How to delay the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update - gHacks Tech News

How to delay the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Microsoft will release the next feature update for the Windows 10 operating system, called the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, in April 2018.

The company releases feature updates twice a year; these updates introduce new features and bigger changes to the operating system opposed to cumulative updates which tend to focus on security updates and bug fixes.

Feature updates take longer to install as it is closer to installing Windows from scratch than installing a smaller update.

Microsoft improved the time it takes to install feature updates, but it is still a lengthy process even if the feature update installs without complications.

While the upgrade should install fine on most Windows 10 systems, users and administrators may have good reasons for wanting to delay the installation of the new feature update:

  • Features introduced in the Spring Creators Update are not interesting or useful.
  • The current system works well and changes introduced in the new version change workflows or introduce other issues.
  • There is always the chance that updates fail, and it takes time to roll back or find out why it failed and how to resolve the issue.
  • It is often a good idea to wait a couple of weeks to see if users and admins report issues.

Feature updates are rolled out gradually to the entire Windows 10 population. Microsoft releases new feature updates to systems with modern, compatible hardware first before it makes the update available to systems with older hardware.

It is still possible to install the update right away, by downloading an ISO image and using it to install the update and through other means.

Note: The following instructions are for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Older versions of Windows 10 may offer similar functionality. Microsoft introduced new options to defer feature updates in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Some options are only available if you are signed in with an account with elevated privileges.

Delay the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

You have two main options to postpone the next feature update for Windows 10:

  1. Defer the feature update using the Windows Update settings or Group Policy.
  2. Change the branch readiness level.

Defer Windows 10 feature updates using the Settings app

You can defer feature updates by up to 365 days on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education systems.

Step 1: Advanced Windows Update options

windows update advanced settings

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Locate Updates & Security to open Windows Update.
  3. Activate the "Advanced options" link on the page.

Step 2: Select the delay period for the feature update

defer windows 10 updates

  1. On the page that opens, locate "a feature update includes new capabilities and improvements. It can be deferred for this many days".
  2. Select the time in days that you want Windows 10 to block the installation of the feature update.

Tip: You may also pause updates for up to 35 days using the same menu.

Defer Windows 10 feature updates using the Group Policy

defer windows 10 feature updates group policy

You may set policies to defer feature updates:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and hit the Enter-key to open the Group Policy Editor.
  3. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.
  4. Double-click on "Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received".
  5. Select "enabled" to enable the policy.
  6. Change the number of days under "After a Preview Build or Feature Update is released, defer receiving it for this many days" from 0 to a number between 1 and 365.
  7. Click ok.

Tip: You may use "Pause preview builds or feature updates starting" to pause the installation of feature updates from a specific data for up to 35 days.

Delay Windows 10 Feature updates by switching to the Semi-Annual Channel

Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education systems may be switched over to the Semi-Annual Channel from the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted).

Microsoft changed the terminology recently; the channels were known as Current Branch and Current Branch for Business previously.

Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) systems receive feature updates as soon as they become available.

Semi-Annual Channel systems receive them about four months after general availability which usually means that some bugs and issues discovered after the release are fixed.

Settings App

switch semi annual channel

You may use the Settings application to switch between supported channels:

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application on the device.
  2. Go to Updates & Security.
  3. Click on Advanced options.
  4. Locate "choose when updates are installed".
  5. Select "Semi-Annual Channel" instead of "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)" to postpone updates by four months.

Group Policy

defer windows 10 feature updates group policy

If you prefer to use Group Policy for that, do the following:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and hit the Enter-key to open the Group Policy Editor.
  3. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.
  4. Double-click on "Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received".
  5. Select "enabled" to enable the policy.
  6. Select Semi-Annual Channel under "Select the Windows readiness level for the updates that you want to receive"
  7. Click ok.

And Windows 10 Home?

wlan metered connection

Windows 10 Home settings come without options to defer updates or switch to another release channel.

One of the better options on these devices is to set the connection to metered. You need to make sure that you set it to metered for all types of connections you use (Ethernet and WiFi).

Microsoft promises that it will only download updates "required to keep Windows running smoothly" and up to this day, it blocked feature update installations.

The downside to this is that you will block any update, not just feature updates. A way around this would be to download cumulative updates from the Microsoft Update Catalog website whenever they are released to install them manually.

Note: You need to be signed in with an account with elevated privileges to change the connection type.

