How to fix earlier version of iCloud from Windows error

Apple’s ICloud for Windows provides the best way to access both iCloud Drive and iCloud Photos on a Windows PC. But if you recently updated the desktop or Microsoft Store version of iCloud, you might have noticed an absurd notification related to iCloud Photos titled “ We have detected that you are using an older version of Windows ”. Why does this happen? And what can you do to get rid of it?

How to fix earlier version of iCloud from Windows error

As of iCloud for Windows 11.1 (it’s the app version, not the Windows version), Apple has changed the inner workings of the app for better functionality (especially with photos and videos) on Windows 10. But unlike the error message, simply updating Windows 10 to the latest version would not be enough. You should also install some essential codecs to clear the error.

Without further ado, let’s check everything you need to do to prevent this error from appearing every time you start your computer.

Update Windows 10

Obviously, the first thing you would have done when seeing the “We have detected that you are using an older version of Windows” is to update Windows 10. If you have not already done so, it is time to update it. do now. But first, it’s a good idea to check your current version of Windows 10.

Type winner from the Start menu or the search box and press Enter. In the About Windows box that appears, you can find the required details listed next to Version.

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How to fix earlier version of iCloud from Windows error

iCloud for Windows 11.1 requires at least Windows 10 1909 OS Build 18363 (November 2019 update) or higher to function properly. If your PC is already up to date, go to the next section. Otherwise, close the About Windows dialog box and update Windows on your PC.

Type Windows Update From the Start menu or the Search box, press Enter, then click Check for updates on the Windows Update console to start a scan. Once it detects the latest updates, click Download or Download and install now to update Windows 10. You will need to restart your PC to complete the update.

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How to fix earlier version of iCloud from Windows error

See our troubleshooting guide if Windows Update is blocked during the process.

Install HEIF codec

IPhones use a revolutionary file format called HEIF (commonly known as HEIC) to save the photos you take. This format consumes incredibly less storage and also allows for technically superior images with better depth maps and a wider range of colors.

However, Windows 10 does not offer native support for the HEIF format. To resolve compatibility issues, the iCloud Photos component in iCloud for Windows requires you to download an appropriate codec to decode HEIF images. Ideally, there is a codec by Microsoft itself that you can install quite easily.

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How to fix earlier version of iCloud from Windows error

Go to the Microsoft Store, search for “heif image extensions”, select HEIC Image Extensions in the search results, then click Get. You can also click the Download button below to launch the codec download page directly.

Install the HEVC decoder

In addition to HEIF, iPhones also use an unusual format called HEVC to record videos. It offers similar storage benefits, helping you store twice as much video content compared to traditional formats. It makes a huge difference when you shoot videos at higher resolutions.

But again, Windows 10 does not offer native support for HEVC. So iCloud Photos requires a decoder that can help Windows 10 play video files on your PC.

Once again, Microsoft comes to the rescue with an appropriate decoder. But confusingly, the Microsoft Store lists two HEVC codecs – one extension is completely free while the other requires a payment of $ 0.99. Both have similar descriptions with the exception of their names – “HEVC Video Extensions” and “HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer” for the paid and free versions respectively.

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How to fix earlier version of iCloud from Windows error

The only difference is the feature snippet; the paid version can “play and produce HEVC encoded video content”, while the free version can only “play HEVC encoded video content”.

Searching for “hevc video extensions” directly in the Microsoft Store will only show the paid version of the HEVC extension. Instead, we recommend installing the free version as it should suffice. You can access it using the Download button below.

We have also included a Download button to the paid version in case you run into problems installing the free HEVC decoder on your PC.

Live without error

Once you’ve updated Windows 10 to at least the 18636 (1909) operating system build, and then installed the HEIF and HEVC image and video codecs, the message “ We detected that you are using an older version of Windows ” will no longer appear in the Action Center of your PC.

That said, iCloud for Windows isn’t exactly known for its stellar functionality on Windows. If you experience other issues while using the app, refer to these troubleshooting guides for iCloud Drive and iCloud Photos.

Then:

Save a ton of storage on the primary partition of your PC by moving the iCloud Drive folder elsewhere. Click on the link below to find out how.

Last updated on May 25, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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