Microsoft plans to deliver the update via Windows Update starting 19:00 CET, and via the Media Creation Toolkit at around the same time.
Update: The new version of the Media Creation Toolkit has been released. Make sure you check the version after download to make sure it is the updated one. Instructions on how to do so are listed in the download and install chapter.
Using the Media Creation Toolkit has two advantages: first, you may get the update earlier, and second, you may download and create installation media instead of updating the PC directly. This way, you can perform offline updates among other things.
Note: We suggest you back up important data before you continue. Ideally, create a system backup so that you get an option to restore it if you run into issues during the update or afterwards. The update should pick up all files and programs, so that they remain available. Some programs may be removed however if they are not compatible with the new version of Windows 10.
To get started, head over to Microsoft's website and click on the "download tool now" button to get started. This downloads the Media Creation Tool to your system.
You find instructions on how to use the program once downloaded on the site as well if you require them.
Tip: To make sure you got the right version, right-click on the MediaCreationTool.exe file and select Properties. Switch to details, and verify that the version reads 10.0.14393.
When you run the program, you get two options to proceed Once you have read the license terms thoroughly, the following options are displayed:
Both options are fine. Creating installation media is useful if you want to update multiple PCs, or need to update another PC, or want to keep the installation media at hand should the need arise to reinstall Windows.
If you want as quick of an update as possible, select the "update to the latest version of Windows 10" option instead.
The program connects to the Microsoft server and downloads the Windows 10 installation files. This may take a while as Gigabytes of data are downloaded.
Tip: While you are waiting, check out AnandTech's epic the road to redstone article.
The tool verifies the download afterwards, and starts to create the Windows 10 media that is used to upgrade Windows 10 to the Anniversary Update version.
The process should be considerably faster than the download.
The tool checks for updates afterwards which may also take a moment to complete.
Then, after a couple of more screens of checking the PC and getting a few things ready, and another display of the license terms, and another updates check, making sure the PC has enough space, you are asked what to keep.
If you have selected to update the system, the installer will automatically select to install the correct edition of Windows 10 and keep all personal files and apps.
You may change that if you want to start with a blank slate, but will lose access to all files stored and programs installed on the device when you do.
Follow the instructions afterwards to complete the update to the new version.
If you prefer to use Windows Update to update a device running Windows 10 to the Anniversary Update version, then you may do that as well.
Please note though that you may not get it right away as Microsoft mentioned that the roll out would be gradual. Still, updates may become available as early as 19:00 CET on August 2, 2016.
Windows should pick up the Anniversary Update and either install it directly or offer to install it.
It is listed as "Feature update to windows 10, version 1607" on Windows Update.
A cumulative Windows 10 update KB3176929 is delivered via Windows Update after the Anniversary Update is installed.
To find out if you are running the Anniversary Update on a machine, do the following:
The window that opens should read "Version 1607 (OS Build 14393.10)".
Tip: Make sure you run Disk Cleanup after installing the Anniversary Update (and checking that everything works) as you will free up Gigabytes of disk space.
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