IT tools to support Windows 10, version 21H1

Published May 18 2021 10:13 AM 224K Views

Windows 10, version 21H1 is now available through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Windows Update for Business, and can be downloaded today from Visual Studio Subscriptions, the Software Download Center (via Update Assistant or the Media Creation Tool), and the Volume Licensing Service Center[1]. Today also marks the start of the 18-month servicing timeline for this H1 (first half of the calendar year) Semi-Annual Channel release.

Windows 10, version 21H1 (also referred to as the Windows 10 May 2021 Update) offers a scoped set of improvements in the areas of security, remote access, and quality to ensure that your organization and your end users stay protected and productive. Just as we did for devices updating from Windows 10, version 2004 to version 20H2, we will be delivering Windows 10, version 21H1 via an enablement package to devices running version 2004 or version 20H2—resulting in a fast installation experience for users of those devices. For those updating to Windows 10, version 21H1 from Windows 10, version 1909 and earlier, the process will be similar to previous updates.

Jump to: What is an enablement package?   |  Tools   |  Resources   |  Features to explore   |  Deployment recommendations   |  Office hours 

What is an enablement package?

Simply put, an enablement package is a great option for installing a scoped feature update like Windows 10, version 21H1 as it enables devices to update with a single restart, reducing downtime. This works because Windows 10, version 21H1 shares a common core operating system with an identical set of system files with versions 2004 and 20H2. As a result, the scoped set of features in version 21H1 were included in the May 2021 monthly quality updates for version 2004 and version 20H2, but were delivered in a disabled/dormant state. These features remain dormant until they are turned on with the Windows 10, version 21H1 enablement package—a small, quick to install “switch” that activates these features. Using an enablement package, installing the Windows 10, version 21H1 update should take approximately the same amount of time as a monthly quality update.

Note: If you are connected to WSUS and running Windows 10, version 2004 or version 20H2, but have not installed the May 2021 updates (or later), you will not see the version 21H1 enablement package offered to your device. Devices running version 2004 or version 20H2 connecting directly to Windows Update will be able to install the enablement package, but will also install the Latest Cumulative Update (LCU) at the same time (if needed), which may increase the overall installation time slightly.

Which tools are being updated for version 21H1?

To support the release of Windows 10, version 21H1, we have released updated versions of the following tools:

What about other tools?

As Windows 10, version 21H1 shares a common core and an identical set of system files with version 2004 and 20H2, the following tools do not need to be updated to work with version 21H1:

  • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 10, version 2004 –Customize Windows images for large-scale deployment or test the quality and performance of your system, added components, and applications with tools like the User State Migration Tool, Windows Performance Analyzer, Windows Performance Recorder, Window System Image Manager (SIM), and the Windows Assessment Toolkit.
  • Windows PE add-on for the Windows ADK, version 2004 – Small operating system used to install, deploy, and repair Windows 10 for desktop editions (Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education). (Note: Prior to Windows 10, version 1809, WinPE was included in the ADK. Starting with Windows 10, version 1809, WinPE is an add-on. Install the ADK first, then install the WinPE add-ons to start working with WinPE.)

Any resources being updated?

To support Windows 10, version 21H1, we are updating the key resources you rely on to effectively manage and deploy updates in your organization, including:

  • Windows release health hub – The quickest way to stay up to date on update-related news, announcements, and best practices; important lifecycle reminders, and the status of known issues and safeguard holds.
  • Windows 10 release information – A list of current Windows 10 versions by servicing option along with release dates, build numbers, end of service dates, and release history.
  • Windows 10, version 21H1 update history – A list of all updates (monthly and out-of-band) released for Windows 10, version 21H1 sorted in reverse chronological order.

New features to explore

As noted above, Windows 10, version 21H1 offers a scoped set of features focused on the core experiences that you rely on the most as you support both in person and remote workforces. Here are the highlights for commercial organizations:

  • 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.

What else have we been up to?

