[WARNING] Don't Click This Button!

Category: Windows-10

By now, you probably know that the launch of October’s Fall Update of Windows 10 (formally called version 1809) was such a disaster that Microsoft took the unprecedented step of halting the update’s gradual roll-out. What you may not know is that Microsoft now urges Windows users not to force the update upon their PCs by using the “Check for updates” function in Windows Update. The reason for that warning is utterly scandalous. Read on...

Microsoft Says Don’t Click “Check for Updates”

Since the April 2018 Spring Update, Microsoft has allowed code into the update package that has not been through the complete quality testing process. In essence, users who “check for updates” become beta testers, installing software that is not quite certified as “100% ready for release.”

As a result, some users who did the update noticed that all their documents, photos, and music were deleted. One person reported that over 200 gigs of data in his Documents folder went missing. Others had serious issues ranging from audio glitches to corrupted hard drives. How anything like that got past the development and testing stages of an operating system used by hundreds of millions of people boggles the mind.

Here is how the Windows 10 update process is supposed to work: First, the update goes through the Windows Insider program, where millions of willing beta testers install admittedly risky code and provide Microsoft with feedback on bugs. All Insider members know there is a risk that something may go wrong; they install Windows 10 on older, “expendable” machines, not primary systems used for daily or critical work.

Second, the update goes through a “Release Preview” testing process before its final release to the public. Microsoft skipped this step in order to release the October 2018 Fall Update during a scheduled press event!

Do not click here

Third, once an update is declared “ready for release” only users who click “check for updates” will get it immediately. They act as a final line of beta testers, their feedback being used in the fourth and final phase of the update process.

That fourth phase is done in stages, with the update going first to users with the most modern hardware and BIOS systems. Their experiences with the update are shared with Microsoft via Windows 10’s built-in telemetry system. (See What Data Does Windows 10 Collect From You?) This data-sharing is part of the “basic” telemetry that cannot be turned off by users. It is used to make last-second tweaks as previously untested hardware platforms receive the update.

Millions of users have believed the “check for updates” option delivered the production-ready version of Windows just a little bit early. But it turns out that only users who checked for updates experienced massive data loss when their premature editions of Windows 10 were installed. Those who awaited the turn of their particular hardware profile did not experience data loss.

Haste Makes Waste

I don't blame the users who clicked to get the Windows update. But I *do* want to remind you that data loss is optional! See my article Why Backup? Here Are NINE Good Reasons. You'll learn the most common reasons for data loss, and how to prevent all of them with your own backup regimen.

This “check for updates” method of getting the major update early did not exist before the April 2018 Spring Update. Prior to that, users had to download and run the Update Assistant tool to get the update early. That tool is still available, but now “check for updates” does the same thing… and that is a problem.

The “check for updates” feature now does two different things, only one of which most users are expecting when they click “check for updates.” Their expectation is that they will get bug fixes, performance enhancements, and other improvements to existing Windows software. They do not expect to get a major new version of their operating system with all-new features, especially one that is not fully tested and certified as safe.

Something like this should never happen. I've heard of minor glitches when installing Windows updates -- stuff like "My printer doesn't work," or "Some of my settings got changed." The worst I can recall in over 30 years of running Windows is instances where the "Blue Screen of Death" popped up and the updates had to be rolled back by going into Safe Mode. But data loss like this should NEVER happen.

Bottom line here is Do not click “check for updates” in Windows Update until the October Update (version 1809) is fully rolled out and the initial raft of bugs are fixed. No one knows when that will be, as of this writing. No one even knows when the rollout of version 1809 will resume.

Security patches will be installed automatically by Windows Update as they become available. You do not need to check for such updates. Just steer clear of the “check for updates” link.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[WARNING] Don't Click This Button!"

(See all 56 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

J. Boyer
30 Oct 2018

I totally agree with Hubert's post, lets sue Microsoft. My $1,000.00 plus Dell All-In-One desk top purchased in May, 2018 is a piece of S#@T since installing this up date. Dell printer works some time, Blue Tooth Software DOES NOT WORK. After contacting Dell, INDIA 3 times was told oh well they do not warranty soft ware and I must have installed the Microsoft up date wrong.

