This week, Microsoft began advertising how you can get the Windows 10 Creators Update as quickly as possible. But what if you wish to hold off a bit?
As I noted earlier today, there are great reasons to take a wait-and-see approach with the Creators Update: The previous major Windows 10 upgrade, called the Anniversary Update, was an unmitigated disaster. And given that history, it probably makes sense to let the rest of the world play the role of guinea pig and delay the Creators Update until we’ll all sure that it is working properly.
There are three basic approaches to accepting the Creators Update.
As with previous upgrades, Microsoft will of course ration out the release in stages, using “known-good” PC configurations first. These are PC configurations for which Microsoft has a high degree of confidence, thanks to telemetry data collected from Windows Insiders. Over time, that list of known-good configurations will of course expand as more and more people out in the real world install the Creators Update and expand Microsoft’s understanding of what works and what doesn’t. If this goes as planned, the upgrade will go out to more and more people over a few months then be completely deployed.
The second approach, which I don’t recommend for anyone other than very technical people, is to get the Creators Update as soon as possible. Those people are almost certainly on the Windows Insider program’s Fast ring right now, meaning that they have already installed build 15058, which is rightfully considered a Release Candidate for the final, shipping product. But once Creators Update is completed, anyone will be able to indicate to Microsoft that they want the upgrade as soon as possible: You will see a pop-up notification in Windows 10 when that’s possible, and will be asked to review your privacy settings so the install can proceed.
And then there’s the third approach, which I recommend to most people. You should seriously consider delaying upgrading to the Creators Update. If you can do so, that is.
Those running Windows 10 Pro can defer major Windows 10 upgrades—which Microsoft calls feature updates—for up to four months. You cannot defer monthly cumulative updates or security updates: This option applies only to upgrades.
To do so, open Settings (WINKEY + I) and navigate to Update & Security > Windows Update and then select the link “Advanced options.” Here, select the option “Defer feature updates.”
Note: As a superset of Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise also provides this option, but of course users of that system are bound by corporate policy and will receive updates at the whim of their system administrators.
There are other ways to defer upgrades for longer periods of time, but that’s overkill: Four months is plenty of time to determine whether the Creators Update is stable and reliable enough for your PC.
But what about those running Windows 10 Home?
As it turns out, Windows 10 Home does not include the ability to defer updates. So you’ll need to get a bit creative.
Note: If you’re not sure what Windows 10 product edition you’re using, type WINKEY + X to open the Quick Access menu—no, it’s not called the “power user menu”—and choose System from the list. In the System control panel that appears, you will see the product edition listed under “Windows edition.”
The obvious approach is to configure your network as a metered connection, which will indicate to Microsoft that it should not deliver updates because you are ostensibly paying for your bandwidth. (You can imagine that the ~4 GB needed to install the Creators Update could rack up some big bills for users such connections.)
This workaround isn’t ideal for two reasons.
First, it only works with Wi-Fi by default: If your PC is connected to the Internet via Ethernet, you cannot configure it as a metered connection. You can find the (complicated) workaround to this on Microsoft’s support forums.
Worse, you won’t get security updates either. But you should be OK for a month or two, and if you are serious about delaying the Creators Update, this workaround will do the trick.
To configure your network connection as a metered connection, open Settings (WINKEY + I) and navigate to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. Then, select your currently-connected network. On the page that appears, change the option “Set as metered connection” to On.
Don’t be a statistic: You can manage the risk of installing the Creators Update on your own schedule, Microsoft and its silly forced updating policies be damned.