Microsoft forces Windows 10 update on PCs that were set up to block it

Some users reported being pushed to the Win10 1709 upgrade with no advanced warning.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Certain Windows 10 users are being forced to upgrade to version 1709, even if they have deferred the Feature Updates.
  • All users who have been forced to upgrade to Windows 10 version 1709 seem to have limited the Diagnostic Data that could be collected by Microsoft.

Some Windows 10 users are reportedly being forced to upgrade to version 1709, even if they had chosen to opt out of automatic updates.

As reported by Windows blog AskWoody, Windows 10 users on versions 1607 and 1703 were pushed into the update, even if they had Feature Updates deferred. In a separate Woody on Windows column in Computerworld, it was also noted that the updates were forced on users with no advance warning.

Version 1607 is also known as the Anniversary Update, and version 1703 is called the First Spring Creators Update of Windows 10. The push to version 1709 is an upgrade to what is known as the Fall Creators Update, originally released on October 17, 2017.

SEE: System update policy (Tech Pro Research)

The forced updates are interesting because they seem to bypass a safeguard feature that prevents automatic updates. By deferring feature updates, Windows users can push back certain updates for quite a long time, placing them on a path called "Current Branch for Business." But this surprise upgrade was unavoidable for some users, even with the deferral in place.

However, as noted in Computerworld's report, Microsoft has done this twice before. Once in July 2017, once in November 2017, and once in January 2018.

This is causing problems for some users. A user named bobcat5536 posted on the AskWoody site that the update caused their PC to boot into version 1709, but with no sound or color.

This forced upgrade didn't hit all users of version 1607 and version 1703. But the users who were forced to upgrade seem to have had the Diagnostic Data level set to zero, Computerworld reported. To put it another way, upgrades were pushed to users who were sending "the minimum amount of telemetry to Microsoft," the report said.

If a user's Diagnostic Data level is set to Full or Basic, they likely won't get the update, the report noted. The forced update also might have something to do with this update not going through Windows Update, therefore not following the determined deferral settings.

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Image: iStockphoto/Andrew Hoyle/CNET

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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