Delay the Windows 10 Spring 2019 Update?

Category: Windows-10

This year’s first major feature update to Windows 10 (Version 1903) is expected to arrive in April. Microsoft allows some customers to delay major updates for up to one year. Are you among those chosen ones? Should you postpone major updates or let them happen on schedule? Read on to learn the answers to these and other burning questions about how to defer the Windows 10 Spring update...

Should You Postpone Windows 10 Updates?

First, if you activated Windows 10 less than 30 days before any major update is due to happen, you get a pass; the update will not come to such “young” Windows installations. Presumably, that’s because infant Windows 10 installations are born current.

Second, if you have not been updated to the last major update, then the next one will not be delivered to you, and you will not be able to install it manually. The 2018 Fall Update is Version 1809 (Each Version number consists of the year [‘18] and month [09 - September] of the update’s scheduled release). It is important to have Version 1809, else Version 1903 will not install. (You may see references elsewhere to the "April 2019 Update" or "Version 19H1" -- both are alternate or code names for Version 1903.)

You can check to see if Version 1809 is installed by typing “winver” in the “Search Windows” box and pressing Enter. You should see “Version 1809” on the second line of small type, under “Microsoft Windows.”

Windows winver windows version

If you need to install Version 1809, use the Media Creation Tool to do an automated re-install of Windows 10; it’s the easiest and most foolproof method. You can find instructions on Microsoft's Download Windows 10 page.

If you have the Home Edition of Windows 10, you cannot postpone major updates. Only users of Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education Editions are allowed to delay major updates, presumably because their IT departments carry more weight with Microsoft than your family does. However, some Home users might be able to upgrade to Pro for free. See the ZDNet article How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro for free for details.

According to some beta testers of Version 1903, though, there is some relief for Home users who wish to defer updates. On the Windows Update settings page, there is a new option which allows Windows 10 Home Edition users to “Pause updates” for up to 35 days. This won't help if your're a Home user wanting to delay the 1903 update, but it will help when the next update rolls around in the Fall.

Should you defer major updates if your Edition of Windows 10 permits it? It depends on how well Version 1809 is serving you right now. If you remember, Version 1809 rollout was kind of a nightmare. Some users lost files from their Documents and Pictures folders. Others were having audio problems, or experiencing the Blue Screen of Death. There were also some glitches in the Version 1803 (Spring 2018) update process. Those problems were eventually fixed, but Microsoft was rightly criticized for a lack of quality control. The company says they've taken steps to make sure that future updates are fully tested and will roll out smoothly.

I don't feel that any of the new features in the Version 1903 Update (see below) are so important that I must have them as soon as it becomes available. So just to be safe, I will defer the Version 1903 update a few months to give Microsoft time to iron out the inevitable wrinkles.

What's Coming in the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update?

Pureinfotech has an exhaustive (and exhausting) review of all new features coming in Version 1903. Here are a few that I found interesting:

  • You'll find a "acrylic effect" on the sign-in background. The translucent texture looks cool and moves the controls closer to the password box.
  • The Start menu has a simplified default layout, using a one-column design with reduced top-level tiles.
  • The taskbar will show a “disconnected” icon when there’s not an internet connection (ethernet, wifi, or cellular) on your device.
  • The taskbar notification area includes a new microphone icon which appears when your microphone is in use, shows which app is currently accessing it.
  • Updates to File Explorer include a new taskbar icon, "friendly" file date formats, and an improved Downloads folder which shows the most recently downloaded files at the top.
  • Windows Sandbox is a new feature that used hardware virtualization to safely run untrusted applications in an virtual machine environment without harming your computer.
  • Windows Security includes a new “Protection history” feature that shows information about virus detections, and Tamper Protection for Windows Defender.
  • The list of new features gets a little tedious. If you can live without those goodies few months, you might avoid the pain of a new version’s bugs.

How to Defer Windows 10 Updates

So let’s see exactly how to defer the Windows 10 Version 1903 Update, The following instructions assume you have Version 1809 (Fall 2018 Update) installed.

Go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, then Advanced options. You will see three options.

