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

You can install Windows 10 21H1 even if the device isn't compatible, but you need to enable the feature manually – here's how.

Windows 10 21H1 disable safeguard hold
Windows 10 21H1 disable safeguard hold

Windows 10 allows you to bypass the safeguard hold that may prevent the 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 becomes available, it may still contain bugs, errors, and other known issues that can negatively affect the experience. However, since these problems usually affect a small fraction of computers, Microsoft will still proceed with the rollout, but it will place a “safeguard hold” to temporarily block affected devices from getting the new version. Once the issue is fixed and verified, the safeguard hold is lifted, and the new version of Windows 10 (such as version 22H2) will then become available through Windows Update.

While it is recommended not to upgrade until your computer is fully compatible, Windows 10 includes the “Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates” option to install a new feature update bypassing the block.

In many scenarios, you can enable the option using the Group Policy Editor or Registry. For instance, if it has been some time and the device is not getting the new version. You want to test the update on a spare computer before upgrading your primary device, or you cannot wait until the new version arrives automatically.

This guide will teach you the steps to disable the safeguard hold policy on Windows 10.

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, cause data loss. