That whole thing about forcing users to upgrade because new features are great? Well, that’s now a thing of the past.
After complaints of bluescreens, bad drivers, and lackluster new features for the past few years, Microsoft is finally giving control back to its customers on when they want to update to new versions of Windows 10.
In a blog post today, Microsoft’s Mike Fortin puts a happy face on what is really a solemn moment. The idea behind constant and forced updating has turned out to be a failure. And, customers are rejoicing everywhere.
We are adding new features that will empower users with control and transparency around when updates are installed. In fact, all customers will now have the ability to explicitly choose if they want to update their device when they “check for updates” or to pause updates for up to 35 days.
Per the blog post, here are the new features that accomplish this new capability:
- 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 the end of support. We 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. This extension ability is for all editions of Windows 10, including Home. Based on user feedback we know that any update can come at an inconvenient time, such as when a PC is needed for a big presentation. So, we’re 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.
- 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.