Windows 10 October 2018 Update: How to get it early

If you can't wait for the latest major feature update to Windows 10, these are the options available to you.

The October 2018 Update, the next big upgrade to Windows 10, is rolling out via Windows Update from October 9th, but you could be in for a long wait before it arrives.

If you want to get your hands on all the new features in the October 2018 Update right now, then there are various options available to you.

The easiest way to get the update

Microsoft has indicated that going to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update and clicking on the button Check for updates should trigger the October 2018 Update to begin downloading on many machines, providing you are using "an actively serviced version of Windows 10".

If you get the message "Your device is up to date", then your machine is not scheduled to receive the update straight away. Microsoft is using machine-learning system to determine when PCs are ready to receive the update, as part of the update's phased rollout, so it may be some time before it arrives on your machine.

You can also manually install the update by following the instructions under the heading Download the update below.

Download the update

Microsoft allows licensed users of Windows 10 manually upgrade to the October 2018 Update using the following tools. Here's what you need to do:

Update Assistant

  1. To download the Windows 10 Update Assistant, go to this link and click the 'Update Now' button under the 'Download Windows 10' heading.
  2. Find Windows10Upgrade.exe in your downloads folder, and launch it. Click the 'Update Now' button.
  3. The tool will check whether your system is compatible, and automatically begin the download if it passes the system.
  4. 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

  1. 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'.
  2. Find the MediaCreationTool.exe in your downloads folder and launch it.
  3. Accept the terms and conditions in the Windows 10 Setup window.
  4. Choose the 'Upgrade this PC now' option and hit 'Next'.
  5. The tool will now download Windows 10, check for updates and prepare for the upgrade, which may take some time.
  6. You may have to accept the terms and conditions in the Windows 10 Setup window again after the previous step is complete.
  7. The tool may then continue downloading files and setting up the upgrade.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Get the update before the rollout begins

Now the October 2018 Update is available it is no longer necessary to follow the steps below, use one of the methods listed above instead.

If you can't wait until downloads are released later this month, the main way to get the October 2018 Update is to join Microsoft's program for testing early builds of Windows 10, known as the Windows Insider program. While Microsoft hasn't confirmed the October 2018 Update build is available via the Insider program, the version available via the program's Slow ring should be nearly identical, bar a few last-minute fixes.

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

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. Also, be aware that Microsoft will collect more information about how you use your PC.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Next, to enable your computer to receive Insider builds, go to Settings > Update & security > 'Windows Insider program' and then 'Get Started', as shown below.
    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
  4. Click on the plus sign next to 'Link an account', then select your Microsoft account and hit 'Continue'.
    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
  5. Under the banner titled 'Let's be clear', hit the 'Confirm' button.
  6. Next hit the 'Restart Now' button.
  7. Once the machine has rebooted, click on Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program.
  8. Under the heading 'What kind of content would you like to receive?' select 'The next version of Windows' from the drop-down menu. Under the heading 'What pace do you want to get new builds?' select 'Slow' from the drop-down menu.
    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
  9. 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.

Also read

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.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox