(Don't) Manually Update to Windows 10 Version 1809


Update: Due to quality issues, Microsoft has pulled from distribution the 1809 update. Read more here. The update is deleting user files in the Documents, Videos, Music and perhaps other folders. Notably, files in the OneDrive folder were not deleted. This bug emphasizes both the importance of backups and the advantage of storing all of your files on OneDrive.

Twice each year (Spring and Fall), Microsoft releases a new version of Windows 10. This month, Microsoft announced and is rolling out its Windows 10 Version 1809 update. There are some nice new features

The new features include:

  • Dark Mode for File Explorer
  • The Your Phone App (great for Android phone users)
  • An Easier Way to Make Screen Text Larger

It is usually best to wait until Microsoft sends the update to your PC via Windows Update. However, if you want the new features in Version 1809 and don't want to wait, you can throw caution to the wind and force the update. 

How much of a chance you are taking by forcing the update before Microsoft makes it available on your PC through its Windows Update function will vary from machine to machine depending on the hardware and software you use. It may not be worth doing on your primary "production" computer used for essential work. It may be fine to do on your laptop or secondary PC. If you have to ask if it is worth the risk, then it probably isn't worth jumping the gun. Just wait until Microsoft decides you PC is ready. 

To manually update to Windows 10 Version 1809, all you need to do is download the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant, run the downloaded file, and follow the prompts. The process will take a while depending on the speed of your internet connection and the speed of your PC. Just head to this page and press the "Update Now" button.

If something goes wrong with the update, and you want to roll back to the previous version, you can do so within 10 days. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, scroll down to "Go Back to the Previous Version of Windows 10," and click "Get Started." Windows will undo the update, and you can wait for Microsoft to officially roll it out to your machine when it may be more stable. Fortunately, the semi-annual Windows updates are getting better and more reliable over time, so forcing a Windows 10 version update is less risky than it was a couple of years ago.

But it is still not risk free. There are already reports of problems with 1809, including inaccuirate information in Task Manager and a possible loss of files due to a OneDrive glitch. Proceed with caution and perhaps wait until the first patch to 1809 is released next Tuesday, October 9.

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