How not to break Windows with Updates

If you’re running Windows 10 on your PC, you might have heard about the October 2018 update (1809).

The updates features included:

  • Improved visuals and a more unified look, including a “Dark Mode” for the File Explorer app
  • Your Phone app – to make it easier to transfer photos and interact with messages on your phone (mostly Android only, for now)
  • Clipboard history and cloud sync – maintain your copied content across Windows 10 devices
  • Improved search, screen clipping and accessibility tools

This is just a small number of the many feature updates.  More importantly however, it includes a range of fixes, performance updates and a wealth of usability and security improvements.

Unfortunately, this update has not been without issues and has been recalled several times.  Here we discuss how to handle Windows 10 updates while keeping your PC up and running.

Should I install it?

The short answer is yes – definitely. Windows 10 is constantly updated and without updating your PC will eventually be left behind.  But there are other matters to consider…

How should I prepare for the update?

Be sure you have a full backup of all your data (if not your entire PC!) before you install the update. If something goes wrong, you can then roll back or restore your device.

When should I install it?

We recommend waiting two or three months before installing major feature updates.  This gives time for issues to be ironed out. There is no need to install it right away, since security updates continue to be released for prior versions for some time.

Major Windows 10 updates are now released twice a year.  Just like the April 2018 update – this is a major update. Whilst many improvements have been made to speed up the upgrade process, the update will take time to download, time to install and will make a lot of changes to your device.  Depending on your device, it could be offline for anything from ten minutes to an hour.

Unlike weekly or monthly updates that we suggest installing right away, we recommend picking the right time to install major updates – perhaps at the end of a Friday or whatever time you won’t need your PC for a while.

My PC is critical to my business. What if the update breaks something?

If your PC plays a critical role within your business, you may wish to consider delaying this update for a few months until any initial teething issues are resolved. To do this, you need to be running Windows Professional or Enterprise (one of the many reasons doesn’t recommend using Home or Student software for business use). To do this:

  1. Go to Start, Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update, Advanced Options
  2. Under “Choose when updates are installed”, select “Semi-Annual Channel
  3. Under “A feature update…can be deferred for this many days:” choose 90.

This will mean that your PC will only receive updates three months after the release is considered ready for widespread use in a business setting.

If you have Windows Home and are using it for business use, we strongly recommend upgrading to Windows 10 Professional.  It’s a small price to pay for business continuity.

Need more help?

If you’d like help with backups, configuration, upgrades, or other assistance then iBizify can help.  ConnectRemote support sessions start at just £40 + VAT and can be used for just about anything — not just ‘break/fix’ but also ‘how-to’ and training.

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