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KB5033288: Following 23H2 and 22H2, Windows 11 21H2 gets improved WinRE as well

Windows recovery on the Windows 11 bloom

This past week Microsoft released the Patch Tuesday updates for Windows 10 and also for Windows 11 for the month of November. Speaking of Windows 11, besides Patch Tuesday, the tech giant also released a new dynamic update to improve the Setup files of Windows 11 23H2. The update also applies to version 22H2 as well. This makes sense as the new feature update is mostly the same at the core system files level.

Aside from that, a new dynamic update for WinRE (Windows Recovery) has also been released. This time, the improved WinRE comes to Windows 11 version 21H2. Although Windows 11 21H2 no longer receives Patch Tuesdays as it has received the axe in terms of support, the version will continue to receive these dynamic updates as they help in the recovery of the OS in case there is a feature update failure.

KB5033288: Compatibility update for installing and recovering Windows 11, version 21H2: November 14, 2023


This update makes improvements to the Windows recovery features for Windows 11, version 21H2.

In a Tech community blog post about Windows 10 Dynamic Updates, Microsoft explained Dynamic Updates in more detail regarding its various components and uses. These packages include fixes to Setup.exe binaries, SafeOS updates for Windows Recovery Environment, and more:

As soon as a Windows 10 feature update initiates, whether from media or a Windows Update service-connected environment, Dynamic Update is one of the first steps invoked. Windows 10 Setup reaches out to an Internet-facing URL hosted by Microsoft to fetch Dynamic Update content, then applies those updates to your OS installation media.

Content acquired includes:

  • Setup Updates: Fixes to Setup binaries or any files that Setup uses for feature updates.
  • Safe OS Updates: Fixes for the "safe OS" that are used to update Windows recovery environment (WinRE).
  • Servicing Stack Updates: Fixes that are necessary to address the Windows 10 servicing stack issue and thus required to complete the feature update.
  • Latest Cumulative Update: Installs the latest cumulative quality update.
  • Driver Updates: Latest version of applicable drivers that have already been published by manufacturers into Windows Update and specifically targeted for Dynamic Update.

In addition to these updates, Dynamic Update will preserve Language Pack (LP) and Features on Demand (FODs) content during the upgrade process. These are not updates to LPs and FODs, but reacquisition to ensure the user has these elements present with the update completes.

The update is available from the Microsoft Update Catalog website at the following link: KB5033288, but you may not need to worry as it should be installed automatically.

In case you missed it, towards the end of the month updated the the WinRE for Windows 11 23H2 and 22H2 too, which you can find details about in this article.

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