Force upgrade

How to disable safeguard hold to install new versions of Windows 10

Microsoft now lets you install new version of Windows 10 even if your device isn't compatible, but you need to enable the feature manually – here's how.

Disable safeguard hold for feature updates of Windows 10

Windows 10 now allows you to bypass the safeguard hold that may prevent your computer from downloading and installing a new feature update, and here’s how to use the option. When a new version of the operating system releases, it may still contain bugs, errors, and other known issues that can negatively affect the user experience. However, since these problems usually only affect a small fraction of devices, Microsoft will still proceed with the rollout, but it’ll place a “safeguard hold” to temporarily prevent affected devices from getting the new version. Once the issue has been fixed and verified, the safeguard hold is lifted, and the new version of Windows 10 (such as version 20H2) will then become available through the Windows Update settings.

While it’s recommended not to upgrade until your device doesn’t have any compatibility issues, Windows 10 now includes the Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates option (via Microsoft) to bypass the block to install a new feature update, even though, it may not be quite ready for your computer.

The option can be enabled using the Group Policy Editor or Registry, and it’ll come in handy in many scenarios. For instance, if it’s been sometime and your device is not getting the new version. You want to test the update on a spare computer before upgrading your primary device, or you can’t wait until the new version arrives automatically.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to disable the safeguard hold policy that may prevent your device from getting a new feature update of Windows 10 as a result of a compatibility problem.

Warning: Installing a new version of Windows 10 when a known issue has been detected with your device hardware and software configuration can negatively affect your experience, and in some cases can cause data loss. It’s not recommended to follow these instructions unless you know what you’re doing and understand the risks.

Disable safeguard hold for feature updates using Group Policy

To disable the safeguard hold to upgrade Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for gpedit.msc, select the top result to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

  3. Browse the following path:

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business
  4. Double-click the Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates policy.

    Windows Update for Business
    Windows Update for Business
  5. Select the Enabled option.

    Disable safeguard for feature updates
    Disable safeguards for Feature Updates
  6. Click the Apply button.

  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, the compatibility block will be removed, and you’ll be able to use the Windows Update settings to download and install the October 2020 Update. (You can also watch this video tutorial with the steps disable the policy.)

After the installation the policy will reset, and you’ll need to configure it again if your device has a compatibility hold during the next feature update rollout.

Disable safeguard hold for feature updates using Registry

To bypass the safeguard hold to install a new version of Windows 10 using the Registry (via WindowsLatest), use these steps:

Warning: Changing the Registry can damage your Windows installation if it’s not done correctly. It’s assumed that you know what you’re doing and that you have previously created a full backup of your computer. Proceed with caution and use this as the last course of action.
  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for regedit, select the top result to open the Registry.

  3. Browse the following path:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  4. Right-click the “WindowsUpdate” key, select the New submenu, as choose the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.

    Windows Update Registry
    Windows Update Registry
  5. Name the key DisableWUfBSafeguards and press enter.

  6. Double-click the newly created key and set its value from 0 to 1.

    DisableWUfBSafeguards
    DisableWUfBSafeguards
  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, the option to install the new version of Window 10 will be available via the Windows Update settings when you’re ready to upgrade.