Windows 10 Tip: Get the Creators Update on Your Own Schedule

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 28 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Get the Creators Update on Your Own Schedule

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?

Oh good, a new ad!

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.

 

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Comments (28)

28 responses to “Windows 10 Tip: Get the Creators Update on Your Own Schedule”

  1. SherlockHolmes

    Using the Current Branch for Business option can delay Upgrades for 180 days. In group policy you csn turn on that option and name how long you want to delay the upgrade.

  2. Doug

    my slow ring machine got 15063 yesterday 4/2. it downloaded in the background and asked for a restart. all went smoothly as it had 14363(?) before.

  3. John Scott

    No question it will have bugs. Nothing is perfect, have yet to have any OS release come out perfect at the start. Given the sketchy history of Microsoft and monthly updates. I don't have much confidence in their major build releases. I just don't see the got to have it now feature in Creator that cannot wait a few months to upgrade.

  4. cfourkays

    Paul,

    My Advanced options has a lot more in it then your picture. Choice between Currant Branch and Currant Branch for Business.

    You also have that can be delayed:

    "A feature update ..". with a number of days indicator

    and

    "A quality update...


    and a "Pause..." for up to 7 days with a switch.


    Version 1703 (OS Build 15058.0)


  5. davidsmi

    I think pushing out for 4 months the update is more of a problem than taking the update. Of course most of your users will take the update early - maybe not a good idea either!

  6. davidblouin

    As more and more people do this, Microsoft's already less than stellar upgrade process will be less and less reliable

    • Narg

      In reply to davidblouin:

      From the fast ring, I can say the updates are getting much more reliable.

      • davidblouin

        In reply to Narg:

        Do you test fast ring update on your primary day to day pc with all your devices connected to it ?

        • JudaZuk

          In reply to davidblouin:

           - I run Windows 10 fast ring on all my devices, including my work laptop and my main PC at home. (And Xbox and my 950XL) and I must say there have been hardly any issues for me the past year at all. Only issue I had recently was that the Groove Music app refused to start, but one update later, and it worked again . and once Bash stopped working so I had to reinstall that, but that was fast and easy


          I have not been forced to do a full reinstall of my computers even once because of any issue . The builds at least for me are very stable overall 


        • RickEveleigh

          In reply to davidblouin:

          yes I run the latest insider build on my only PC and my only phone. And yes I'm an IT pro. Only had two problems in the last 18 months, both fixed in the next build. Both were due to graphics drivers.

  7. madthinus

    It should not be this hard...

  8. david.thunderbird

    I have 50 to do, is it available as ISO? (no I'm not going to do at once just DL once) I'm looking in all the wrong places if it is out there.

  9. Darmok N Jalad

    So basically forced updates are bad because the major updates can't be trusted to install correctly. And that the only short term fix is to be on Pro or to disable all updates. Either way, you still eventually have to trust that the update won't break your system, as you can't defer forever. Time might also be your enemy if MS adjusts the install process based on feedback and it doesn't go according to plan. About the only thing I don't understand is the claim that Windows 10 is an excellent OS, as every article is about how to make it less annoying.

  10. MattHewitt

    At least they fixed the meter connection on Ethernet issue in the Creators Update. That means when Redstone 3 rolls out people won't have to use the use the workaround...


    Progress. Insert golf clap.

    • PeteB

      In reply to MattHewitt:


      Nevermind that P2P updating shouldn't be defaulted On in the first place, it should be opt-in. Defaults matter.

      Problem is that the ability to set connection to metered only helps people that know it exists. Most users wouldn't since it's not obvious.

  11. canamrotax

    I fix computers for a living! (Throws himself on the grenade)

  12. kenhes

    "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."

    I think I'd prefer to get the update than do this. At least they'll only roll out the update to known working configurations.

  13. BLeduc

    I had to roll back to the anniversary update. The new Bluetooth code was very spotty for me, where the Surface Bluetooth keyboard and mouse were unusable. So I will definitely be delaying this update.

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