How to Upgrade to Windows 10 version 20H2 using ISO File from Previous Versions of Windows 10

NOTE: If your computer has a Intel Clover Trail processor, its not compatible with Windows 10 versions 1703 to 2004. Those computers should continue to use Windows 10 1607, which will continue to receive support until January 2023. 

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Technical Level : Basic

The Windows 10 20H2 Update is the latest revision of Microsoft's desktop operating system. The previous version, called Windows 10 2004 was launched in early 2020. Users running previous versions of Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to the latest revision multiple ways. One of the most reliable and convenient ways is to use the ISO file. The ISO file provides the option of upgrading multiple systems especially for users with limited bandwidth. In this article, we show you how.

If you prefer to upgrade using Windows Update, please review the following article for instructions:

How to Install the Latest Windows 10 Feature Update Using Windows Update

PSA: Create Backup Reinstall Media for Your Current Version of Windows 10 Before Upgrading to Windows 10 Feature Updates

For users running previous version of Windows such as Windows 7, Windows 8.0 or Windows 8.1, you will need to purchase a license for the Windows 10, if you did not take advantage of the free upgrade offer (you might still be able to get it for free). For computers already running Windows 10 Home, Pro, Pro Education, Pro Workstation, Windows 10 S editions, Enterprise or Education versions 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909 you can upgrade to the latest Windows 10 Feature Update for free.

If you are upgrading from older releases of Windows, review following links:

Windows 10 Feature Updates are a part of Microsoft’s ongoing strategy to deliver Windows as a service.

How to get the Windows 10 Creators Update ISO?

The Media Creation Tool will be updated so you can download the latest version ISO containing the Windows 10 Feature Update. To learn more about how to download the ISO file, check out the following article:

How to download official Windows 10 ISO files

For troubleshooting instructions, please scroll down further.

Starting the Upgrade

Boot to the Windows 10 desktop. If you have the Windows 10 ISO, you can right click the ISO file then click Mount. If you are installing from a DVD or USB thumb drive, insert or connect it, then click the on screen notification.  If setup does not start automatically, click Start > File Explorer > This PC > open the drive containing the Windows 10 setup files, then double click Setup.exe.

After mounting the ISO file, right click the drive containing the installation files then click Open.

Click Run setup.exe

Click Yes to allow the installation to Start.

Wait while setup is initialized.

You can select download and install any important updates before upgrading. This is recommended since it can help to ensure a smooth upgrade. If you are not connected to the Internet, select the Not right now radio box instead. Click Next.

Wait while setup checks for updates that might make the installation go smoothly.

Wait while Windows 10 setup checks your system for compatibility issues.   

Accept the End User License Agreement.

Wait while Windows 10 setup does one final check to ensure your system is ready.

Windows 10 setup will check if you have enough disk space. If you don’t, review the following article for instructions how to upgrade to Windows 10 feature update on a system with limited disk space:

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Feature Update on a Drive with Limited Space

Please note, you have the option of choosing what you would like to keep, which includes personal files, apps and settings.

If you want to perform a new install or just keep your files click Change what to keep. Once you have chosen the desired options, click Install to begin.

To learn more about performing a clean install: How to: Perform a clean install of Windows 10

This will be your screen for a little while. During the installation, your computer will restart several times.

After the first restart, Windows 10 setup will resume. You will notice the setup experience has once again been refined from the previous animated circle. This will be your screen for a while. When complete, Windows 10 setup will restart automatically.

Sign into your account.

Wait while Windows 10 completes application updates and post setup tasks.

That’s it, the Windows 10 feature update is installed. You can check Windows Update for latest updates, click Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

How to prepare your computer before upgrading?

Although updating to a new Windows 10 version is a relatively simple process, similar to a repair upgrade; users should perform some basic pre-requisites before initiating the upgrade.

If you are finding it difficult to carry out some of the steps described below, please review detailed instructions how to perform them:

12 Things You Should Do Before Installing Windows 10

When making significant changes to your computer such as updating the operating system, you should always backup.