Aside from Windows 10, version 21H1, we’ve been busy with other new, exciting features and solutions that you may have heard about! (Note that some of these may require additional licensing or services.) Check out the links for details:

  • Passwordless authentication – Speaking of Windows Hello for Business, I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss our March announcement that passwordless authentication is now generally available for hybrid environments! This is a huge milestone in our zero-trust strategy, helping users and organizations stay secure with features like Temporary Access Pass.  
  • Windows Update for Business deployment service – Approve and schedule content approvals directly through a service-to-service architecture. Use Microsoft Graph APIs to gain rich control over the approval, scheduling, and protection of content delivered from Windows Update.
  • Expedite updates – Expediting a security update overrides Windows Update for Business deferral policies so that the update is installed as quickly as possible. This can be useful when critical security events arise and you need to deploy an update more rapidly than normal.
  • Known Issue Rollback – Quickly return an impacted device back to productive use if an issue arises during a Windows update. Known Issue Rollback supports non-security bug fixes, enabling us to quickly revert a single, targeted fix to a previously released behavior if a critical regression is discovered.
  • News and interests – For devices running Windows 10, version 1909 or later, news and interests in the taskbar enables users to easily see local weather and traffic as well as favorite stocks and the latest news on topics related to professional or personal interests. To learn how to manage news and interests via Group Policy or Microsoft Endpoint Manager, see Manage news and interests on the taskbar with policy,
  • Universal Print – Now generally available, Universal Print is ready for your business! Universal Print is the premier cloud-based printing solution, run entirely in Microsoft Azure, and requires no on-premises print infrastructure.
  • …and so much more! Follow the Windows IT Pro Blog (and @MSWindowsITPro on Twitter) to keep up-to-date on Windows announcements and new feature releases, and the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Blog (and @MSIntune on Twitter) for announcements and features new to Intune and Configuration Manager.

Deployment recommendations

With today’s release, you can begin targeted deployments of Windows 10, version 21H1 to validate that the apps, devices, and infrastructure used by your organization work as expected with the new features. If you will be updating devices used in remote or hybrid work scenarios, I recommend reading or revisiting Deploying a new version of Windows 10 in a remote world. For insight into our broader rollout strategy for this release, see John Cable's post, How to get the Windows 10 May 2021 Update.

If you need a refresher on Windows update fundamentals, see:

For step-by-step online learning to help you optimize your update strategy and deploy updates more quickly across your device estate, see:

To get an early peek at some of the new features before we release them, join the Windows Insider Program for Business! Insiders can test new deployment, management, and security features, and provide feedback before they become generally available. Learn about managing the installation of Windows 10 Insider builds across multiple devices and get started today!

Join us for Office Hours

And finally, make sure you join our monthly Windows Office Hours, where you can ask your deployment, servicing, and updating questions and get answers, support, and help from our broad team of experts. Submit questions live during the monthly one-hour event or post them in advance if that schedule does not work for your time zone. Our next event is Thursday, May 20, 2021 so add it to your calendar and join us!


[1] It may take a day for downloads to be fully available in the VLSC across all products, markets, and languages.

Super Contributor

This enablement package even for 2004 was another strong argument to keep using WSUS against a 3d party tool that is already used for patches. But it can't do enablement packages, so we are stuck with WSUS then :) Or we can skip Spring updates, but i wonder if 21H2 wouldn't have an enablement package for 20H2 as well :)

Senior Member

It'd be great if versions based on enablement packages would properly update the Windows Update Agent's build number to the latest build number. Machine running Windows 10 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 are all indistinguishable from one another in WSUS reports because of this, all showing as build 19041.x.  Same with 1903 and 1909 before, both showing as 18362.x.


Makes reporting an unnecessary hassle for standalone WSUS customers.


Super Contributor

I can't like your message more, but after a few years i don't believe MS is going to do anything about it. So, as much as i would like 21H2 to have also an enablement package, that would mean same build number in WSUS again. At least now as we skip 2004 it is 18xxx vs 19xxx when we update to 20H2 currently. We plan to skip 21H1 too probably.

