Windows 10 Update Assistant

If your Windows computer's version of Windows 10 is not version "20H2," "21H1," or "21H2," it is no longer supported and your computer is vulnerable. The following instructions are for using the Windows 10 Update Assistant, when the Windows Settings "Update & Security" console is not offering a "Feature update" to Windows 10 version "21H2." Microsoft Windows 10 end-of-support date is currently October 2025.

NOTE: Completing these first several steps will only take 1-2 minutes but the whole process could take up to 2-3 hours, most of which will not require hands on the computer. Please do not start this process if the computer is needed sooner than that.
Before starting the upgrade process:
  1. As a precaution, back up any important files stored on the computer to Box or some another storage solution, besides the local drive on the computer you are updating.

  2. The computer will still be available for the first 20-30 minutes after starting Step 7, below.

  3. Connect the computer to a WiFi or Ethernet network and do not interrupt this until the steps, below have been completed.

  4. If updating a laptop, connect the device to power and do not disconnect until this process is finished.
Download and install the Windows 10 Update Assistant: 
  1. In a browser, go to https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/windows-10-update-assistant-3550dfb2-a015-7765-12ea-fba2ac36fb3f

  2. In the first paragraph, click on the blue-font "download the Update Assistant" which will open a new browser tab.



  3. On the resulting page, click the blue "Update now" button which will initiate a download of a file called, "Windows10Upgrade9252.exe"
    (A Microsoft Edge offer will likely drop down from the top. Please ignore it after it appears)
    Second step is to click the update now button


  4. Find "Windows10Upgrade9252.exe" in your Downloads folder (or wherever it was saved) and double-click to run it.

  5. The program will bring up this console; click the Update Now button at the lower right.
    The Windows 10 Update Assistant's first page


  6. The next page will confirm the computer is eligible for the upgrade; click "Next"
    Confirming the computer is compatible for the operating system upgrade


  7. Windows 10 Update Assistant will now display a percentage completed for three processes. Click "Minimize" to hide this screen and continue working and/or saving files in preparation for the lengthy restarting process which will begin in about 25-45 minutes.
    Optional: click the minimize button


  8. When the status at the upper left says, "Step 3 of 3: Installing" and it gets to 100%, that status indicator will change to a countdown clock for 30 minutes. If the computer is not restarted within that time period, Windows will restart itself after the countdown. The "Restart later" button can also be clicked if there is still file saving or other work to be done before proceeding.
    Restart now option


  9. After clicking "Restart now" or letting the restart happen on its own, the computer will log off and go through a lengthy series of installation processes and restarts. It is important not to interrupt these processes. This will take about an hour or more, depending on the computer. Keep the computer plugged in to power and connected to a network.

  10. When the process is finished, the lock screen where one logs in to the computer with a campus NetID and password will appear. That first log on after these steps will take about a minute before the desktop is displayed and the computer is ready to be used.
Note:

If the installation process fails, messages will appear saying so. In that case, the Windows Settings > Update & Security console will have to first be used to update to another supported version. This issue is relatively rare, usually only happening when upgrading extremely old versions of Windows 10, especially "Version 1607." If the computer is running 1607 or other problems occur, please email us at helpdesk@business.illinois.edu.