Should you install the Windows 10 20H2 update right away?

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 25, 2020
Windows, Windows 10

The next feature update for Windows 10, Windows 10 20H2, will be released soon. Microsoft has not revealed the exact date the update will become available, but chance is very high that this is either going to happen in the coming three weeks.

The update will be made available to systems that are deemed the most likely to be compatible with it first, and then to other devices over the course of weeks and months.

One question that administrators and users need to answer is, whether it is a good idea to install the new feature update right away, or postpone the installation.

new windows 10 start menu

There is no easy answer to that question as it depends on a number of factors. The following paragraphs are suggestions on how to deal with the new update; feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below if you agree or disagree with them.

Systems that run Windows 10 20H1 have the best chance of not having any issues, as the update should install in a few minutes similarly to the update process from Windows 10 19H1 to 19H2. The process is similar to installing any other regular update on the system, and therefore less prone to cause any issues.

Systems with previous versions of Windows 10, e.g. Windows 10 version 19H2, will run through the full update procedure, and it is more likely that issues will be encountered during the installation or after a successful installation.

Rule of thumb: the older the Windows 10 version the more likely it is that issues will be experienced.

Devices with Windows 10 version 1809 or version 1903 may have the upgrade enforced on them as they will run out of support in November and December of 2020 respectively. Admins could upgrade these systems to Windows 10 version 1909 as an alternative as it is supported until May 2021; this needs to be done manually though as Windows Update will only offer the latest feature upgrade that is available for the device.

The source version of Windows 10 is not the only factor that administrators need to consider. Past updates have shown that there will always be issues, some known some unknown, when new feature updates are released. It is advised, at the very least, to create a system backup prior to running the upgrade on any system (regardless of version).

Tip: keep on eye on the Windows 10 release information page that Microsoft maintains. It lists bugs and issues that are confirmed officially.

Since Windows 10 20H2 does not include many new features or improvements, it may be better to skip the upgrade for the period of one or two months as bugs will be gone for the most part after that period (unless things go really wrong and the upgrade needs to be pulled).

Tip: you may unlock most of the improvements of Windows 10 version 20H2 right now on Windows 10 version 20H1 devices.

To sum it up:

  • Postpone the upgrade for one or two months, to avoid most of its initial bugs.
  • Create a backup of all important files, better the entire system partition and other hard drives, before you upgrade.

Now You: Do you run the latest version of an operating system all the time, or do you postpone upgrades?

Should you install the Windows 10 20H2 update right away?
Article Name
Should you install the Windows 10 20H2 update right away?
In this article, we are answering whether you should upgrade to the next feature update for Windows 10, Windows 10 20H2, right away, or if you should postpone the installation.
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  1. Anton said on January 24, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Never again. Installed linux for internet. Win10 is already sealed off and still have systems also working on older windows systems as well. As long as those systems stay away from the crazy marketing nonsense of updates and upgrades and of course horrible subscription methods and stuff like that, they all do practically the same job as win10 do right now. It’s marketing, no more no less, to keep us updating and upgrading like fools. Too many restrictions and bottle necks, to much pushy bs. I hate win defender/security for that same reason, and all the automated crap. Lost acces to files in 10, never happened with earlier versions, got disks cleaned out of stuff win10 considered dangerous (most tools to tweak the system). I am totally over following the hypes since 10 came. One system runs on 10 as I had no choice with some new laptop, but as soon as there is a workaround to make win 7 operate smoothly again on that new laptop, it’s bye bye 10 forever.So instead of ” upgrading” I choose for ” downgrading” which actually becomes a step up again! Win10 treats people like complete morons. I am done with it.

  2. pHROZEN gHOST said on January 19, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    @Martin, I just installed this update now. All went well except the painted build version number.
    In about it is 19042. But on the desktop it is 19041. This is the case on 2 PCs. I suspect it will happen when I do the 3rd one later today.

    I am not alone. Others have run into this.

    Scroll down to Berton’s post.

    Have not seen anything on your site about this. Maybe this is a result of delaying updates?!?!?!?

  3. Cameochi said on September 28, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    As always, thank you Martin Brinkmann for all you do! I’ve been into computers since 1964 (it filled a room) but one never gets bored because there’s always something new to learn. Last November Microsoft installed the server version on my PC which created a huge mess. I had to do a soft reset but it still took a few months to get everything back exactly as it was. I decided to block all automatic Windows updates.

    I usually use the Microsoft Catalog but sometimes use the Windows 10 Update Assistant which is for those doing beta testing. When I use either of those, they check for compatibility and so far it’s working well. BUT…I always make a full backup in case of a problem. I am running a Dell XPS 8930 and it’s working well. Among the issues I faced last November were problems with Intel drivers. Intel has a great tool for updating their drivers so I check those first before doing a Windows 10 Pro update. So far, so good and I hope it stays that way. :-)

  4. Allwynd said on September 27, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t really care about that stupid default Start Menu. I’ve long replaced it with StartIsBack++, because it actually works.

