Windows 10 tip: Temporarily delay the Creators Update

Microsoft is about to release a big upgrade to Windows 10. If you're running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can wait a few months before you install this version. Here's how.

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Select this checkbox to defer the Creators Update for at least four months.

Click to enlarge

[Note: This article was originally published in mid-2016 for the Anniversary Update. It has been completely revised and republished for the spring 2017 Windows 10 update.]

Sometime in April, Microsoft's update servers will begin delivering the Windows 10 Creators Update to current installations of Windows 10 that have been running for at least 30 days.

With hundreds of millions of PCs to update, this rollout could take a while.

And that update is a big one: roughly 3GB in size. Although setup should be quick (less than 60 minutes) on reasonably fast hardware, you might want to wait. Maybe you're traveling and don't want to deal with a major upgrade just now. Or maybe you just want to watch what happens to other people before you commit.

See also: FAQ: How to install, reinstall, upgrade and activate Windows 10 | Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade | FAQ: How to manage Windows 10 updates | Windows 10: You've got questions, I've got answers | After one year, 10 lessons learned for Windows 10

If you're running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can delay the upgrade by at least four months. In version 1607, go to Settings > Update & security > Advanced options and click the Defer Feature Updates check box. That option moves your PC from the Current Branch (which gets feature updates as soon as they're released to the public) to the Current Branch for Business. With that option turned on, you will continue to get regular security updates but won't have to deal with that big upgrade for at least four months -- until Microsoft declares that it's ready for the Current Branch for Business.

If four months isn't enough, you can delay the upgrade even longer, by up to an additional 180 days from the time the Creators Update is released to the Current Branch for Business. To make that change, open the Local Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc) and navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Defer Windows Updates. Open the policy Select when feature updates are received, set it to Enabled, and then use the controls to choose your preferred branch and set a deferral period in days.

Previous tip: Use the Magnifier tool to zoom in on text or objects

Next week: Another Windows 10 tip from Ed Bott

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