Microsoft removes Setting to defer feature updates from Windows 10 version 2004

Windows 10 administrators who upgraded devices to the latest feature update for the operating system, Windows 10 version 2004, may have noticed that the option to defer updates is no longer present in the Settings application of the operating system.

The defer option allowed administrators to defer feature updates by up to 365 days, e.g. to skip the installation of the next update via Windows Update.

Administrators who check Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options will notice that only the option to pause updates for up to 35 days is still present; this is the same option that Windows 10 Home customers got from the very get go.

windows-10 2004 no defer updates

Some administrators assumed that the missing option was caused by the same bug that affected previous versions of Windows 10, but this is apparently not the case.

Microsoft notes the following on the Microsoft Docs website:

Update less: 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.

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.

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).

The company does not want to confuse its customers by keeping the option and decided to remove it. Windows 10 customers may still configure update deferrals in the Group Policy, but the option to do so in the Settings application is no longer available.

Microsoft changed the feature update delivery process recently as well, and it may be the case that the change played a role in the company’s decision. Feature updates are not installed anymore automatically, even when the administrator selects to scan for updates manually. They are offered, but the admin needs to activate the update manually.

The two exceptions to the rule are when a particular version of Windows 10 is ending support, as Microsoft will push a newer version to these devices automatically, and bugs. Some users reported recently for example that their systems were updated automatically to Windows 10 version 2004.

Now You: have you used the update deferral option in the past? (via Deskmodder)

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June 25, 2020
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