Windows 10: Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10

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  1. Mike89 Win User

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10


    How to: Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10

    How to Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10


    The Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions let you defer upgrades to your PC. When you defer upgrades, new Windows features wont be downloaded or installed for several months (not indefinitely). Deferring upgrades doesnt affect security updates. Note that deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as theyre available.

    As part of the alignment with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft is adopting common terminology to make it as easy as possible to understand the servicing process. Going forward, these are the new terms we will be using:
    • Semi-Annual Channel - We will be referreing to Current Branch (CB) as "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)", while Current Branch for Business (CBB) will simply be referred to as "Semi-Annual Channel".
    • Long-Term Servicing Channel - The Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) will be referred to as Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).
    Enabling defer upgrades puts your Windows 10 PC on the Semi-Annual Channel. By putting devices on the Semi-Annual Channel, enterprises will be able to receive feature updates after their quality and application compatibility has been assessed in the consumer market, while continuing to receive security updates on a regular basis.

    Update 2/28/2019: Windows Update for Business and the retirement of SAC-T - Microsoft Tech Community - 339523

    Overview of Windows as a service:

    Feature updates
    With Windows 10, Microsoft will package new features into feature updates that can be deployed using existing management tools. Because feature updates are delivered more frequently than with previous Windows releases two to three times per year rather than every 35 years changes will be in bite-sized chunks rather than all at once and end user readiness time much shorter.

    Quality updates
    Monthly updates in previous Windows versions were often overwhelming because of the sheer number of updates available each month. Many organizations selectively chose which updates they wanted to install and which they didnt, and this created countless scenarios in which organizations deployed essential security updates but picked only a subset of nonsecurity fixes.

    In Windows 10, rather than receiving several updates each month and trying to figure out which the organization needs, which ultimately causes platform fragmentation, administrators will see one cumulative monthly update that supersedes the previous months update, containing both security and nonsecurity fixes. This approach makes patching simpler and ensures that customers devices are more closely aligned with the testing done at Microsoft, reducing unexpected issues resulting from patching.

    Semi-Annual Channel
    In the Semi-Annual servicing channel, feature updates are available as soon as Microsoft releases them. Windows 10, version 1511, had few servicing tool options to delay feature updates, limiting the use of the Semi-Annual servicing channel. Windows 10, version 1607 and onward, includes more servicing tools that can delay feature updates for up to 365 days. This servicing modal is ideal for pilot deployments and testing of Windows 10 feature updates and for users such as developers who need to work with the latest features immediately. Once the latest release went through pilot deployment and testing, you choose the timing at which it goes into broad deployment.

    When Microsoft officially releases a feature update for Windows 10, it is made available to any PC not configured to defer feature updates so that those devices can immediately install it. Organizations that use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, or Windows Update for Business, however, can defer feature updates to selective devices by withholding their approval and deployment. In this scenario, the content available for the Semi-Annual Channel will be available but not necessarily immediately mandatory, depending on the policy of the management system. For more details about Windows 10 servicing tools, see Servicing tools.

    Organizations are expected to initiate targeted deployment on Semi-Annual Channel releases, while after about 4 months, we will announce broad deployment readiness, indicating that Microsoft, independent software vendors (ISVs), partners, and customers believe that the release is ready for broad deployment. Each feature update release will be supported and updated for 18 months from the time of its release.

    Organizations can electively delay feature updates into as many phases as they wish by using one of the servicing tools mentioned in the section Servicing tools.

    Long-term Servicing Channel
    Specialized systemssuch as PCs that control medical equipment, point-of-sale systems, and ATMsoften require a longer servicing option because of their purpose. These devices typically perform a single important task and dont need feature updates as frequently as other devices in the organization. Its more important that these devices be kept as stable and secure as possible than up to date with user interface changes. The LTSC servicing model prevents Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB devices from receiving the usual feature updates and provides only quality updates to ensure that device security stays up to date. With this in mind, quality updates are still immediately available to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB clients, but customers can choose to defer them by using one of the servicing tools mentioned in the section Servicing tools.

    Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB is a separate Long Term Servicing Channel version.

    Long-term Servicing channel is not intended for deployment on most or all the PCs in an organization; it should be used only for special-purpose devices. As a general guideline, a PC with Microsoft Office installed is a general-purpose device, typically used by an information worker, and therefore it is better suited for the Semi-Annual servicing channel.

    Microsoft never publishes feature updates through Windows Update on devices that run Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB. Instead, it typically offers new LTSC releases every 23 years, and organizations can choose to install them as in-place upgrades or even skip releases over a 10-year life cycle.

    Windows 10 LTSB will support the currently released silicon at the time of release of the LTSB. As future silicon generations are released, support will be created through future Windows 10 LTSB releases that customers can deploy for those systems. For more information, see Supporting the latest processor and chipsets on Windows in Lifecycle support policy FAQ - Windows Products.

    The Long-term Servicing Channel is available only in the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB edition. This build of Windows doesnt contain many in-box applications, such as Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Store, Cortana (limited search capabilities remain available), Microsoft Mail, Calendar, OneNote, Weather, News, Sports, Money, Photos, Camera, Music, and Clock. Therefore, its important to remember that Microsoft has positioned the LTSC model primarily for specialized devices.

    If an organization has devices currently running Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB that it would like to change to the Semi-Annual Channel, it can make the change without losing user data. Because LTSB is its own SKU, however, an upgrade is required from Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB to Windows 10 Enterprise, which supports the Semi-Annual Channel.

    Windows Insider
    For many IT pros, gaining visibility into feature updates earlybefore theyre available to the Semi-Annual Channel can be both intriguing and valuable for future end user communications as well as provide the means to test for any issues on the next Semi-Annual Channel release. With Windows 10, feature flighting enables Windows Insiders to consume and deploy preproduction code to their test machines, gaining early visibility into the next build. Testing the early builds of Windows 10 helps both Microsoft and its customers because they have the opportunity to discover possible issues before the update is ever publicly available and can report it to Microsoft.

    Microsoft recommends that all organizations have at least a few PCs enrolled in the Windows Insider Program and provide feedback on any issues they encounter. For information about the Windows Insider Program for Business, go to Windows Insider Program for Business.

    *note Microsoft recommends that all organizations have at least a few PCs enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, to include the Windows Insider Program in their deployment plans and to provide feedback on any issues they encounter to Microsoft via the Feedback Hub app.

    The Windows Insider Program isnt intended to replace Semi-Annual Channel deployments in an organization. Rather, it provides IT pros and other interested parties with pre-release Windows builds that they can test and ultimately provide feedback on to Microsoft.


    This tutorial will show you how to choose when feature and quality updates are installed for your Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition PC.

    *Warning You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to defer feature and quality updates.


    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: To Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Settings
    • Option Two: To Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Registry Editor




    OPTION ONE [/i] To Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Settings

    *note If you have a Windows Insider build installed, this option will not be available in Settings.

    See also: Flight Hub
    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.

    2. Click/tap on Windows Update on the left side, and click/tap on the Advanced options link on the right side. (see screenshot below)

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    3. Under Choose when updates are installed, select the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) (default) or Semi-Annual Channel branch readiness level you want to determine when feature updates are installed. (see screenshot below)

    *note This step no longer applies to Windows 10 version 1903 and higher.

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    4. Under Choose when updates are installed, select to defer feature updates for 0 - 365 days for what you want. (see screenshot below)

    *note The default is 0 days.

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    5. Under Choose when updates are installed, select to defer quality updates for 0 - 30 days for what you want. (see screenshot below)

    *note The default is 0 days.

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    6. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.





    OPTION TWO [/i] To Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Registry Editor
    1. Press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.

    2. Navigate to the key location below in the left pane of Registry Editor. (see screenshot below)
    *Arrow HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings


    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]


    3. To Set Branch Readiness Level to "Current Branch" or "Current Branch for Business"
    *note This step no longer applies to Windows 10 version 1903 and higher.
    A) In the right pane of the Settings key, double click/tap on the BranchReadinessLevel DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 2)

    B) Enter the value data in the table below for the branch readiness level you want to use, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    [table][tr][td]Value Data[/td] [td]Branch Readiness Level[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]10[/td] [td]Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) (default)[/td] [/tr] [tr][td]20[/td] [td]Semi-Annual Channel[/td] [/tr] [/table]

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]


    4. To Choose How Many Days Feature Updates are Deferred for
    A) In the right pane of the Settings key, double click/tap on the DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below)

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    B) Enter a number between 0 to 365 in the value data field for how many days you want to defer feature updates for, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]


    5. To Choose How Many Days Quality Updates are Deferred for
    A) In the right pane of the Settings key, double click/tap on the DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below)

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    B) Enter a number between 0 to 30 in the value data field for how many days you want to defer quality updates for, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]

    6. When finished, you can close Registry Editor if you like.

    That's it,
    Shawn


    Related Tutorials

    :)
     
    Mike89, Feb 17, 2016
    #1
  2. SarahKong Win User

    Windows 10 Cumulative updates not showing up in windows updates (Windows 10 Home version 1709)

    I would recommend deferring those updates.

