It is time to defer the next feature update for Windows 10

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 11, 2019
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft plans to finish the next feature update for Windows 10, Windows 10 version 1903, sometime later this month. Windows 10 version 1903 will become available then at the end of March or the beginning of April 2019.

First, to administrators of Windows who deploy it actively, then after a while on systems automatically provided that automatic update functionality has not been turned off.

The release of Windows 10 version 1809, the last feature update for Windows 10, has shown that things can go terribly wrong even with all the Insider build testing and Microsoft's focus on data analysis.

There is no guarantee that the new feature update will offer a smoother experience and that is the main reason why administrators and users may want to defer the installation of the update. Instead of being among the first to upgrade to the new version and participate in what some call a second beta phase, it seems more reasonable to watch from the second row how things unfold.

Millions of devices will be upgraded in the first few days to the new version and it does not take long, usually, before reports about issues in the new version emerge.

It is a good idea to defer the update unless you need to install the new feature update version as soon as possible.

Tip: Check out our detailed guide on delaying feature update releases on Windows 10 machines.

How to delay Windows 10 version 1903

Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education systems include two options to defer feature updates:

  1. Setting the branch readiness level (this option goes away in Windows 10 version 1903).
  2. Specifying the deferral for x days.

While you may use the Settings application to defer the update, it is recommended that you configure the deferral using the Group Policy editor instead as this option will remain available (it seems as if Microsoft will remove all deferral options from the Settings app in Windows 10 version 1903).

The Group Policy method:

feature updates group policy

  1. Make sure that you have elevated rights.
  2. Load the Group Policy Editor, e.g. by opening Start, typing gpedit.msc, and selecting the result.
  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. Set the policy to enabled.
  6. Change the number of days under "After a Preview Build or Feature Update is released, defer receiving it for this many days" to 90 days. Doing so blocks the update for about three months. You may set it to a different number of days, e.g. 120 days or 60 days.
  7. Click ok.

Doing so blocks the automatic installation of the feature update on the PC for the select number of days.

Home system administrators can't use that option. They may either make changes to the Registry directly, or try and set the connection to metered. How that is done is explained here.

Third-party tools like StopUpdates10 or Windows 10 Update Switch may also be worth a try.

Now You: What is your expectation for Windows 10 version 1903?

It is time to defer the next feature update for Windows 10
Article Name
It is time to defer the next feature update for Windows 10
Find out how to defer (block) the Windows 10 version 1903 feature update from being installed as soon as it is released on eligible PCs.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Robert said on March 12, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    I’d say enough of this CEO Nutella or whatever his name only trying to make a quick buck for himself…

  2. Simon said on March 12, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Hah, basking in the smugness of a Linux desktop in front of me as I read this. Good grief how people still use Windows is beyond me. That’s a basket of misery I tossed out three years ago when I woke up to find my computer unusable, after the sneaky Win 10 ‘upgrade’ ruined my system. The more of us make the move to *nux, the better the world will be.

    1. Anonymous II said on March 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

      @ Simon

      Many home-computer users are stuck with Windows.

      I am stuck with using desktop Windows on my laptop because I am stuck with unlimited 4G/LTE Cellular Mobile Broadband and Mobile Hotspot on a 4G/LTE Android tablet or smartphone.
      ……. Only those with Home Fiber or Copper-wire(= ADSL) Fixed Broadband may be freed of desktop Windows and run Linux.

      As more people move to 5G Cellular Mobile Broadband in the coming decade, even more people will be stuck with desktop Win 10. 5G can give Internet download/upload speed of up to 100Gbps and low latency/ping of about 20milliseconds = can play multi-player online games. Fixed Broadband infra-structure, which is more costly and difficult to setup, will likely become obsolete – like how mobile phones has obsoleted fixed phones in the home.
      ……. There needs to be a viable alternative desktop OS, eg Google or Amazon acquiring Ubuntu/Canonical.

      1. John said on May 4, 2019 at 7:32 pm

        I seriously doubt that you can’t tether on a Linux box.

  3. Anonymous said on March 12, 2019 at 4:07 am

    I’m just hoping my pc will never move from 1803 lol

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on March 12, 2019 at 9:18 am

      @ Anonymous

      But your Win 10 1803 will eventually reach EOL, be un-updated and not in compliance with the EULA = M$/Nadella will reserve the right to legally terminate your use of Win 10 1803 or immobilize your computer via Windows Update or other remote services from M$.
      ……. If you are in USA, M$/Nadella may even sue you in Arbitration court to physically take back ownership of Win 10 1803, eg confiscate your Win 10 1803 hard-drive, collect costs and damages from you and you will be fined by the court.

      Never underestimate the evilness and greediness of M$/Nadella. Do you know what happened to his son.?