Option 1 lets you defer updates until Microsoft declares them “business ready.” That’s a little fuzzy, but you can expect it to give you 2-4 months after an update’s initial release. To enable this deferment, simply change “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” to “Semi-Annual Channel.”

Option 2 works only on Enterprise, Education, and Pro Editions of Windows 10. It lets you add additional time to the update delay set by Option 1. You can add as many as 365 days, in which case you won’t see any major updates until mid-year, 2020.

Option 3 has nothing to do with Spring or Fall feature updates. Instead, it lets you defer important security updates for up to 30 days after their release date. I would pick about one week, giving Microsoft time to fix any bugs while limiting the time my system remains vulnerable.

If you plan to ride out the (quite possibly imaginary) storm of the update, the first two weeks of April should be a time of heightened backup discipline. Create a new System Restore Point at least once a week until you get Version 1903. Make a system image file on an external drive, or store it in the cloud. (Have you make a backup recently?)

Remember, 99% of the things we worry about never happen. Just be prepared in case they do. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Delay the Windows 10 Spring 2019 Update?"

(See all 33 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Greg C
16 Mar 2019

Walter (above) There ALWAYS seems to be a few horror stories. You didn't identify your hardware, but I have had very good luck with Dell & HP laptops. All are VERY old. Microsoft delays rolling out the newest versions for many months to this old hardware ans by that time the issues have been fixed. There have been advisements to NEVER go seeking an update, but let it come to your computer in due course.And my Win 7 desktop had an issue with bad sectors on the HDD that caused me grief.


Posted by:

Jim
16 Mar 2019

I told my PC to check for updates and now I have 1809 with no apparent problems. As I was waiting for it to complete it occurred to me that I don't need a PC! All I do anymore with it is email, surf the internet and pay bills. I could do that with a Chromebook and all I would give up is local storage for cloud storage, AND all the aggravations of MS updates. Sure it is just a "dumb terminal" (how many of you remember dumb terminals?) and is a paperweight without the internet but so is my PC.


Posted by:

D.V.N. Sarma
16 Mar 2019

I also have winver 1803 and update page says I am up to date. As a matter of fact 1803 version is being continuously updated. The latest update is on 3/13/2019 under the name "2019-3 cumulative update for windows 10 version 1803 for x64 based systems (KB4489868). I have not differed the 1809.Mine is a windows 10 Home version. I have always allowed windows to update itself freely.


Posted by:

misterfish
16 Mar 2019

I'm with Will - I get very, very annoyed when I come into my office to continue the previous evenings work, and find all my applications have closed thanks to MS update automatically deciding I need a reboot. Sure I save last thing at night and use autosave, but it takes several minutes to re-open and re-load all the programs & files I was working on. Bob, if you could publish a way to stop the blighters taking over MY computer (apart from moving to Linux) I would be very grateful.


Posted by:

p38arover
16 Mar 2019

I have just updated my Win 10 Professional 64 bit and winver shows 1803 Build 17134.648 and the settings page shows it is up to date.

I update regularly so where is version 1809?

Confused!


Posted by:

Kathy
16 Mar 2019

So Bob, can you please weigh in on our questions about 1803? I also have 1803.


Posted by:

Morning Star
16 Mar 2019

I just checked and am proudly running 1709.

I uninstalled 1809 because it interfered with my Epson V700 photo scanner - it simply wouldn't work anymore. These are expensive scanners, and I would rather throw my PC in the trash and finally switch over to Apple rather than give up my ability to use it (and the minimalist Windows 10 scanning interface substitute is too simple - I need the ability to scan photos and negatives and to get into the weeds re: image quality).

I've had a running comment on the Windows forum about this issue and subscribed to follow up comments - it's still a problem for most people and I regularly receive emails with their comments to my original email from a year ago. Obviously, Epson has some culpability here because of their lack of support (also noted in the Windows forum and something to keep in mind when choosing a scanner), but that's why I won't be upgrading. I'm glad to know that my computer won't automatically do it because I uninstalled 1809.


