Postpone The Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Category: Windows-10

Microsoft began to roll out the much-anticipated Anniversary Update (AU) of Windows 10 on August 2, 2016. Depending on how old your hardware is, it may be several weeks before the AU is installed on your PC. You may want to postpone that update as long as possible, given the glitches and unwelcome new features in the Anniversary Update. Here's how…

Anniversary Update: Not Ready for Primetime

Microsoft is distributing AU to groups of users in stages via Windows Update. First to get it are users with the latest hardware, which presumably is certified “ready for Windows 10.” (Xbox owners got some of the AU on July 30.) Enterprise customers get the AU next, probably because most of the new features in the AU are geared towards large organizations. Consumers with older hardware will get the AU last, giving Microsoft and hardware OEMs more time to update driver software for older machines.

I could tell you how to cut to the head of the line and get the AU right now, but I don’t think that is a good idea. Many users are reporting major problems after installing the AU.

A thread on Reddit concerning PC “freezes” following installation of the AU swelled to over 600 posts in five days. The first post in this mega-thread summarizes solutions proposed by Redditors and their results. There doesn’t seem to be just one cause and one solution to freezes. A solution that worked for some users does not work for others. It’s an ugly, chaotic mess that no one knows for certain how to clean up.

Block Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Several people reported that the AU update went smoothly, but afterwards found that System Restore was disabled after the update. System Restore is a Windows feature that lets you undo system changes, and I recommend that it always be turned on. To make sure System Restore (aka System Protection) is turned on, search for "restore" on the Start Menu, then click Create a Restore Point. Select your System drive (C:), click the Configure button, and ensure that "Turn on system protection" is enabled.

Other problems reported after installing the AU include Cortana disappearing entirely; user-defined settings returning to defaults; some Windows Store apps crashing immediately upon launch; and, most ominous of all, installation of the AU failing with many different error messages, such as 0x80070057, 0x800705b4, 0x8024200D, and more.

Too Fast, Too Furious

If you're not sure about the presence of the Anniversary Update on your Windows 10 computer, you can check your Windows Update history. To do so, click Start > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the "Advanced options" link, then click "View update history." If you see "Windows 10 Version 1607" listed there, you've got the AU installed.

I am not surprised by this fiasco. Microsoft publicly committed to releasing the AU as close to Win 10’s first anniversary as possible, for no reason other than marketing mileage. Quality control didn’t just take a back seat to that arbitrary deadline; it was bound, gagged, and locked in the trunk. It would be amazing if the AU wasn’t freezing computers.

Here’s a rundown of the major new features in the AU; most have nothing to do with the majority of you, my readers.

Windows Ink is a technology that improves the experience of pen computing. Users can quickly jot down notes, scribble on screenshots, or mark up documents in core Windows apps like Word and PowerPoint. A touchscreen and pen device are required, of course, which is why I doubt many readers will be affected by Windows Ink.

Cortana will be available “above the lock screen,” so users can ask her questions without pausing to enter their system passwords. That’s not a big deal. A much bigger deal is that Cortana no longer has an “off” switch in Windows 10 Home or Pro editions after the AU is installed. Combined with Cortana’s voice-recognition capability, these changes will send some readers rushing to the nearest tin foil reseller.

Security-minded readers may appreciate some of the new features in the AU. The new Windows Defender may prove useful to security-conscious readers; chief among them is a real-time crowd-sourced database of potentially malicious sites that Defender will warn you about if you try to reach them. Windows Hello is a biometric authentication scheme that is added by the AU; if your system has the right kind of input device(s), you can forego a password and log in by swiping a finger, smiling for a camera, or holding something up to your eye’s iris.

The Edge browser included with Windows 10 gets power-saving improvements and the ability to add extensions (Finally. Welcome to the year 2000, Mr. Edge.)

How to Postpone (or remove) the Anniverary Update

I would not be in any hurry to install the AU on my PC. Give Microsoft time to sort out the bugs that are being reported now. While it’s impossible to reject updates permanently, there are two ways to postpone them until a later date, depending on which edition of Windows 10 you have. Note that both methods shown here block only major updates like the AU; you will still receive security patches and bug fixes for your existing Win 10 version.

Windows 10 Pro users can postpone major updates for up to 4 months by checking the “Defer Updates” box on the page at Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Options.

Windows 10 Home users don’t have the “Defer Updates” option. Instead, they can tell Windows 10 to use its “metered connection” bandwidth-conserving features. Blocking downloads of major update files like the AU is among those features. Click your way through Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Advanced Options. Under “Set as metered connection,” slide the control switch to the “on” position.

If your PC uses a wired (Ethernet) connection to reach the Internet, try this Windows Central guide to setting an Ethernet connection as “metered.”

If the AU is already installed, you can uninstall it via the Recovery utilities. Click through Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. In the “Go back to an earlier build” section, click on the “Get started” button. Choose or add a reason for reverting to an earlier build of Windows 10. Click Next to make it so. The AU will be uninstalled, along with any apps installed after the AU was installed.

