11, or Windows 12, as we did in the past with Windows 7 or Windows 8. However, Microsoft keeps updating Windows 10, and, alongside the traditional security patches and fixes, it releases two major feature updates each year. These feature updates have a specific version, a marketing name (like Creators Update, or October 2020 Update), and come with new features, new apps, significant changes, and so on. As a result, Windows 10 has evolved a lot since it was first released in July 2015. If you know the version number, here is how it translates into feature updates:
- 1507 - The initial release of Windows 10, released in July 2015, codenamed Threshold 1.
- 1511 - The first significant update for Windows 10 was released in November 2015, called November Update, and was codenamed Threshold 2.
- 1607 - The second major update, also called the Anniversary Update for Windows 10. It was released a year after the initial release of Windows 10 in July 2016. It was codenamed Redstone 1.
- 1703 - The third major update, also called Creators Update for Windows 10. It was released in April 2017 and codenamed Redstone 2.
- 1709 - The fourth major update, also called Fall Creators Update for Windows 10. It was released in October 2017 and codenamed Redstone 3.
- 1803 - The fifth major update is named April 2018 Update for Windows 10. It was codenamed Redstone 4 and released in April 2018.
- 1809 - The sixth major update for Windows 10 is named October 2018 Update for Windows 10. It was codenamed Redstone 5, and it was released in October 2018.
- 1903 - The seventh major update for Windows 10. It is named May 2019 Update for Windows 10, and its codename is 19H1. The "19" stands for the year in which the update is released, and the "H1" stands for the first update of that year. You can learn more about this codename change here.
- 1909 - The eight major update for Windows 10, codenamed 19H2. It was named November 2019 Update and fittingly began rolling out on November 12, 2019.
- 2004 - The ninth update to Windows 10, codenamed 20H1. It was named May 2020 Update and released later than other similar updates, on May 27, 2020.
- 20H2 or 2009 - The tenth major update for Windows 10, codenamed 20H2. It was named October 2020 Update and released on October 20, 2020. Nice symmetry, isn’t it?
- 21H1 - The eleventh major update for Windows 10. It is expected to be made available in May 2021.
You can have one of the following editions of Windows 10 installed on your computer or device:
- Home - the most used edition of Windows 10. It is designed for home users and new devices that are sold in the retail space. It includes only consumer-oriented features and lacks business features like BitLocker encryption or virtualization.
- Pro - this version adds features for small business environments and power users like BitLocker device encryption, kiosk mode setup, Active Directory support, and more.
- Enterprise - provides all the Windows 10 Pro features, with additional features to assist network administrators and technology-oriented companies.
- Enterprise LTSC - the long-term servicing channel of Windows 10 Enterprise, is released once every two or three years. It is supported with security updates for ten years after each version.
- Education - initially, it had the same features as Windows 10 Enterprise, and it was designed for academic organizations. Since Fall Creators Update released in October 2017, its feature set has been lowered.
- Pro Education - a special edition of Windows 10 for the educational sector. It includes a “Set Up School PCs” app that allows provisioning settings through a USB flash drive. It does not have Cortana, Microsoft Store suggestions, or Windows Spotlight.
- Pro for Workstations - this edition is designed for high-end hardware, intensive computing tasks, and the latest server processors and file systems.
- S - a feature-limited mode of Windows 10, designed for retail and education. Its most important limitation is that you cannot install desktop apps unless they are distributed through the Microsoft Store. Also, Microsoft Edge is enforced as the default web browser with Bing as its search engine. Any Windows 10 edition can be run in S mode.
- IoT - this edition is designed for low-cost devices like Raspberry Pi and specialized machines, like robots, ATMs, POS terminals, barcode scanners, and so on. There are two editions of Windows 10 IoT: IoT Enterprise and IoT Core.
The OS Build number changes with the updates that you install while using Windows 10. To help you understand, let’s take the following situation:
When Windows 10 October 2018 Update was released, it had the version number 1809, and the OS build 17763.1. After the first update to Windows 10, the OS Build changed to 17763.55, while the version number remained the same. After the most recent update to Windows 10, launched in October 2020, the build number has become 19042.630.
The OS build number changes with each update made by Microsoft to Windows 10. This information is useful for troubleshooting purposes. For example, when you encounter a bug and talk to a tech support engineer, the OS Build is critical for understanding the exact version of Windows 10 that you use and what updates are necessary to fix the problem you have. You can learn more about the evolution of Windows 10 build numbers from this Windows 10 release information.
This piece of information only tells you whether Windows 10 is using the 32-bit or 64-bit register of the processor. Modern processors tend to be 64-bit, and their advantage is that they can process a lot more data than 32-bit processors. In most cases, Windows 10 should be 64-bit, and that is a good thing.
Now you know how to check the Windows 10 version that you have and translate it. Before closing this article, comment below, and share your Windows 10 version, edition, and build number. We are curious to know which are the most popular versions and editions with our readers.