Microsoft has made significant changes in recent years. Previously, people used to refer to Windows depending on the version they were running like Windows 7 or 8.
But with Microsoft saying Windows 10 is here to stay, they will only be releasing two major builds each year.
Now Windows uses build numbers to let you know which update you’re running. Insider Preview Builds have a built-in expiration date to ensure that Insiders are always up to date with new releases.
Also known as a “time bomb,” there is a setting that requires you to install the latest build before the expiry date. Otherwise, Windows 10 won’t reboot.
What happens when a Windows 10 Build expires?
Insider Preview builds are created for testing purposes, and Microsoft expires the unstable versions when all the bugs have been fixed. Stable versions won’t stop working and don’t have an expiration date, thus you can use them for as long as you want.
Two weeks prior to the expiration of a Windows 10 build, you’ll start receiving the “This build of Windows will expire soon” warning messages. When a build expires, you’ll see the “Install a new build of Windows now” warning that will appear once a day. Windows 10 will automatically reboot every three hours. Additionally, you’ll see User Access Control (UAC) warnings.
Two weeks after your build expires, Microsoft says Windows will no longer boot. Instead, you’ll be provided with the “Recovery” screen showing the “Your PC/Device needs to be repaired” and “A component of the operating system has expired” messages.
To use your computer again, you’ll have to reinstall or clean install a newer Windows 10 build or an older stable version.
How to check when my Windows 10 Build is expiring
An expired Windows 10 build can be frustrating, especially considering the frequent reboots. It means you may not be able to work smoothly and you risk losing some of your files. To be on the safe side, use our guide on how to check your Windows 10 build expiration date to avoid inconveniences.
- Go to Start, and type winver.
- Press Enter.
- The “About Windows” dialog box will open showing all the information you need.
You’ll be able to see your Windows 10 version and build number. You’ll also see the expiration date which lets you know when you need to update to a newer Windows 10 build.
You can also find the build number via the Settings app. However, the expiration date is not listed here.
- Go to Settings (Windows Key + I).
- Select System > About.
- Under “Windows specifications,” you’ll see your Windows Edition, Version and OS Build.
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