Worried About Windows 10 Version 1903’s Stability? Here’s How You Can Block It

Rafia Shaikh
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Microsoft can't take the weekend off...

Microsoft started having a good run with Windows 10 with last year's April 2018 Update being the fastest growing Windows 10 version. However, all of that user confidence was shattered with the October 2018 Update, which proved to be the worst feature update we have seen since the introduction of Windows as a Service in 2015. The Windows maker had to officially pull it back after its public release to sort out some data loss issues. Even after being re-released, it continues to run into problems after problems with every new cumulative update.

With the upcoming Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Microsoft is taking a slower approach, baking version 1903 longer than usual in the Slow and Release Preview rings before offering it to the public. While most of us expected to see the public release happening this month, Microsoft said that in order to offer better performance and more stability, users will have to wait longer. You can still get it if you can't wait for the public release, but it won't be Microsoft's fault if you do run into any problems.

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These problems are the reason why many Windows 10 users choose to wait a little after every Windows 10 release before they install the latest versions. Microsoft released Windows 10 May 2019 Update to MSDN subscribers this week along with releasing the SDK for developers. With the public release expected in the coming weeks, like always, we will recommend our readers to avoid installing the latest update for at least the first few weeks to make sure you don't run into any fatal flaws.

If you want to block Windows 10 1903 and avoid the latest update from surprising you with new features and possibly new bugs, there are a few ways to block Windows 10 1903 on your devices, at least temporarily.

How to block Windows 10 version 1903 temporarily on Home and Pro/Enterprise/Education devices

If you aren't up for going through the installation process and the subsequent compatibility and performance issues, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to delay the installation process. But whether you are looking forward to the new feature update or not, blocking that update shouldn't come in the way of your machine getting security updates.

Microsoft has promised that it will introduce a new "Download and install now" option to initiate the installation of a feature update on devices that have no known blocking compatibility issues. “Check for updates” will be used to get monthly quality and security updates. Once that happens, things will get easier. The Windows maker said that the option would show up on Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1809 by late May. Better controls will be introduced with the May 2019 Update, which will introduce the ability to pause updates for 35 days, among other options.

But until those features out, if you are dreading the release of Windows 10 May 2019 Update and don't feel too excited about it, you can easily delay Windows 10 1903 for a few days and wait for it to get more stable.

1. Delaying Windows 10 May 2019 Update on Home

Here's how you can delay Windows 10 May 2019 Update while still getting security updates to make sure you aren't putting your machine at risk.

  • Open Settings > Update & security Windows Update.
  • Click on Change active hours to avoid surprise restarts during your work hours.block windows 10 1809

Change active hours helps you delay the update for just a few hours to make sure the installation process doesn't start while you are at work. You can also delay the update for up to 6 days by clicking on "Schedule the restart" after version 1903 has finished downloading but hasn't yet been installed. This button allows you to delay the restart and installation process for up to 6 days.

2. How to delay Windows 10 May 2019 Update for a little longer (Home)

Opting for a metered connection helps in deferring new updates for until you are ready. BUT, this strategy also poses you to security threats as you won't receive Patch Tuesday cumulative updates. If you are comfortable with manually installing cumulative updates every Patch Tuesday, then you can use this option to block Windows 10 May 2019 Update for longer time. Microsoft says it will still download critical updates while you are on a metered connection.

Here's how to set your Wi-Fi network as a metered connection:

  • Open Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi.
  • Change your Wi-Fi connection as a metered connection: click on the network you use to connect to the internet and toggle on Set as metered connection in the next screen. block windows 10 october 2018 update

Do note the severity of this option as most of the security updates will stay blocked. While Microsoft will continue installing priority updates, most of the cumulative updates will remain blocked. You will need to install cumulative updates manually until you toggle off the metered connection. Every time Microsoft sends a security patch, you will need to manually download and install it from the Microsoft Update website.

When you are ready to upgrade to Windows 10 May 2019 Update, you can simply go through the same steps to toggle off metered connection; until then the update will remain blocked.

3. Use the Pro or Enterprise version and want to block Windows 10 1903? Easy.

Unlike the mere mortals who use Windows 10 Home, those who use Windows 10 Pro, Education and Windows 10 Enterprise do get the ability to postpone updates without going through any workarounds or risking the security of their machines. Things are fairly easy for you as you can delay Windows 10 1903 for up to 365 days and that too "legitimately."

  • Go to Settings Update & security.
  • Under Update settings, click on Advanced options.
  • Over here, you can simply choose to defer updates for as many as 365 days OR choose to delay the process until a certain update is more stable. For the latter, under "Choose when updates are installed" select "Semi-Annual Channel." windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel

The first option lets you defer a feature upgrade for up to 365 days and the second one for up to a year after it's made available for corporate consumers, which usually happens four months after the public release.

You can always go back to these settings to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update earlier than you have selected. Version 1903 is being currently tested by Slow and Release Preview ring Insiders and hopefully it would prove to be a more stable version that the last updates.

We will update this space when Microsoft releases the promised controls to delay Windows 10 feature updates. 

Relevant: how to get the May 2019 Update before everyone else

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