Are you ready for Windows 10 Creators Update? As you’ve probably heard, Microsoft officially rolled out its third Windows 10 refresh on April 11, 2017. While this is the date Microsoft is publicizing, the reality is that you may not be able to get it for some time after the official date. In fact, it could be as long as a couple of months.

Of course, Microsoft is planning on rolling out the Creators Update in phases. Considering the fact that, according to Microsoft, there are 400 million devices running Windows 10, it really couldn’t do it any other way. However, the key to these rollout phases seems to be based on the age of your system. Apparently, newer systems will receive it first while older systems will receive it later. According to a recent Windows 10 blog:

“The first phase will target newer devices, especially those we tested together with our OEM hardware partners. We will then expand the Creators Update release to additional devices based on the feedback we receive during the initial phase. We’ll iterate this process over a period of several months until all compatible devices running Windows 10 worldwide are offered the Creators Update. Windows Phone will follow the same phased approach, with rollout scheduled to begin April 25. Note that update availability may vary by manufacturer, model, country or region, mobile operator or service provider, specific installed software, hardware limitations and other factors such as feedback from customers.”

Reading between the lines, it appears that this newer-to-older system staggered release cycle will allow Microsoft deliver the Creators Update to systems that will be able to run this newest Windows 10 version without problems. This will allow Creators Update to get good press right out of the gate. Then, when the staggered releases start moving down the line toward older and older systems, if problems arise, the noise won’t carry as much weight. Furthermore, it will allow Microsoft to receive feedback, find and fix compatibility issues, and issue interim fixes/patches as needed, before getting to the systems most likely to encounter problems. Pretty good plan, huh?

Well, what if you are ready to get your hands on the Creators Update right away, regardless of the age of your system? Fortunately, Microsoft anticipated that scenario and provided a way to circumvent the staggered release phases and immediately download and install the Creators Update using a tool called the Update Assistant. Let’s take a closer look.

Note: Keep in mind that Microsoft says the Update Assistant is intended for advanced users running devices with a licensed version of Windows 10.

Creating a System Image backup

Even though the Update Assistant is a solid tool, I definitely recommend that you create a system image just in case. That way, if the upgrade goes south for some reason or another, you can easily restore your system and data to its original state.

You can find all the details in my article How to revive your Windows 10 installation with System Image Recovery.

Downloading the Update Assistant

You can download the Update Assistant from Microsoft here. When you download the tool, you should find its file (Windows10Upgrade28085.exe) in the Downloads folder.

Note: The Update Assistant does not support the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10.

SEE: Windows 10’s Cortana on Raspberry Pi: Creators Update turns the Pi into voice-controlled assistant

Launching the Update Assistant

When you run the Windows10Upgrade28085.exe executable file, you’ll immediately encounter a UAC like the one shown in Figure A. If you are ready to proceed, just click Yes.

Figure A

Launching the Update Assistant displays a UAC.

In a moment, you’ll see the Windows 10 Update Assistant introductory screen, as shown in Figure B. When you are ready to proceed, click Update Now. The Update Assistant will then run a compatibility check on your system and check each of its major components.

Figure B

The Update Assistant identifies and displays your current Windows 10 version.

If your system passes all the compatibility checks, you’ll see a success screen like the one shown in Figure C. The actual download will begin a few moments after this screen appears. A countdown will appear in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Figure C

After you see the success screen, the download begins.

Downloading the Creators Update

As the download progresses, the Update Assistant will keep you apprised of its progress, as shown in Figure D. The download will take a little while to complete.

Figure D

The Update Assistant keeps you apprised of the download progress.

Once the download is complete, the Update Assistant will verify the download to ensure a successful installation (Figure E).

Figure E

The verification process is fairly quick.

SEE: Windows 10 Creators Update: The smart person’s guide

Installing the Creators Update

Once the Update Assistant downloads and verifies the file, the install begins, as shown in Figure F. The install will take a while to complete.

Figure F

The actual install begins.

The Update Assistant will let you know when it’s time to restart, as shown in Figure G. If you happened to walk away from your system when the installation began, the Update Assistant will wait 30 minutes for you to return. If you do not return before that period elapses, the Update Assistant will automatically restart your system.

Figure G

The Update Assistant will wait 30 minutes before restarting your system.

If you are sitting in front of your system when this message appears, you can either choose Restart Later or Restart Now. If you choose to restart later, Windows will wait until you’re not using your PC and will then proceed with the update procedure. Regardless of how this next phase of the update begins, it will take about 90 minutes to complete.

During this time, your computer will reboot several times as the system works through the update procedure. In between the reboots you’ll see screens that display the following messages:

  • Restarting
  • Getting Windows Ready – Don’t turn off your computer
  • Working on Updates – ##% complete – Don’t turn off your computer
  • Working on Updates – ##% – Don’t turn off your PC – This will take a while.

After the final reboot, you’ll see a screen like the one shown in Figure H, which simply welcomes you to the newest version of Windows and prompts you to click Next to continue.

Figure H

You’ll see the Welcome screen after the final reboot.

When you proceed, you’ll be prompted to choose your privacy settings, as shown in Figure I. While this screen displays only a few of the available privacy settings, I encourage you to make some selections. You can make more and refine your privacy settings from within the Settings tool.

Figure I

You can make a few privacy settings right away.

The next screens will prompt you to configure Cortana. However, you can choose to do it later by selecting Not Now, which is what I did. When you proceed, you’ll see a series of screens that display the following messages:

  • Hi
  • We’ve got some updates for your PC
  • This might take several minutes – Don’t turn off your PC
  • These updates help protect you in an online world
  • We want everything to be ready for you
  • Let’s start

You’ll then see the Login screen. After you enter your password and get back into your system, you’ll encounter the final screen of the Update Assistant, shown in Figure J.

Figure J

After you log in you’ll see the final screen of the Update Assistant.

Clicking Exit reveals Microsoft Edge displaying a page the welcomes you to the Creators Update, as shown in Figure K, and invites you to begin learning more about the new features included in the latest version of Windows 10.

Figure K

Once you close the Update Assistant, you’ll see a welcome page in Microsoft Edge.

You can now begin exploring the Creators Update without having to wait for Microsoft to decide when it’s your turn to get the new Windows 10. Enjoy!

More Windows how-to’s

What’s your take?

Now that you have the Creators Update installed on your system, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.