- To update WSL on Windows 11, open PowerShell or Command Prompt (admin), run the “wsl –update” command, and restart the computer.
On Windows 11, you can update the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL) kernel and other components with a single command, and in this guide, you will learn how.
Although updates for WSL happen automatically through Windows Update, sometimes, you may still need to check and download the latest updates for the subsystem kernel and other components, and this is when the “wsl.exe” command-line tool comes in handy.
Now, if you are trying to switch from WSL 1 to version 2, then it’s not an update, it’s an upgrade, and this process is a little different.
This guide will teach you the easy steps to update the WSL platform on Windows 11. In addition, I’ll outline the steps to enable the option to allow the system to download and install updates automatically.
Install WSL updates on Windows 11
To update WSL on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Start on Windows 11.
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
(Optional) Type the following command to confirm the current Windows Subsystem for Linux version and press Enter:
Type the following command to update the WSL on Windows 11 and press Enter:
(Optional) Type the following command to confirm the latest kernel update has been installed and press Enter:
(Optional) Type the following command to revert to the previous version of WSL and press Enter:
wsl --update --rollback
After you complete the steps, if an update is available, it will download and install on your computer.
When using this mechanism to update the Windows Subsystem for Linux, note that there is a delay between the time that Microsoft releases a new kernel to GitHub and the time the update becomes available through Windows Update. As a result, the version on your computer may not always match the most up-to-date version available for the platform.
Enable WSL automatic updates
To allow WSL to download and install updates automatically on Windows 11, use these steps:
Click on Windows Update.
Click the Advanced options tab.
Turn on the “Receive updates for other Microsoft products” toggle switch.
Once you complete the steps, updates should download and install automatically for the Windows Subsystem for Linux.