      1. Dave said on March 14, 2019 at 4:52 pm

        @AnorKnee Merce You ‘sound’ like a conspiracy nut but there’s this saying “Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you”.

        I think your on to something with this “Artificially depreciated compatability” idea. Two of my PC’s just turned 5 and both are still on 1803 though I’ve not blocked any updates.

        My 5 year old gaming PC still handles the newest AAA titles with ease and rarely has any of the issues reported by owners of the newest, most powerful, and most expensive hardware.

        I’ve tried forcing an 1809 upgrade on it because I really want that dark theme and it worked fine except for edge being turned into a dead turtle frozen in molasses, a not uncommon issue I’ve read. So for now I’ve rolled back, the one thing windows does really well, and I’ll wait until I’m up for a clean install.

        My system is designed to make this easier as only the OS and a few small programs are on the system drive. I learned this from the days of reinstalling windows 7 once a year. The only real problem is all the stuff I’ll have to “remove” again.

  4. clake said on March 12, 2019 at 12:09 am

    1809 hasn’t been pushed yet to here.
    Still on 1803, on 3 different optiplex machines. Impending upgrades kinda make me nervous, if you know what I mean..

    1. AnorKnee Merce said on March 12, 2019 at 6:57 am

      @ clake

      It is quite strange that some Win 10 1803 and 1709 computers have still not been forced auto-upgraded by M$/Nadella to Version 1809, ie excluding those that have feature updates/upgrades set to be deferred by many months.

      It’s very possible that M$ will not be sending you any more upgrades because your Win 10 Optiplex computers are likely around 5 year or older.

      Remember, M$ forced auto-collects Telemetry & Data from all Win 10 computers = M$/Nadella know how old your computers are.
      ……. This may be how M$/Nadella make obsolete Win 10 computers that are about 5 year or older = consumers can no longer use Win 10 Home or Pro for up to 10 years until EOL = just like how enterprise users who buy Win 10 Ent Volume Licenses could no longer do the same since July 2015.

      Previously, Win XP/Vista/7/8.1 licenses could be bought and used by consumers and enterprises for up to 10 years until EOL because there were no forced auto-updates/upgrades and no forced auto-collection of Telemetry & Data by M$/Nadella.

  5. AnorKnee Merce said on March 11, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    With this coming forced auto-upgrade to Win 10 1903, there are bound to be some 5 year or older Win 10 computer that cannot be upgraded = stuck on Version 1809 or 1803 forever = soon to be EOL’ed by M$ = affected users may go and buy new OEM Win 10 computers = Planned Obsolescence = more profit$ for M$.
    ……. This has happened before with previous forced auto-upgrades.

  6. John said on March 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    I’m still on 1803. Windows just never upgraded me to 1809, even though I am on the Home edition that forces updates, and don’t run any special software designed to thwart them. I still automatically get security updates and bug fixes for 1803 on a regular basis, so Windows Update is working, they just aren’t sending the feature update.

    The only time 1809 came up is when I was having PC issues and, without thinking, followed my typical “unknown problem” protocol from my earliest days computing and clicked “update” manually (Since sometimes the bug or problem one is experiencing has already been fixed by an update one hasn’t installed yet), forgetting about how clicking “update” in Windows now seems to equate to “Yes! I’d like to be an Alpha/Beta tester!” (I don’t want to be- It seems odd that I am forced to avoid manually checking for updates if I only want relatively finished products). It came up but somehow did not install, fortunately, and then eventually disappeared.

    My guess would be that my PC’s hardware or configuration must still have some known (to Microsoft) issues with 1809, or that Microsoft hasn’t tested enough PCs that are similar to mine with 1809 to be confident in sending me the update without me essentially asking for it.

    Now, given that, what’s the deal likely to be with 1903? Will it simply carry over the same issues from 1809 and add new issues to them? Does it include fixes for 1809 issues that aren’t being issued to users of the 1809 branch for some reason? Did they go back to 1803 and built 1903 from it, while only allowing select 1809 improvements rather than taking their flawed 1809 code and building off it directly?

    My concern is that 1903 *could* include all the outstanding issues with 1809 and *potentially* add new issues to them. In other words, it could be worse because of the carryover effect.

    With all the issues 1809 still has, my approach, if I were Microsoft, would have been to go back and built 1903 on 1803 with only the new features they feel are most important in 1809 being added in. If they did that, I’d be more likely to want to upgrade. However, normally, that’s not how things work- odds are they took 1809 and built 1903 from that base.

    Does anyone know how long 1803 Home will be getting security updates and bug fixes free of charge? I would not be comfortable with sticking with a version OS that is not getting security patches (Unless it were not connected to the Internet), but I would be comfortable sitting on 1803 indefinitely *if* it continues to get security patches, while I wait for a feature update that seems relatively issue-free to upgrade to down the line (Or software I use stops running on it).

