Windows 10 October 2018 Update: How to delay it

Worried that installing the October 2018 Update will break Windows 10? Here's how to block it, at least for a while.

From this month, Microsoft is expected to begin pushing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to PCs worldwide. But what if you don't want the disruption of updating your Windows 10 PC?

While it is always sensible to keep PCs up to date, there are various reasons why you might want to put off installing the October 2018 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 October 2018 Update, 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 October 2018 Update, then check out our gallery .

How businesses can defer the 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 October 2018 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 update

Windows 10 Home users, meanwhile, can configure their network as a 'Metered connection', which should block the system from downloading large feature updates like the October 2018 Update. Instead, the machine will only download what Microsoft deems to be 'priority' updates, such as critical security fixes.

However, be warned this broad-brush approach is somewhat of a measure of last resort and could have negative side-effects, due to Windows no longer downloading most Windows updates or Windows Store app updates.

  1. Ensure the Windows 10 PC is connected to the internet, then go to the Start menu, then to Settings -> Network & Internet -> Status.
    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
  2. Left click on Change connection properties. On this page is an option to set the network link as a Metered connection, toggle this option on.
    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic

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About Nick Heath

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.

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