The latest Windows 10 feature update, Windows 10 October 2020, version 20H2 is just around the corner, and Windows users are already in the dilemma whether to install it on their system or not. And why wouldn’t they? Windows has a history of feeding the half-cooked Windows updates to the users, that several times cause a severe system malfunctioning (like what a half-cooked food does to your body).
Every year for their Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft releases two major updates. The first one of this year was Windows 10 version 2004, and Windows 10 20H2 is the second for the year. The version 21H1 is also scheduled to release in the first half of 2021. Before releasing the updates to the general public, Microsoft makes the updates tested by the members of the Windows Insider Program. However, the real functional testing is still done by the end-users, i.e. people like you and me. So, there is always a danger of some bugs emerging while you are on the latest version.
While it may be harmless going for the new Windows updates on your spare computer, you should avoid installing it on your primary systems until there is clarity on the bugs and errors it may cause.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take much trouble to block updates on your Windows 10 systems. Unlike the older times, Windows now provides you with options to delay any kind updates on your system.
Here are the steps to make sure Windows 10 October 2020, version 20H2 feature update is away from your system.
Check what version you are using
To block the Windows updates, you have to first check whether or not you are running the Windows version that provides you with the option to delay the updates.
To check the Windows 10 version you are currently running, open the run command window, type “winver” and hit the enter key.
A new window would open that would tell you all about your Windows 10 version.
If you are on Windows 10 version 1903, 1809 or lesser, you must immediately move on and update to at least Windows 10 version 1909 for the stability.
The reason you must update is that Microsoft will end its support for the Windows 10 version 1809 from November 10, 2020, and for version 1903, the end of support will be from December 8, 2020. The end of support means that you wouldn’t get any more updates for those versions including the latest security patches.
So, basically, the Windows 10 version 1903 and lower would be outdated and hence vulnerable to the cyber threats, and unless you update yourself to 1909 or 2004, you are always at risk.
If you are on Windows 10 version 1909 or 2004, you might see the option on your update settings page that says “Feature update to Windows 10 version 20H2 is ready” along with the Download and install link. To avoid installing it, never click on that link.
Along with that, you must also avoid clicking on Check for updates option.
Pause Updates on Windows 10 version 1909 or 2004
If you are using Windows 10 version 1909 or version 2004, you will get the option to pause updates for at most 35 days from the Update settings. Here is how you can do that.
Go to Settings->Update & Security
Under the Windows Update, you would get the option to “Pause updates for 7 days“.
You can click on it five times to pause updates for straight 35 days.
Defer Feature Updates up to 365 days using Group Policy Editor
Group policy editor provides an excellent and straightforward option to postpone the Windows 10 feature updates up to 365 days. However, since the Group Policy Editor is not available on the Windows 10 Home edition, Home users can’t configure this setting.
For other edition users, here is how you can use Group Policy Editor to block the upcoming Windows 10 version 20H2 update.
- Search for the Group Policy Editor in the Windows search box and launch it.
- Navigate to the following path: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business
- Now double click to open “Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received” option to configure it.
- First click on the bullet next to the Enabled, next type 365 or the number of days you want to defer receiving the feature updates. Remember the maximum limit is 365 days.
- Click Apply and OK and exit the editor.
Stay on your Current Windows 10 version
From the Group Policy editor, you can also choose to stay on your current Windows version.
- Launch Group Policy Editor and navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business
- Double click on the “Select the target Feature Update version” to open and configure it.
- Now, click on Enabled bullet and type your current Windows 10 version to stay on it.
- Select Apply and then OK to finish the configuration.
- Exit the editor
That’s it. Your Windows 10 system will now stay on its current version only.
When Should I update to Windows 10 version 20H2?
As already mentioned, Microsoft does not release any updates directly; it first goes through the system of Windows Insider Program members and then reaches to end users like us. So, theoretically, the final version available for the common users must be bug-free or at least stable. However, historically this has been proven wrong.
Due to this reason, the majority of the Windows 10 users don’t rush for the updates and instead, wait for a few months after the update become stable and free from bugs and security errors. This is evident as nobody wants their smooth running system to be unstable and ruin their workflow.
Basically, it depends on a machine how the update would behave on it. So, you cannot tell if an update worked well on your friend’s device then it would work fine on your device as well.
If you want to install the new Windows 10 version, I would recommend you to wait for at least 3 to 4 months to get a clear picture of the common bugs and errors. In the meantime, you can also work on preparing your system for the latest update by configuring some hardware changes such as RAM, graphic card or others.