Windows 10 May 2019 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.

Microsoft has begun the rollout of the next major feature update to Windows 10, the May 2019 Update.

The upgrade, also known as version 1903, offers a variety of new features and tweaks aimed at home users and businesses.

Key additions include a simplified Start menu layout, a streamlined search option, the virtual assistant Cortana being spun off from Search, and new sign-in options for Windows Hello. Meanwhile, Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education users get a simple way to test programs in an isolated virtual environment using Windows Sandbox.

To see a full round-up of what's on offer, check out ZDNet's guide to the top new features and its comprehensive overview of the update, as well as TechRepublic's cheat sheet.

SEE: Windows 10 power tips: Secret shortcuts to your favorite settings (Tech Pro Research)

While the update is available from today, it could take some time to arrive on your PC, due to the phased nature of the rollout, and if you can't wait to receive it, 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 May 2019 Update to begin downloading on many machines, providing you are using "an actively serviced version of Windows 10".

Once the update appears, you can select "Download and install now". 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 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 May 2019 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 Windows10Upgrade9252.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 MediaCreationTool1903.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.

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