The Fall Creators Update, the next big upgrade of Windows 10, will begin rolling out to PCs from October 17, but it could be months before it arrives on your machine.
If you don't want to wait while Microsoft gradually rolls out the upgrade, it's already possible to get your hands on the Fall Creators Update. And if you're uncertain about whether you want the Fall Creators Update, check out our comprehensive guide.
Check if you'll get the update immediately
The rollout begins on October 17th at 10am Pacific Time. After this point, you can check if your PC will be among the first machines to receive the Fall Creators Update by going to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update and clicking on the button Check for updates. If you get the message "Your device is up to date", then your machine is not scheduled to receive the update straight away.
However, unless your machine isn't eligible to receive the Fall Creators Update, you can manually install the update by following the instructions under the heading 'Getting the update after the rollout begins' below.
Getting the update before the rollout begins
Ahead of the official launch date next Tuesday, the main way to get the Fall Creators Update is to join Microsoft's program for testing early builds of Windows 10, known as the Windows Insider program.
Please note: the downside to being part of the Microsoft's Windows Insider program is that Microsoft will push early application updates and driver updates to your computer, so you may experience more instability than running a regular build of Windows, although the risk is minimized by choosing 'Release Preview' in step 8 below. Also, be aware that Microsoft will collect more information about how you use your PC.
- If you don't have a Microsoft account, you first need to create one by following this link. If you do have an account you can skip to step 3.
- If your copy of Windows 10 isn't linked to a Microsoft account, go to Settings > Accounts > Your Info (probably selected by default) and click on 'Sign in with a Microsoft account instead'. Now enter the details for your Microsoft account.
- Next, to enable your computer to receive Insider builds, go to Settings > Update & security and click on 'Windows Insider program' and then 'Get Started', as shown below.
- Click on the plus sign next to 'Link an account', then select your Microsoft account and hit 'Continue'.
- Under the banner titled 'Let's be clear', hit the 'Confirm' button.
- Next hit the 'Restart Now' button.
- Once the machine has rebooted, click on Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program.
- Under the heading 'What pace do you want to get new builds?' select 'Release Preview' from the dropdown menu.
- Click on 'Windows Update' in the side menu and then the 'Check for updates' button. It may take several hours or longer before the latest build becomes available.
SEE: Toolkit: 21 useful Active Directory scripts for Windows (Tech Pro Research)
Getting the update after the rollout begins
Microsoft will let licensed users of Windows 10 manually upgrade to the FCU using the following tools. Here's what you need to do:
- To download the Windows 10 Update Assistant, go to this link and click the 'Update Now' button under the 'Download Windows 10' heading.
- Find Windows10Upgrade.exe in your downloads folder, and launch it. Click the 'Update Now' button.
- The tool will check whether your system is compatible, and automatically begin the download if it passes the system.
- When the update is ready, you just need to hit 'Restart now' to apply it. The update will likely take some time to complete but should preserve your files, apps and settings, the same as any other update.
Media Creation Tool
- To get the Media Creation Tool, go to this link and click the 'Download tool now' button under the heading 'Create Windows 10 installation media'.
- Find the MediaCreationTool.exe in your downloads folder and launch it.
- Accept the terms and conditions in the Windows 10 Setup window.
- Choose the 'Upgrade this PC now' option and hit 'Next'.
- The tool will now download Windows 10, check for updates and prepare for the upgrade, which may take some time.
- You may have to accept the terms and conditions in the Windows 10 Setup window again after the previous step is complete.
- The tool may then continue downloading files and setting up the upgrade.
- Once this setup is complete you should see a 'Ready to install' message in the window. The 'Keep personal files and apps' option should be selected automatically, but if it isn't, you can click 'Change what you want to keep' to make your choice.
- Hit the 'Install' button and the process should begin. Make sure you have saved and closed any work you have open before hitting this button. The update should complete after some time.
How to check you have the Fall Creators Update
To check you've upgraded to the Fall Creators Update after completing one of these methods, go to Settings > System > About and check the number next to 'OS Build', if it's 16299.15 then you're running the Fall Creators Update.
More on the Fall Creators Update
- What is Windows 10 Fall Creators Update? Everything you need to know about Microsoft's big upgrade
- How to delay upgrading to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
- Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK is available: Promises better looking, easier-to-use apps
- See Windows 10's new look: Microsoft's Fluent Design System in action
- Video: Top features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
- What to expect from the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (ZDNet)
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.