The public needs to start taking a stand against Microsoft for having to deal with crap like this. Yes Hubert is there an attorney out there that would like to rake on a class action suit against Microsoft???

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

Great information! Also I appreciate most of the other comments. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of backing everything up. Yes! I agree that what Microsoft did was utterly scandalous. Even though I have been using Windows 10, I have also been using Linux. Thank you!

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

I've been clicking the manual update button every week for the past 7 months, and yes many failed installs of patches. I thought I was being organised and prudent. Damn. Suppose I got lucky with the "version 1809". I never run Beta versions as a rule.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

I have a Gateway laptop that I upgraded to win10 from 8.1. I only use it occasionally, and punched the check for updates button the first day 1809 was available. I started at midnight, and when I got up at 8AM, it was still updating. It finished, restarted, and everything looked ok. I didn't have anything important on it (plus had a backup image), so I don't think I lost anything. Over the weekend, without prompting, there was an update for 1809 that installed. Everything still ok. I was just lucky?

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

Lets take a look: [YES!] You Really Need Windows Auto-Update (12 Feb 2016)

The bottom line here is that keeping your software up to date is more important than ever. I urge all readers on Windows 7, 8 and 10 to check Windows Update settings, and make sure that it says "Install updates automatically" in the "Important updates" section. You do so by clicking the Start button, then typing Windows Update. (C) Bob Rankin


I personally from the beginning of time first what I do after installation of Windows is shutting down updates. For Win 10 I had to hack it. Don't have any problems. The article I mentioned above was the last proof that this blog is for fun only. Sorry, Bob.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Kirill, there is a difference between running Windows Update in "automatic mode" and clicking the "check for updates" button that I described in this article. Only those users who did the latter were affected by the v1809 update problems (and only a small fraction of those). I stand by my advice to run Windows Update and accept updates automatically.

Posted by:

Kathy Kearny
30 Oct 2018

Looks like I still have build 8903, but has this happened to anyone else -- a couple weeks ago I began having to put in my email & password (sometimes multiple times) every time I try to open any Office program, and also every time I try to save my work. I have been using Office 365 for over a year and did not have this problem until recently.Does anyone know how to fix this?

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

Why anyone would install W10 before the last minute and not waiting until most of the kinks are worked out is beyond me.

They were and still are using Windows users as their beta testers.


Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

Ten on the Fahrenheit scale equals -12 on the Celsius scale, but that's a bit high for Win10.
I upgraded from Win7 a couple of weeks ago on my 'sandbox' laptop. I thought they might have taught Windows to share, but I was wrong. The first step was to wipe Linux off the dual boot, but they missed Grub. When I came back I found poor little Grub whimpering because it couldn't find Linux. I reinstalled Linux and rebooted into the upgrade process, several times. Finally the upgrade was finished ... and the upgrade started. I tried Windows Edge, but it was dull; couldn't find the internet, although the upgrade had no problem with that. I copied Chrome from my 'real' laptop, put it in the Win10 download folder,and installed it; Voila Internet. I tried to install my private email in Mail(?). It worked in Win7, but not in Win10. Microsoft asked for feedback so I gave them some, including name, phone and email ... Haven't heard from them.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

My PC downloaded and is waiting to do this update on restart. It's now not been restarted in over two weeks waiting for the next update that will be pushed and hopefully solve it before it does damage to my machine.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2018

A poster above (29 Oct) said people who don't like Windows 10 are "paranoid". Paranoia is defined as state of delusion. What Windows 10 does to people is reality. It's fact. Windows 10 does bad things on every update, with dependable consistency. True paranoia is experiencing these bad thing and then denying them. What bad things? How about OS crashes, reboot in the middle of your work, changed configurations, deleted files, corrupted drivers, blue screens, locked up machine for hours to "update", forcing your applications into "obsolescence", spying on you, deleted emails, lost MS accounts, lost internet access, removed applications, applications rendered non-functional, bricked computer, forcing you to use one half-baked browser, breaking zip files, breaking bluetooth ... I'm sure I'm missing a few more gems.

