Starting today, Microsoft is beginning its phased rollout of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update to PCs worldwide. But what if you don’t want the disruption of updating your computer?

While it is always sensible to keep PCs up to date, there are various reasons why you might want to put off installing the May 2019 Update, for instance, the threat of incompatible hardware and undiscovered bugs, with the resulting instability being a pressing concern for businesses.

If you want to defer the update, also known as version 1903, there are a couple of options available, depending on which edition of Windows 10 you are running. And if you want to refresh your memory as to what’s in the May 2019 Update, then check out TechRepublic’s cheat sheet. (Note: This article about the Windows 10 May 2019 Update is available as a free PDF download.)

How businesses can defer the Windows 10 May 2019 Update

If you’re running the Pro, Enterprise or Education versions of Windows 10 you can put off the upgrade for at least four months.

  1. Go to Settings > Update & security.
  2. Under ‘Update settings’, click the text ‘Advanced options’.

    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
  3. Under ‘Choose when updates are installed’ choose ‘Semi-Annual Channel’ from the dropdown menu.

    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
  4. Changing this setting from the ‘Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)’ option to ‘Semi-Annual Channel’, previously known as ‘Current Branch for Business’, typically defers feature updates like the May 2019 Update for about four months.
  5. To delay the update for longer than four months, click the dropdown menu under the text ‘A feature update includes new capabilities and improvements. It can be deferred for this many days:’.
  6. In this dropdown menu select the number of additional days you would like to defer the update for, up to a maximum of 365.

    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic

To defer the update across an IT estate, corporate admins can also use the Group Policy Editor.

1. Open the Group Policy Editor by hitting the Windows key and typing group policy and clicking on ‘Edit group policy’.

2. Go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update -> Windows Update for Business.

3. Open the policy Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received and choose Enabled.

4. Now choose your servicing channel and how many additional days you want to defer the update for, in exactly the same way as you would in the Windows 10 Settings app.

SEE: Toolkit: 21 useful Active Directory scripts for Windows (Tech Pro Research)

How home users can defer the Windows 10 May 2019 Update

With the release of the May 2019 Update, users of Windows 10 Home should be able to defer feature updates like the May 2019 Update for longer than has been possible in the past.

After the May 2019 Update becomes available for your PC, you’ll want to avoid clicking the ‘Download and install now’ option under Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update, as this will begin downloading the update for install.

If you never click the ‘Download and install now’ option, the May 2019 Update won’t be installed, with Microsoft indicating the install won’t trigger automatically until ‘close’ to the end of the support period for the version of Windows 10 you are currently running.

This option will only be available to those upgrading from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update build, version 1803, or newer. There are also indications that Microsoft may start automatically pushing feature updates to PCs about five months before support for the currently installed version of Windows ends, with PCs currently running version 1803 of Windows 10 automatically installing the May 2019 Update from next month.

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