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Windows 10: Want to avoid any nasty Creators Update surprises? Here's how to delay upgrading

Why those who can might want to hold off on the upgrade in light of Windows 10's checkered history on major updates.

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The next major update to Windows 10, the forthcoming Creators Update, will once again change the look and feel of Microsoft's OS.

The next major overhaul of Windows 10, the Creators Update, will be available on April 11, but you may want to hold off on making the leap.

Windows 10's Anniversary Update, the last significant feature upgrade to the OS, triggered complaints about frozen systems and broken webcams, due to a string of bugs that were uncovered after its rollout last summer.

Microsoft may have 10 million Windows Insiders testing pre-release versions of the OS, but it might still be better to play it safe when it comes to installing this latest update.

If you're running the Pro or Enterprise versions of Windows 10 you can follow these tips to put off the upgrade for at least four months.

Unfortunately, there are no such easy answers for Home users. In lieu of other options, if your Windows 10 PC is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or via a mobile data connection you can try configuring the connection as a 'Metered connection', which limits updates to those Microsoft deems critical.

Go to the Start Menu, to Settings (the cog icon), then to Network & Internet → WiFi. Left click on the network name your PC is connected to, and on this page is an option to set the Wi-Fi link as a Metered connection, toggle this option on.

Ironically, the Creators Update will introduce new, albeit still limited, options for Home users to defer updates, with the addition of a Snooze function that will allow users to delay its installation, indefinitely if they so choose. Users will also be able to pick a time when the update should be installed.

The Creators Update will give Windows 10 Education, Enterprise and Pro users even more control over upgrades, with the Creators Update introducing the ability to defer feature updates, for example, the Anniversary or Creators Update, for up to 365 days and quality updates, cumulative security updates and fixes, for up to 30 days.

While April 11 is the date when the update begins to be pushed out to PCs, it will likely be rolled out over many months, as was the case with the Anniversary Update.

Conversely, if you want to get hold of the Creators Update early, and are not in the Windows Insider program, then you'll be able to get it using the Microsoft Update Assistant tool from April 5.

Windows 10 phones will receive the Creators Update from April 25.

What's new in the creators update?

Features aimed at business include various security improvements, including tweaks to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), a better Windows Analytics Dashboard for monitoring and managing Windows PCs, and easier Window 7 to Windows 10 upgrades.

One forthcoming change likely to appeal to firms will reduce the average download size of upgrades typically by one third, due to the OS only downloading the new files each install needs.

For Home users, many of the new features in the Creators Update are focused on making it easier to consume and create 3D content. The update will include support for mixed-reality headsets, with Windows 10-targeted visors from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo launching this year.

Mixed reality is Microsoft's name for headsets that can believably project digital objects into the real world, for example, placing a 3D rendered chessboard on a real-world table.

Other consumer-targeted additions include 3D Paint and a community site for sharing 3D creations. Also new is better tab management in the Edge browser, Windows 10 Game mode, Beam game streaming and new ebook capabilities.

Read more on Windows 10...

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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