Frequent Contributor

I have some questions on this very helpful article:


1. How / where can one download the enablement package MSU. Is this possible? Eventually why not? 


2. With the great success of enablement packages since 1903 will WSUS offer them preferably?

What happens if a device group has approved the upgrade "ESD" and an enablement package. 


3. The issue @Oleg K and @ajc196 discuss about WSUS OS version detection becomes more crucial every year.

The WAM PowerShell, paid and worth it subscription, offered by AJtek is able to fix this issue, and all other shortcomings with WSUS you can have from optimizing to database and cleanup etc. 


Why WSUS team claims this OS version detection issue is by design, based on the wuengine while it is technically possible to fix using the OS build which is also part of the WSUS data we have.


Microsoft pleas to use WuFB which is great but limited by OS version. 

It cannot manage old OS, it causes extra costs for reporting. 

Server and Clients are managed in entire different scopes, including reporting.


Even Server 2016 is recognized as Windows 10.0


When Server 2022 LTSC is released I suspect that even this won't be recognized correctly. 


4. Reports on twitter state that 21H1 still reports itself as OS Version 2009, only winver is not.


It would be expected it reports as 2103 or better 21H1 (even 2009 should report as 20H2). 


Why the missing consistency? 


Aside from WSUS this is another reporting issue.


Thank you Lurie to take it to an internal level. I wish this can be improved.


Microsoft should keep in mind that all the little things make it more difficult for SMB and even bigger customers as they don't usually read your overall great blogs and then are faced with problems and wish back older servicing models. I don't. Really don't.

Yet passion to details are important, imho.



Occasional Visitor

Really appreciate your pc :desktop_computer: windows10 download 


I install Windows 10 21H1 - many times and every time

What do I need to do to fix the situation?
Thank you.01_REPAIR.png02_REPAIR.png

Frequent Contributor

Hi @vladimir108 I would suggest to report it in feedback hub or open Microsoft Support Ticket if you can repro it across different computers.

Are you familiar with this process? 


as @vladimir108  said , same problems I experiencing still . 

I tbink thumbnail caches are deletes so this issues happening every time.

Any I already downloaded .admx templates and installed , Group policy is working fine. No errors in .admx files.

Occasional Visitor

Please my computer is not getting the new update Windows 10 - 21H1.

Please i need your help. thank you


Frequent Contributor

What's your current Version and build 



Press Windows key

Type PC-Info in the search

Open the setting 

Super Contributor

You can also run command 'winver' in Start menu to see version and build.

Frequent Contributor

or plain press Windows key and start typing winver. all roads leads to Rome

Occasional Visitor

Hello, I have windows 10 enterprise but this cortana is not in another windows or how do I activate it?
Thank you.


The TPM 2.0 CONFLICT - ASROCK - Z170 Pro4S P2.70 . Windows 10 Pro.01.pngx01.jpgx02.jpgx03.jpg
How can I resolve the conflict in the device manager
on TPM 2.0, given that I kind of tried all
tips on the internet.
As you can see the Z170 Pro4S P2.70 motherboard supports TMP.

Thank you .

Frequent Contributor

hi you are missing a driver from the asus vendor downloads.

try this first.


Intel Chipsatz-Treiber 10.1.18793.8276 Deutsch (it's multilanguage)

6. July 2021  Release Notes
Occasional Visitor

I am unable to use my windows hello and fingerprint following updates

Occasional Visitor

what do I do? Please help!



@latterhouse . you should uninstall existing fingerprint driver from device manager and restart windows. Let windows will install the latest driver for your fingerprint reader.  See if the problem is solved or not . If not means download latest  fingerprint driver from fingerprint reader manufacturer website and install it.

Occasional Visitor

Thanks. But how do I uninstall the driver? I couldn't locate it


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Last update:
‎May 18 2021 10:49 AM
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