In a blog post, Microsoft has announced a major change in policy regarding updates for consumers, returning a significant measure of control over their PC to them.
The changes are designed to help prevent updates from occurring unexpectedly, mediated by new Download and Install options in the Windows Update settings.
The changes include:
- Download and install now option provides users a separate control to initiate the installation of a feature update on eligible devices with no known key blocking compatibility issues. Users can still “Check for updates” to get monthly quality and security updates. Windows will automatically initiate a new feature update if the version of Windows 10 is nearing end of support. Microsoft may notify you when a feature update is available and ready for your machine. All Windows 10 devices with a supported version will continue to automatically receive the monthly updates. This new “download and install” option will also be available for our most popular versions of Windows 10, versions 1803 and 1809, by late May.
- Extended ability to pause updates for both feature and monthly updates. Microsoft is making it possible for all users to pause both feature and monthly updates for up to 35 days (seven days at a time, up to five times). Once the 35-day pause period is reached, users will need to update their device before pausing again. This extension ability is for all editions of Windows 10, including Home
- Intelligent active hours to avoid disruptive update restarts. The active hours feature, introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, relies on a manually configured time range to avoid automatically installing updates and rebooting. Many users leave the active hours setting at its 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. default. To further enhance active hours, users will now have the option to let Windows Update intelligently adjust active hours based on their device-specific usage patterns.
- Improved update orchestration to improve system responsiveness. This feature will improve system performance by intelligently coordinating Windows updates and Microsoft Store updates, so they occur when users are away from their devices to minimize disruptions.
In short, Microsoft will now offer rather than force feature updates, unless that version of Windows 10 is close to End of Support. Monthly updates will still be installed automatically, but users will still be able to postpone those for up to 35 days. Microsoft is also backporting these options to the April 2018 and October 2018 update.
Are our readers satisfied with these improvements? Let us know below.