If you are a retired person using Windows 10 at home, all this may be an amusing diversion. But consider if you're running a business and your livelihood depends on the uncertainty and destructive capability of Windows 10.

Posted by:

31 Oct 2018

To Bob: So, scheduled automatic updates are different, than initiated manually. Very convincing. Especially when both procedures start by the same subsystem. As I remember, first people reported about problems with complete loss of personal files after automatic updates that completely contradicts lame Microsoft explanation that you believe completely. And still recommend updates. Nice touch. Very entertaining.

Posted by:

Beny Freshfeet
31 Oct 2018

As far as someone saying Bob is not telling the truth so to speak I would say that Bob's story of having a slightly different function in windows update depending on whether it is automatic or someone clicks the check for updates link is plausible. So given Bob's vast computer knowledge that is obvious I would side with Bob on what is really going on with windows updates.

Posted by:

Salman Khan
01 Nov 2018


Thanks to you again.....I averted a massive headache. I still show 1803 in the update history and I am glad.

But I check for updates regularly and press that button. But thanks to your timely email....I'm glad I didn't this time.

Posted by:

Marty G.
01 Nov 2018

IMHO Microsoft Inc. should be charged with racketeering and taken over by the federal government. They are a national-worldwide security risk and ongoing monopoly. How many times does a major company have to screw up royally before something permanent is done.

As incompetent as the U.S. federal goverenment is, I believe it could do a better job. I never thought I would say something like this, but any company that has #$%^ up this many times would have been bankrupt looooooooooong ago. They still have a computer stranglehold monopoly on the world wide public and this $hlt has got to end.

Posted by:

Frank Furtive
03 Nov 2018

Who in their right mind would consider W10. I'd still be using XP if not for a new printer required W7. Two years ago purchased two new HP Pro Books with W7. $269 each total cost. They came with W7 and W10 disks. Getting the updates installed for W7 was a PITA so why bother. NO problems in two years. Don't have high expectations with MS garbage regardless of the OS...............
"Even after installing the four patches I discussed last time, Windows Update on Windows 7 still runs slow when installing the May 2016 patches. But, as before, there's a patch for that"

Posted by:

04 Nov 2018

I have an Hp all in one Pavillion 23 which came with windows 8.1. I then upgraded to windows 10 when it first came as a free offer. I have then downloaded every new version that came along with good success. That's including this latest version 1809 after clicking on "Check for updates". For some reason, I have been fortunate with all including this latest. I have not encountered any issues nor have I lost any of the things that others claim like documents and so forth. This computer runs better than when new. I thank God for this blessing! I still click on "check for updates" all the time. By the way, I give it good maintenance to keep it running smooth and fast.

Posted by:

Beny Freshfeet
04 Nov 2018

Regarding the person that still clicks on the check for updates link I would say that is taking a risk of installing an update that has not been fully tested. Doing so runs counter so to speak to the point of this article which is a warning that someone that uses the check for updates link can load an update that causes computer problems. That could result in having to do a system image restoration or some such thing which also means that you obviously would have to already have in your possession a system image to recover from.

Posted by:

Rich M
04 Nov 2018

I guess I got lucky, all I lost was EDGE for a few days. I powered down and EDGE did come back.

Posted by:

05 Nov 2018

I'll continue to use Win7 until my last pc gasps it's last breath!!

Posted by:

06 Nov 2018

"I'll continue to use Win7 until my last pc gasps it's last breath!!"

Well said, but gasps it's last breath? Don't know bout that. Have been using my Quad core for a decade now, ordered my i7-8700k with all the trimmings yesterday.
And yes I'll continue to use my trusty Win7 till 2020.
With the Redstone 6 on the way ... No rust for Win 10 at the moment! Thanks for the info Bob.

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