    The default start menu worked for a while, but for the last half a year or so, it doesn’t update the new entries of installed programs – I have a program installed, it’s right there in the start menu, but when I use the search function to find it quicker, it doesn’t show up in the results, it’s really frustrating and makes the whole start menu completely useless for me. In contrast, in StartIsBack++, everything just works perfectly, not to mention that the layout of the Windows 7 start menu is a lot better looking and more functional.

  5. Clarence said on September 26, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    Not enthused about another major release when the last one didn’t work.
    Win 10 2004. It never got beyond 0%. So what happens when they don’t work? Do other updates still work?? I.e. its a pre requisite to install 2004.??

  6. Allan said on September 26, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I am up to date on 2004 Win 10. Two weeks ago update KB4571756 comes along I try to install it with no luck it stops at 20% with a error code 0x800f0900. I have been trying to fix this since no luck.
    So the question is will I get 20h2 update with KB4571756 not installed?.
    Any Info about a fix would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Rtx said on September 26, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      You can try to install it seperately going to the catalog.
      Maybe that helps.

      1. Allan said on September 27, 2020 at 7:38 am

        Thanks Rtx, for got to say but tried that twice same result stops at 20% with same error code.
        Starting to think that something might be wrong with my desktop.

      2. John G. said on September 26, 2020 at 6:58 pm

        Solution provided by @Rtx works fine, tested by one friend of mine. :]

  7. bv said on September 26, 2020 at 6:47 am

    chances are it’ll be more stable than going from 19090 to 20h2.. haven’t done that yet… will see what blocks it this time

  8. Anonymous said on September 25, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    I’m never installing it long as they keep ruining the control panel. I will stick with LTSC forever.

  9. Lumene said on September 25, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    I install every feature update and every plain update the second they are released, I don’t care if my computer explodes. It’s not like it was STABLE, RELIABLE OR BUG-FREE before the updates either. Who knows, maybe in 30-40 years Windork 10 has evolved into a good, stable and user friendly OS where updating would be somewhat hazardous, but we are pretty effin’ far from that utopia still. So bring it on, Redmond, I have become completely numb regarding every update on this ludicrous superpotato OS.

  10. Yuliya said on September 25, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Unless you’re running a LTS version, like 1809, 1607 or 1507; you should always install the latest public/stable build of Win10. Once 2009 or whatever is released, 190* and 2004 are obsolete. No one will help you with any issues you have on those builds, support for those is/will be ended!

  11. JohnIL said on September 25, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    Not a big upgrade like 2004, if your running 2004 then the Fall upgrade is a minor one. If your still on 1909 you have a bit and if you are further behind I would upgrade to 2004 now which has been out since March and wait awhile for the Fall upgrade to see what happens. I don’t think its going to be a big deal.

  12. Corky said on September 25, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Personally i only run the latest version when workarounds for Windows annoyances have been discovered, things like finding software like T-Clock redux to fix the tiny unconfigurable system tray clock, working out how to remove or neuter things like Cortana, Edge, online search, the Content Delivery Platform and other things i have no use for.

  13. some1 said on September 25, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Yes, only if you want to work for Microsoft for free as a beta tester!

    1. Allwynd said on September 25, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      It’s called a voluntary lab rat, not a beta tester.

  14. NA said on September 25, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    From the horrid history, it’s masochistic to be an early adopter. I have no idea why Microsoft has to adopt the worst of what happened with Linux OSes like Ubuntu. At least Ubuntu has LTS releases and six month releases. There is no easy way for normal users to get a Windows LTS release.

  15. ard said on September 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    as normal, I will wait some 2-3 months before accepting the update. I keep an eye on internet fora and ghacks and if bug reports start slowing or stopping , I normally do the update.
    so far after W10 initial install , done it always done it that way, and knock on wood, till now not have had any issues.
    now running W10-2004 since some 6 weeks, so xmas looks a good time for W10-2010

  16. WorknMan said on September 25, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    The only reason you should install this, or any other non-critical Windows update, is if you want to help beta test it on real hardware.

  17. chesscanoe said on September 25, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    I am still stuck on Windows 10 Home (x64) Version 1909 (build 18363.1082) because of audio driver issues. I normally and perhaps stupidly update within hours of an update, but suspect this driver problem still is not resolved. I guess I’ll be waiting for more weeks to pass before I can update. Fortunately I’m running well where I am.

    1. Yuliya said on September 25, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      Did you try uninstalling said driver and revert to the Windows built-in provided by Microsoft? Assuming you want ti update, this should work, and the built-in audio driver is quite nice imo – extremely low latency and probably the best bass booster of all, although I think it lacks reverberation, or more advanced calculations of this effects.

  18. Joger said on September 25, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    I run the latest version of Windows 10 all the time, because it’s keep me from worrying too much about security issue, and sometimes performance issue, also I check for update every time I boot up.

    1. Corky said on September 25, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Not sure why you check for updates ever time you boot up as Windows does that by itself.

      Also as all supported version of Windows receive security updates being on the latest version matter nought.

    2. John G. said on September 25, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      I think that waiting at least one month should be the best choice for major upgrades. However other minor security updates should be installed as soon as possible. Just see the important phrase “the older the Windows 10 version the more likely it is that issues will be experienced”. I think it’s completely true. Thanks @Martin. :]

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