• 6000004 Registry keys and group policy settings for Windows 11

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    #2399047

    Registry keys and group policy settings to select specific feature releases

    To stay on specific versions of Windows 11 using registry keys:

    Download any of these links to your computer. It will keep your system at that specific release until it is end of life on that platform.

    Click here to install the Registry key to install to stay on Windows 11 21H2

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
    “TargetReleaseVersion”=dword:00000001
    “ProductVersion”=”Windows 11”
    “TargetReleaseVersionInfo”=”21H2”

     

    To use group policy to ensure you stay on Windows 11 21H2 (assuming you have Windows 11 professional):

    To use Group policy on Windows 10 to stay on Windows 11:

    If you have group policy on Windows 10 Professional, drill down to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update>Manage updates offered from Windows update. Look for “Select the target Feature Update Version.” Click to enable it and enter Windows 11 in the box, “Which Windows product would you like to receive feature updates for? E.g. Windows 11.” and then 21H2 in the “Target version for Feature Updates”

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2403568

      I’ve been working on a simple program to manage these settings. It isn’t half as simple to do it as I thought!

      Updating these registry keys doesn’t actually change the computer group policy: this can be confirmed (on Pro versions) by using gpedit.msc after changing the registry settings. The actual group policy is saved in files under “C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine”.

      I’m finding documentation of exactly how this works somewhat vague, but it appears that updates (using gpedit.msc another tool like lgpo.exe) propogate from “C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine” to the registry, but the reverse never happens. The settings are however *used* from the registry, which is why using regedit.exe to change them has the desired effect.

      I’ve not yet found a purely programatic method of updating “C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine”. (I don’t regard exporting the contents, editing it, then importing it back in again – even if done from within a single program – as a satisfactory method.)

      • #2403570

        When you make changes in Group Policy settings, those settings are transferred to equivalent Registry settings in the proper Registry location. But the reverse does not necessarily take place.

        Group Policy settings take precedence over settings made in the GUI. Equivalent settings from the two sources (at least concerning Windows Update) are not in the same location in the Registry. This is shown in the screenshots at the bottom of AKB2000016.

        Using the scripts to set TRV, provided by Susan, simulate the Group Policy settings in the Registry location that are made by settings Group Policy (since GP not available to Win Home Edition). For Home Users, the scripts provide TRV update control that is not otherwise available. But those with Pro Edition should use Group Policy itself to provide the settings because it will change/sync the settings in both GP and the Registry so there is no inconsistance between the two.

    • #2454634

      Downloaded and installed the registry keys from the link without issue on my Win 11 Home machine. The values needed to be changed, however. They read Windows 10 and 2004 respectively. Easily changed to Windows 11 and 21H2.

      Casey H.

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