Windows 10 – New Feature Updates (July 2019)

Technology Tips – Published July 2019 in the Guide and Digest

by Don Trauger – Kennett

Microsoft has started rolling out their newest version of Feature Updates for Windows 10. This means not everyone will get it immediately. They are doing this to make sure there are no major flaws in the update. If you want to check what version you have, click Settings, click System, scroll down to About and click it. Scroll down again to Windows specifications to view your version. The present common versions are 1803, 1809 and the newest is 1903.

Feature Updates are the major updates released twice per year. Briefly, 1803 has been the most stable recent version. Version 1809 was introduced last October with a major flaw of deleting your personal files. That was quickly corrected but Microsoft has not fully released it to all users. With 1903 now released I doubt anyone will receive 1809. The version numbers simply refer to the year and month of release, well almost. Microsoft sticks to their initial scheduled release date even if there are problems to be corrected which can delay the actual release.

Microsoft has seen the error of their ways and has implemented a change to the way updates are handled. With Version 1903 you now have better control over when and if the updates are installed on your computer.

When a Feature Update becomes available you will first be notified instead of the update being installed automatically. If you don’t want to install it just ignore the notification and your computer will continue to use the current version. It will continue to run your current version until the end of its version support which is usually 18 months after its release date. For example, version 1803 will end support on Nov. 12, 2019 and version 1809 on May 12, 2020.

Whenever you are ready to install a Feature Update go to Settings, click Update & Security and click “Download and install now”. My recommendation is to wait at least until August 1, 2019 before installing 1903. There’s also a built-in safety feature that will either fix or uninstall problem updates and block their reinstallation for 30 days. Minor updates, such as security and bug fixes, can also be delayed but only for 7 days at a time. However, you can do this 5 times giving you a total of 35 days delay.

Now for more good news. This change will also be available to users of versions 1803 and 1809.

One other thing – don’t click on “Check for updates” unless you want to risk the possibility of receiving a partially tested update. Microsoft uses that item to further test updates.

Finally, Microsoft is offering user control over their computer in an area that has been plagued with faulty updates. If you have been affected you know what I’m talking about. We will discuss this topic at our PC Club meeting on July 16 at 7 PM, upstairs in the Community Center.