Windows 10 lifecycle
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Windows 10 lifecycle details

Learn when the lifecycle of each version of Windows 10 begins and when Microsoft stops supporting it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, or any other version, they all have a lifecycle. This cycle begins when the product is first made available to the public, and it ends when Microsoft stops supporting it. Being aware of the lifecycle of a product, in this case Windows 10, is useful to know when to update and upgrade.

In the case of Windows 10, feature updates are released twice a year through the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC), which is governed by the new Modern Lifecycle Policy. This new policy simply means that the operating system is offered as a service, it’s serviced and supported continuously, and it’s never considered a complete product.

As long as you’re using the current version with a genuine license, Windows 10 will remain supported. Microsoft maintains a version (feature update) for at least 18 months since it was first released to the public, and during this time, you want to continuously install cumulative updates (quality updates) to keep your device secure and to receive fixes. Usually, you want to install the latest version before the version you’re running reaches its end of service.

Windows 10 version historyOfficial nameDate of availabilityEnd of service
Windows 10, version 1809In development (TBD)October 2018TBD
Windows 10, version 1803April 2018 UpdateApril 30, 2018November 12, 2019
Windows 10, version 1709Fall Creators UpdateOctober 17, 2017April 9, 2019
Windows 10, version 1703Creators UpdateApril 5, 2017October 9, 2018
Windows 10, version 1607Anniversary UpdateAugust 2, 2016April 10, 2018
Windows 10, version 1511November UpdateNovember 10, 2015October 10, 2017
Windows 10, version 1507Initial ReleaseJuly 29, 2015May 9, 2017

Depending of the edition of Windows 10 installed on your computer, it’s possible to defer feature updates using the Windows Update advanced options. While this option is meant for organizations, anyone can delay a new feature update, typically, to avoid errors and other problems that are known to appear during the early days.

Windows 10 downloads and installs cumulative and feature updates automatically, but if you don’t know the version you’re running there are a number of ways you can check and figure out if you need to upgrade to stay supported.

If you’re running Windows 10 Enterprise or Education edition for version 1511, 1607, 1703 and 1709, Microsoft is expending to support for an additional six months after the original end of service date.

Also, if you’re running Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) editions, then the lifecycle is a lot different. Windows 10 LTSB is perhaps the best edition if you’re not into feature updates. They’re editions supported for up to 10 years, there’s not bloatware, and they don’t get feature updates.

Windows 10 version historyDate of availabilityMainstream support end dateExtended support end date
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB
August 2, 2016October 12, 2021October 13, 2026
Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSB
July 29, 2015October 13, 2020October 14, 2025

Windows 10 LTSB is an option for Windows 10 Enterprise, and it’s only available for Volume License customers, or with an MSDN subscription.