Posted by:

Nezzar
16 Mar 2019

Bob, I also have 1803, and security and updates continually say that they have checked for updates, and I am up to date.
I am in the exact same situation as D.V.N. Sarma, except that I got my update on 3/12.
My winver version plainly says I have 1803; Build 17134.648.


Posted by:

GDR
16 Mar 2019

I have Windows 10 Home, & it updated on Feb 11 to Version 1809 & deleted all downloads, including my purchased software folder. I am so sick of Windoze.
I had to call Microsoft because it messed up so many things, what a nightmare, & still could not get back my downloads.


Posted by:

Docfxit
16 Mar 2019

I am at 1809 Win10 Pro.
In Advanced options I don't see the three options you listed. I see:
1. Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows.
2. Automatically download updates even over metered data connections.
3. Show a notification when your PC requires a restart to finish updating.

I don't see any way to delay updates.
I have all three of the above options turned off.

Thanks for the suggestion,

Docfxit


Posted by:

Marcy
16 Mar 2019

I don't see where you tell the Win 10 Home users to activate their Metered option. I do this for all computers I touch so they can decide when to do the semi-yearly updates and not have a catastrophic loss of so many files like what happened to so many on the last update.


Posted by:

p38arover
17 Mar 2019

OK, I now have 1809 Build 17763.379.

I went to MS and used their Update Assistant to update to the October (yes, October) 2018 version.


Posted by:

p38arover
17 Mar 2019

Morning Star, re your Epson printer/scanner. Have a look at VueScan. I use it with my HP5p scanner (Win 95 vintage) and my Nikon LS1000 film scanner (also Win 95 vintage) - VueScan supports both (and about 1700 others) with Win 10


Posted by:

Danny G
17 Mar 2019

Microsoft upgraded my old laptop to 1809 a few days ago. Everything went smooth. I guess I will have to wait a long while for 1903 since my system is old.


Posted by:

Ahmad
17 Mar 2019

Felicitations for the day to the author.


Posted by:

john
19 Mar 2019

you need to log on as administrator account to see the 3 options


Posted by:

JcB
21 Mar 2019

It took Microsoft until 1 March 2019 to install the 1809 update on my Windows 10 Home desktop computer, it was installed on my Windows 10 Home notebook computer on 1 Feb 2019 It has not yet installed on my Wife's Windows 10 Home desktop computer. I understand that they cannot do all the installations at once but it seems like a recipe for failure if they cannot get all of the installed base updated before the next update cycle begins.


Posted by:

Ivan
24 Mar 2019

Thank you for telling me this. I have a piece of software in my computer that will shut off updates any time I want and I can turn it back on just as well.

I am going to wait on this update, I am not going to go through this mess again with Microsoft and calling them on the phone was of little use, they were little to no help. Be sure you all have back backups the day before you update just in case. I will wait two weeks and see what the results are and who is or is not having problems and what kinds of problems. If there are major problems I will leave windows update turned off till it is fixed properly.

I am a computer tech and I have never seen anyone so sloppy and reckless as Microsoft and it is as if they could care less, well this time I got them, I am turning off their auto updates! The software I use is "stop windows updates 10" and it is easy to off auto updates as it is to turn it back on.


Posted by:

Ivan
24 Mar 2019

Just to inform you, I make two backups each month and always a backup before any new windows updates as you just never know what could happen. Always have a recent backup ad your playing with fire if you do not, they have saved me several times. so folks, please use wisdom, make a backup.


Posted by:

MAP
02 Aug 2019

Win 10, Version 1903 - I wish I had listened longer and not downloaded it. About 2 weeks ago I downloaded Version 1903 because I kept getting messages that Version 1803 would no longer be updated after August.

What a mess it created! Files on my desktop were deleted. My desktop was completely changed from my settings. All my Documents files and others I had created were moved to a TEMP file under Users>Owner. It took some time to put things back the way I wanted, but every time I shut down the computer and rebooted it would revert to the same mess. It also removed my browser (Google Chrome) and deleted contacts and bookmarks.

Windows is a disaster! I finally used a system repair disk to start up and it did keep all my own settings. BUT it says that the updated Ver 1903 is still there and I cannot delete it. My option now is to just close the cover and let the computer "sleep" and not shut it down.


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