Microsoft has released new builds for two aging Windows 10 versions: the Anniversary Update (v. 1607), released in August 2016, and the Creators Update (v. 1703), released in April 2017.
Both new builds contain numerous quality improvements and bug fixes but don't add any new Windows features missing from the one- and two-year-old versions of Windows 10 that came in later updates.
Users of Windows 10 versions 1607 and 1703 should plan to update their PCs, but neither update contains essential security fixes so there's no need to rush.
How to tell if you need these updates, and how to get them
Both new builds, 15063.1112 for Windows 10 1703 and 14393.2273 for Windows 10 1607, contain fixes to bugs in Windows 10 that were released in subsequent content updates but had yet to be added to older builds.
Bugs fixed include time zone change errors, Internet Explorer dialog windows not displaying properly on dual displays, Window Authentication Manager hanging, default applications resetting, and other quality-of-life fixes. You can view the full patch notes for both at the links above.
If you're not sure whether you need one of these updates, check your Windows 10 version number by right-clicking on the Windows button in the lower left of the screen, clicking System, and then scrolling down to Windows Specifications. Look for Version, and if you see 1607 or 1703 then these updates apply to you.
SEE: Windows 10 spotlight: Prepare, repair, and recover (Tech Pro Research)
In most cases you can update Windows automatically by opening Windows Update in the Settings app, but you can't do so in this case.
According to Neowin, anyone who uses the Windows Update app is now assumed to want the latest feature build—in this case the Windows April 2018 Update. Enterprises that have yet to migrate to version 1709 or 1803 of Windows 10 due to software conflicts should avoid using Windows Update, or systems will be forced onto 1803.
For these to updates you'll have to go the manual install route or simply wait for Windows to check for updates on its own, which only installs new builds and patches for the currently installed version of Windows 10.
You can download the patch for Windows 10 version 1607 here, and the patch for Windows 10 version 1703 here. Once the file is downloaded just double-click to open it and follow the onscreen instructions.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Microsoft has released quality improvement builds for Windows 10 versions 1607 and 1703, known respectively as the Anniversary Update and Creators Update.
- Those still running those older versions of Windows 10 will need to install the updates manually or wait for Windows to pull them itself—running the Windows Update app will result in a forced update to Windows 10's April 2018 Update.
- IT pro's guide to effective patch management (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- As Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands, Microsoft lists old features being cut (ZDNet)
- Windows 10 April 2018 Update: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Avoid Windows 10 crapware: How to get rid of Candy Crush and all the rest (ZDNet)
- Microsoft forces Windows 10 update on PCs that were set up to block it (TechRepublic)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.