Have you received the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Any problems? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Postpone The Windows 10 Anniversary Update"

(See all 46 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016


Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

For most people, the late 1990's was the beginning of the computer age on a personal level. Sadly, it looks like the late 2010's may be the end of it.
I don't consider myself computer illiterate, but most of the problems cited in the comments are ones I probably wouldn't be able to handle myself.
So I'll cling to my Win 7 machines and pray that something will happen before 2020.

Posted by:

Pat C.
20 Aug 2016

I don't know if I've got the 'Latest and Greatest' from Window$ installed - I had to wait awhile as an update was installed this afternoon. "Please wait while updates are being installed. Don't turn off your computer". - but I wasn't informed of what I was installing. I cleaned a carb on an old Snapper mower I rescued from a barn and got the machine going before the update installed. So far my computer is not acting funny. Should I worry?

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

My computer froze during the install. Nothing happened for hours but spinning dots in a circle. I turned the computer off after a long period of waiting and found it wouldn't run afterwards. The Geek Squad said it destroyed my Master Boot Record. Cost me $230 to replace the hard drive and reinstall the system. Wish I could sue Microsoft in court for that.

Posted by:

Ian Webb
20 Aug 2016

I installed AU on my laptop and it installed ok. Later, I discovered that my laptop could not access drives on my desktop via a homegroup - it worked fine before AU came along. It seems there are also problems in creating and deleting homegroups though I have no personal experience of this.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

My husband got his W10 withoutnoticing as he only yuses it for soccer mainly and odd bits. But it isnt a good OS and too late to turn it back and when I tried to go gt W7 back couldnt as didnt have a product code for version on it. Which was 64 bit from dealer so comes with some sort of licence that cant count. What to do? did have a spare 64 bit license fm family pack but that has disappeared. Looked everywhere - wouldnt have thrown it out! I have to go into hospital in a month or so for hip and knee replacement and wanted to take it with me. Just like to go back to windows 7 as so much better. Any ideas on how to get past this dealer loaded licence?

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

I've upgraded two desktops and one laptop:
W7 ---> W8---> W8.1 ---> W10 with absolutely no problems or issues.
I'm not a computer geek but far from ignorant.
Maybe I'm just lucky.

One side note: I wonder if the people who have all sorts of problems are multi tasking i.e facebook twitter or other distractions and not paying attention to their computers.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

I had several problems after the AU, unfortunately Cortana disappearing was not one of them. The main problem was that I could no longer access my graphics card without getting a Black Screen of Death. When I tried to use system restore I was unable to because it had been disabled.
Sadly (and stupidly) I was unaware of the option to restore to an earlier build. This is now denied to me because I updated over 10 days ago! Aren't people allowed to discover problems after 10 days?

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016


Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

Thanks Bob, done. Now, please remember to tell us when this is safe so we turn the 'set as metered connection' back on and let it run.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

AU installed on my laptop, now the connection between laptop and Xboxone keeps disconnecting. Uninstalled AU and the problem disappears.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2016

I have had enough Last week went to Linux Mint.
I know many people won't be able to do this but it is the best thing I did. I took a coarse on Linux and thought it was about time I take advantage of it. It has been a week now and I only had to boot up windows once to get some email addresses I forgot to bring over.

Posted by:

22 Aug 2016

Why ANYONE other than a nerdy computer geek would want to be a Microcrap guinea pig is beyond me.

Wait a few years and maybe, just maybe, they will have the bugs worked out.

I doubt it though.

Posted by:

22 Aug 2016

How can I tell if I have the Windows Anniversary update installed? Where do I look?


Posted by:

23 Aug 2016

Sure wish I had found this article last night. I did the Anniversary Update from the Windows site and ended up with the problems this article states and also loss of internet connection.

Posted by:

23 Aug 2016

...Now it appears millions have lost camera use per BBC news(Tech)with this celebrated update
moving to a different OS!!

Posted by:

23 Aug 2016

That's a well written piece, Bob, as usual.

LOL: Poor Microsoft quality control "... bound, gagged, and locked in the trunk" is a nice touch!

Thanks, keep up the great work.

Posted by:

23 Aug 2016

Updated laptop and desktop - had some audio issues but otherwise, I rather like it. It cleared up Mail & Calendar issues I was having on the laptop. As a non-tech senior, I haven't had any complaints so far. Mind you I don't use the camera very often.

Posted by:

24 Aug 2016

Updated with AU last Saturday, and did not experience any difficulty until booting up today (3 days later). Then all h3ll broke loose. Being a reader of this column and having seen the issues already posted -- no messing around - I rolled it back immediately. So far so good... Thanks Bob for the great article, and the links for the various instructions! Kudos!

Posted by:

23 Sep 2016

I didn't follow advice to postpone the anniversary update. It took over 10 hours to install - don't know exactly how many as I gave up waiting and went to bed. While installing no computer access. Not satisfactory at all. Luckily I had a standby computer to work on!

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