Most users know Microsoft Windows by one of its major version names — e.g., Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10 — but it’s important to note that each major release of Windows is further subdivided into multiple build numbers, either to support certain hardware platforms or to accommodate smaller security and feature updates that occur during a major Windows version’s lifespan. These specific Windows build numbers are even more important today, as Microsoft has pledged to continue to develop Windows 10 indefinitely, with certain build numbers signaling milestones in the operating system’s development.
Despite the increased importance of the Windows build number in the Windows 10 era, this number isn’t readily visible to users with a default consumer installation of Windows 10. However, there are still several quick and easy ways to see the build number in any version of Windows 10, if you know where to look. Here are the two best methods of finding your Windows 10 build number.
Method 1: ‘About Windows’ Menu
Microsoft has long included in Windows a handy tool that reveals most of the crucial information that users need to know about the version and licensing of the copy of Windows installed on their PC. The unfortunate part is that this tool is tucked away in a location where typical users wouldn’t think to look.
The tool is called winver and, when executed, it will launch a menu labeled About Windows that provides the exact version of the currently installed edition of Windows, its specific build number, and the name of the licensed user or organization.
To access winver in Windows 10, just use Cortana or Start Menu Search to search for winver. Select it from the results list and you’ll see the About Windows menu appear. In our example screenshot, winver tells us that we’re running Windows 10 Pro, Build 10586.14, which is the latest publicly available build of Windows 10 as of the date of this tip’s publication. We can also see that this copy of Windows is licensed, unsurprisingly, to TekRevue.
If you prefer to launch winver manually, you’ll find winver.exe located in C: > Windows > System32.
Method 2: Command Line
If you prefer the command line — for example, in a situation in which you are accessing a PC remotely — you can also determine the Windows 10 build number using either the ver or systeminfo commands (note: you can also type “winver” from the Command Prompt, and it will launch the About Windows menu shown above). Starting with former command, simply type ver into the Command Prompt, press Enter, and you’ll see your version of Windows and build number appear on the subsequent line.
Alternatively, you can type systeminfo to receive not only your Windows 10 build number, but also a host of information about your PC and its hardware, such as the current network configuration or even the original installation date of Windows.
Note, however, that this second method is potentially less useful because it omits the minor updates (the numbers to the right of the decimal point) in the build number provided by the winver tool. A perfect example of why this is important is the recent cumulative update for the Windows 10 Fall Update. The original Fall Update build number was 10586.0, but after installing the cumulative update, that number increased to 10586.14. Only the winver method provided this extra information, while the command line options retained the same “10586” identifier. Therefore, the winver method above is likely the easiest and best method for most users.
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