Windows 10 April 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 April 2018 Update, the next big upgrade to Windows 10, will begin rolling out via Windows Update from 8 May, but you could still be in for a long wait.

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

If you're confused about the timing, it's worth noting the update has arrived slightly later than anticipated, and with a different name than the expected "Spring Creators Update".

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 April 2018 Update to begin downloading on most 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.

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

Get the update before the rollout begins

From Monday 30 April, Microsoft will be making the April 2018 Update available to download. If you want to do this, follow the guide outlined below under the heading 'Download the update'.

If you can't wait until downloads are released on Monday, the main way to get the April 2018 Update is to join Microsoft's program for testing early builds of Windows 10, known as the Windows Insider program.

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 and click on 'Windows Insider program' and then 'Get Started', as shown below.
    Image: Nick Heath / TechRepublic
    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 pace do you want to get new builds?' select 'Release preview' from the dropdown 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.

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

Download the update

At some point around Monday 30 April, Microsoft should let licensed users of Windows 10 manually upgrade to the April 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.
Image: Microsoft

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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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