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Go to Network & Internet.
  3. Select Ethernet on the left, select the Ethernet connection, and flip the "set as metered connection" switch to on.
  4. Select WiFi on the left afterward, then the connected WiFi network, and on the page that opens flip the "set as metered connection" switch to on.

You need to repeat this for any network you connect to.

Related articles

Summary
How to delay the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update
Article Name
How to delay the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update
Description
Microsoft will release the next feature update for the Windows 10 operating system, called the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, in April 2018.
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Ghacks Technology News
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    Comments

    1. Luca said on March 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm
      Reply

      I’ll do update at first day, because my Windows 10 1709 is broken: I am unable to install the January cumulative update (Windows Update reports failed update at every boot).
      So I stopped Windows Update brothering me, by disabiling its service.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm
        Reply

        You may need to set a specific Registry Dword value, see https://www.ghacks.net/2018/02/27/report-windows-7-pcs-without-antivirus-solution-cant-new-receive-updates/

        or enable Windows Update functionality again as Microsoft resolved this in March 2018.

      2. DVDRambo said on March 28, 2018 at 10:40 pm
        Reply

        If you can open Windows update, set it to join Insider Program fast ring. Then reboot when it says to, and check for updates. My laptop installed it in about an hour. I then went back and changed the Insider Program so the laptop was no longer in it. This worked great. When new builds are RTM, and before general availability is the only time you can use this maneuver, AFAIK. I did make a Macrium Reflect image before doing this, just in case.

    2. XenoSilvano said on March 28, 2018 at 8:12 pm
      Reply

      I recently updated the Windows 10 OS running on the computer that I use to the latest version (10.0.16299.332 Fall Creators)

      after running Gibons InSpectre program, it now designates the computer as being invulnerable to Meltdown or Spectre
      (I also updated the drivers and UEIF firmware)

    3. Stefan said on March 29, 2018 at 12:15 am
      Reply

      One solution, if it still works, is to change the permission (SECURITY tab) of WUAENG.DLL, in the System32 folder, to EVERYONE – DENY (remove anything else). That would stop any update at all.

    4. Chris said on March 29, 2018 at 5:19 am
      Reply

      @Martin: Wasn’t the Settings way removed in last in feature update or even earlier? None of my Win10 Pro look like yours. It looks like this: https://i.imgur.com/4KFuwDN.png

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 29, 2018 at 7:37 am
        Reply

        Are you signed in with a normal user account? Those settings are not shown then.

      2. Jed said on March 30, 2018 at 4:33 am
        Reply

        Either as Martin suggests you are signed in with a normal account, or you are on an older version of Windows 10 (as those options were only added in Creators or Fall Creators I believe), or you aren’t on Pro but on Home.

    5. Jack said on March 29, 2018 at 6:31 am
      Reply

      I was planning on upgrading until I learned Microsoft removed the Sets feature late in RS4 development. Timeline seems decent but with the exception of that feature there’s really no reason for me to upgrade at the moment. I’ll just wait several months for the bugs and other issues to be addressed.

      Thanks for the useful tips and information.

      1. DVDRambo said on March 29, 2018 at 7:34 pm
        Reply

        Hidden in the Windows Defender Security Center (which actually works well now) is a Ransomware Protection setting. The problem with Microsoft is that when they put in something useful, most people don’t know about it. Also, their change for change’s sake continues with settings moved and weird changes like renaming “Feedback and diagnostics” to “Diagnostics and feedback”. That was somehow an important and useful change to make? I don’t understand who thinks of these banal things. Overall, 17133 is running well for me, with no reinstalling apps that I removed, which was just about all of them, except the Store and Windows Defender.

    6. AnorKnee Merce said on March 29, 2018 at 1:20 pm
      Reply

      Keep in mind that with the recent updateassistant.exe KB4023057 update installed, M$ can directly upgrade any Win 10 PC to the latest version without going through Windows Update = Windows Update deferral settings may become meaningless = Win 10 users are like sitting ducks.

      To avoid being caught by surprise by M$’s forced auto-upgrades, maybe Win 10 users should just “sheepishly” upgrade to the latest version asap(asa-practical).

    7. George said on March 29, 2018 at 7:49 pm
      Reply

      Good advice, thanks. I used to download the ISO the very same day it got released. Now… I’m giving a 20-30 day delay to Windows Update to the job automatically. I’ve wasted enough time.

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