Windows 10 May 2021 Update (21H1) is now available -- here's what's new and how to get it
Three weeks ago, Microsoft began preparing the Windows 10 May 2021 Update (21H1) for release, offering it initially to Insiders in the Release Preview Channel.
Today, the company makes the feature update available to non-Insiders, starting with those running Windows 10 version 2004 or later. As is the case these days, Microsoft is throttling availability so it may not be offered to you immediately, and compatibility issues could play a part in how long you have to wait.
If you are running Windows 10 version 2004 or later and want to install the update you can go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for updates. If the update appears there you can choose to Download and install it.
As is always the case, it’s worth holding off doing so to avoid any potential major issues, but if you’re prepared to take the risk the update should download and install relatively quickly.
As to what’s new in this release, the answer is nothing too major, with the focus mainly on improving remote working.
- Windows Hello multi-camera support. For devices with a built-in camera and an external camera, Windows Hello would previously use the built-in camera to authenticate the user, while apps such as Microsoft Teams were set to use the external camera. In Windows 10, version 21H1, Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business now default to the external camera when both built-in and external Windows Hello-capable cameras are present on the device. When multiple cameras are available on the same device, Windows Hello will prioritize as follows:
- SecureBio camera
- External FrameServer camera with IR + Color sensors
- Internal FrameServer camera with IR + Color sensors
- External camera with IR only sensor
- Internal camera with IR only sensor
- Sensor Data Service or other old cameras
- Microsoft Defender Application Guard enhancements. With Windows 10, version 21H1, end users can now open files faster while Application Guard checks for possible security concerns.
- Security updates. Windows 10, version 21H1 provides security updates for Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Apps, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Office Media, Windows Fundamentals, Windows Cryptography, the Windows AI Platform, Windows Kernel, Windows Virtualization, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media.
- Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvements to support remote work scenarios. When an administrator would make changes to user or computer group membership, these changes would propagate slowly. Although the access token eventually updates, the changes would not be reflected in a troubleshooting scenario when the gpresult /r or gpresult /h commands were executed. This was especially experienced in remote work scenarios and has been addressed.