Microsoft will no longer allow users to manually defer Windows 10 update downloads in a bid to “prevent confusion”, according to new documentation issued by the firm.
First introduced with Windows 10 1703, the update deferral facility allowed users to push back feature updates for a specific period of time, up to a maximum of 365 days.
Windows 10 updates
Until now, users of Windows 10 Pro, Education and Enterprise have all had access to the option to defer the two biannual Windows 10 feature updates, unless support for their device’s current version was soon to be withdrawn.
Users of Windows 10 2004 first noticed the option had been revoked following the May 2020 update, after which it was discovered that Microsoft had amended documentation for IT professionals running the OS.
“Last year, we changed update installation policies for Windows 10 to only target devices running a feature update version that is nearing end of service. As a result, many devices are only updating once a year,” reads the updated document.
“To enable all devices to make the most of this policy change, and to prevent confusion, we have removed deferrals from the Windows Update settings Advanced Options page starting on Windows 10, version 2004.”
However, in a bid to head off complaints from keen users of the facility, Microsoft has built in a workaround; update deferral can still be configured by business users of Windows 10 via group policies.
The company has provided the following advice for users that still want to take advantage of the deferral feature:
“If you wish to continue leveraging deferrals, you can use local Group Policy (Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business > Select when Preview builds and Feature Updates are received or Select when Quality Updates are received).”