    My concern is that a rolling release, as Windows has now become, may stop issuing security fixes to old versions on a relatively quick timetable. When 1903 comes out, 1809 will be the previous version, and the old default was that software would only be supported one generation back (Granted, this is an OS and not software). 1803, despite being only a year old, is now two generations back, and because of forced automatic feature updates, Microsoft could simply stop issuing security patches.

    It used to be that there was a timeline during which Microsoft promised various versions of Windows would continue to receive security fixes, but that was back when people were charged for major upgrades, the major upgrades were less frequent, and the major upgrades were not forced. I don’t know that Windows 10 feature updates come with those type of guarantees anymore (If they do, someone please let me know!). Plus, one could argue that these feature updates are closer to the old Service Packs more similar to a transition from XP SP1 to XP SP2 than a transition from, say, Windows 98 to Windows XP. Even back in the day, my vague recollection is that while an old version OS (i.e. XP in the era of Vista or Windows 7) may have continued to be supported with security fixes for a given time period, it was sometimes conditioned on a user at least upgrading to the most recent Service Pack for that version (i.e. Windows XP SP2 instead of Windows XP with no SPs or Windows XP with SP2.

    So, what’s the deal? How long can I still to 1803 *and* continue to receive security updates? Has Microsoft said anything?

    1. ilev said on March 12, 2019 at 9:47 am

      Windows 10, version 1803
      Date of availability : April 30, 2018
      End of service for Home, Pro, and Pro for Workstation editions : November 12, 2019

  7. ilev said on March 11, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    I am still on 1803 with Semi-Annual deferred for 120 days for 1809.
    Will I get 1803 to 1903 update ?

  8. Cornelis said on March 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I’m so glad I switched to Linux 3 years ago . . .

  9. Phil said on March 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    These constant updates are crazy. How many users are actually affected by any one update. And if updates are so necessary that you need them weekly then it is an admission the system is fatally flawed. Has anyone actually calculated how much efficiency you lose after 100-200 updates. I know a fresh install is always so much faster.

    What is the risk benefit ratio to any update? Figure that first.

    Remember Y2K?

  10. AnorKnee Merce said on March 11, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Remember, M$/Nadella mostly rely on forced auto-collection of Telemetry & Data to test their “quality” updates; and up till now, Win 10 Version 1903 has only been tested by a few M$ staffs and some unpaid/non-professional Windows Insider alpha-testers = Version 1903 is a non-quality feature update or upgrade.

    First out the gate to be forced auto-upgraded by M$ to Win 10 1903 on the day of release will be the unpaid/non-professional Win 10 Home 1809 beta-testers who may be then struck by unknown bugs in the upgrade. Win 10 Professional/Enterprise 1809 or 1803 computers with the default setting of 0 day deferment may be struck as well.

    Some IT Admins often have a few Win 10 Ent 1809 or 1803 with the default setting of 0 day deferment = forced auto-upgraded to Version 1903 = to test Version 1903 before deploying it to the rest of the computers on the company network.

    Of course, if M$/Nadella have made no or very few major feature changes between Version 1809 and 1903, there may be no bugs or very few bugs in the forced auto-upgrade to 1903.

    1. Anonymous said on March 12, 2019 at 2:36 am

      They’ve made quite a few changes to the GUI and search, among other things.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 12, 2019 at 4:22 pm


        And yet, they haven’t actually fixed either of those things.

  11. Dave said on March 11, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    I’m still on 1803 too, but not because I’m blocking it. M$ hasn’t pushed it to either of my PCs. (one running pro, the other home)

    Note: Usually posting a comment like that here inexplicably coincides with me finally getting the update I mentioned.

  12. John G. said on March 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    I am expecting version 1803 because W10 1809 is the lowest quality W10 version ever. I played a game with version 1511 with at least 25% more FPS than now, with the same GPU drivers. LoL.

  13. Bobby Phoenix said on March 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Ha! I still haven’t gotten 1809 yet, and I’m on a 2017 HP laptop, so it’s not like it super old.

  14. Emil said on March 11, 2019 at 9:01 am

    The plan to have mandatory major updates every six months is nuts.

  15. Paul(us) said on March 11, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Martin, A bit of topic I still have the 1803 version installed.
    Do you think not only that Microsoft will directly automatically update to the 1903 version or will first install 1809 version?
    Also I really curious about what your thinking (of course without any consequences if you give your opinion, which is very much appreciated by me) is it already reasonable safe to update to version 1809?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Good question. I’d skip 1809 entirely and wait for 1903. Would not install it in the first two months but it should be save afterward.

      Obviously, you’d want to create a full backup before you run the update so that you can go back in case something goes wrong.

  16. 420 said on March 11, 2019 at 8:37 am

    or just run wpd and block updates

    1. clas said on March 12, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      420: nice little program….thanks…clas

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.