    I have done that on my PC even though it is a compatible PC.

    Go Start - Settings - Update and Security - Advanced Options.

    I have feature updates deferred for 120 days and quality updates to the max for 30 days. Plus i have updated paused.

    https://www.groovypost.com/howto/block-windows-...
     
    SarahKong, Feb 17, 2016
    #2
  3. SarahKong Win User
    Latest Windows 10update on Surface Pro

    I have blocked these updates on my Surface Pro because you are right they are hostile. Especially if you are using a Surface Dock too.

    To do this go to Settings - Update and Security - Advanced Options.

    Feature Updates i have it deferred 120 days.

    Quality Update i have it deferred the max 30 days.

    And i have Updates set to Pause

    Also make sure Give me updates for other Microsoft products when i update Windows is unchecked.

    https://www.groovypost.com/howto/block-windows-...
     
    SarahKong, Feb 17, 2016
    #3
  4. Brink
    Brink New Member

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10

    Brink, Feb 17, 2016
    #4
  5. Mike89 Win User
    I've seen that but what I've read from people who have tried it is this doesn't stop Windows 10 Update from continuing to update drivers for devices already installed. This just stops Windows 10 from installing drivers for a device that is installed after Windows 10 is installed, like say plugging in a printer or something. Each time Windows 10 Update receives a new driver after the fact, it's still going to install it automatically.
     
    Mike89, Feb 18, 2016
    #5
  6. Brink
    Brink New Member
    Brink, Feb 18, 2016
    #6
  7. jmsnyc Win User
    What if you are a windows insider but you defer upgrades ? Would that work ? I am on Education so I have the option. Windows 10 insider has been releasing builds so often recently. I think I am on slow too. But I do not want to revert my system to get out of the insider program
     
    jmsnyc, Jun 22, 2016
    #7
  8. Brink
    Brink New Member

    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10

    Hello jmsnyc, *Smile

    Deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as they’re available, but I don't think it will affect Insider build updates.

    If you like, you could disable automatic updates, and just not install the Insider build until you're ready.

    How to Enable or Disable Automatic Updates for Windows Update in Windows 10
     
    Brink, Jun 22, 2016
    #8
  9. If I use the registry edit option to defer upgrades can I just uncheck the box in Windows Update > Advanced Options to turn off the defer upgrades setting?

    Or is it locked until the registry is edited to allow the upgrades again?
     
    tatersandeggs, Jul 23, 2016
    #9
  10. Brink
    Brink New Member
    Hello tatersandeggs, and welcome to Ten Forums. *Smile

    Yes, you can use either option to toggle the same setting on or off.
     
    Brink, Jul 23, 2016
    #10
  11. Yes I I looked at the regeditor and if you uncheck the "defer upgrades box" the dword value changes back to 0.

    What I need is a way to lock this setting to defer upgrades so that a user doesn't accidentally/on purpose change it.

    Thanks for your help and quick response BTW.
     
    tatersandeggs, Jul 23, 2016
    #11
  12. Brink
    Brink New Member
    If you have Windows 10 Pro installed, you could set the group policy below for this.

    Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Update/Defer Windows Updates


    Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10 [​IMG]
     
    Brink, Jul 23, 2016
    #12
  13. Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10

    Oh excellent! Thanks Brink-my man. I have been searching all morning for documentation on this.

    You rock buddy!
     
    tatersandeggs, Jul 23, 2016
    #13
  14. Brink
    Brink New Member
    You're most welcome. *Smile
     
    Brink, Jul 23, 2016
    #14
  15. Brink
    Brink New Member
    This tutorial has been updated for OPTION ONE and OPTION TWO. *Smile
     
    Brink, Feb 18, 2017
    #15
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Windows Update - Defer Feature and Quality Updates in Windows 10

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