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:
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.
You have two main options to postpone the next feature update for Windows 10:
You can defer feature updates by up to 365 days on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education systems.
Step 1: Advanced Windows Update options
Step 2: Select the delay period for the feature update
Tip: You may also pause updates for up to 35 days using the same menu.
You may set policies to defer feature updates:
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.
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.
You may use the Settings application to switch between supported channels:
If you prefer to use Group Policy for that, do the following:
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.
You need to repeat this for any network you connect to.
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