  • Disable (preferrably uninstall) your Antivirus utility before attempting the upgrade.

  • Restart a few times then try again.

  • Disable General USB Devices (example - Smart Card Reader). You can do this from the Device Manager.

  • If you have any external devices attached to the machine, disconnect them (example, gaming controllers, USB keys, external hard disk, printers, non-essential devices).

  • Load your BIOS then reset the BIOS defaults.

  • Check if there are any available BIOS updates for your system, then apply them.

  • Perform a clean boot, restart then try again.

  • If you are upgrading using the .ISO file, disconnect from the Internet during setup, if you are connected by LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi, disable both then attempt setup again. 

  • If you are updating through Windows Update, when the download reaches 100% disconnect from the Internet LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi then proceed with the installation.

  • If that does not work, try using the .ISO file to upgrade if possible.

  • If you are connected to a domain, switch to a local account or upgrade based on your System Administrators discretion.

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unable to update always getting error and get that error

Windows update "Security Update for Windows (KB4015217)" could not be installed because of error 2149842967 "" (Command line: ""C:\WINDOWS\system32\wusa.exe" "C:\Users\Yehia\Downloads\Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB4015217)\AMD64-all-windows10.0-kb4015217-x64_60bfcc7b365f9ab40608e2fb96bc2be8229bc319.msu" ")

can some one help


OK, tried the Anniversary edition and that royally screwed the pooch. v1607 x64 system Build: 14393.1066

Dell Inspiron 24-3455 IS on the list of compatible, tested hardware.....yet, since the update of Creators I have multiple issues. PDF cannot find Adobe Reader to open, constantly asks me to identify the program to open it. Java131 update came through same week and now my police scanner app RangeCast won't run.  Norton ID safe needs above Build 15025 yet I can't get this update to work.

I believe hearing the stock price of Microsoft recently, you should provide FREE Tech Support at Microsoft stores to perform these tasks. I cannot afford $119@hr everytime you come up with a new os  or bug fix. 

ARe you kidding me that you sent this out at the tail end of TAX SEASON?    What were you drinking to come up with that policy?

We'd like to update several systems we have to the Creators build.  However, whilst there is a lot of information for people using the Upgrade Assistant; given the recent ransomware attack, we'd like to do it oflline using an ISO instead and the information on that method is confusing...

If we use the disc, does it actually give you an option to update, or do you have to perform a clean installation?

what is the total download size of this upgrade?
I have an old laptop which runs smooth in 1511 upgraded to 1711 it gets so slow at boot up. But I do love the improvements of the AI and it detects the devices that I don't even know still working and make them work automatically. Amazing. 

Great write up!

If I may ask though, is it required to run the upgrade via install media? (IE: if you're already running Windows 10, can you use windows update to update to the creators build?)

I've got two PCs that I upgraded from Windows 7, they're running Windows 10 Home v1607.

Thanks in advance,


Where at the top of the page in your answer do you say "first- download and install Windows Media Creation Tool"?  After 1/2 hour, I found where to find and install the Windows Media Creation Tool.  Now I'm back here with this note.

Just installed this update because Microsoft INSISTED I had to.

Took way too long - if they are going to force this on us at least warn us how long we are likely to be without our computer.

Now my desktop icons are screwed - going to take some time to rearrange them all to how I want them NOT how Microsoft want them!!  What else has been screwed up too???

And what a shock to view my first picture - new 'app' on the PC.  Can't wait to see what else has changed all because "Microsoft know what is best for me' !!!!!  I am thinking of upgrading the PC around Christmas - one thing I now KNOW for SURE is that it will NOT have Windows as its OS - might try Linux.  At least then it WILL be MY PC and I can set it up how I want it, not how Microsoft THINK I should have it set up.

I have totally had enough of this attitude of 'We know what you want and what is best for you' - It's MY PC, I KNOW what I want !!!

Why is this so complicated for existing windows 10 users? Can you not produce a simple download fix instead of all this guff for non experts?

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Last updated September 22, 2020 Views 1,023,829 Applies to: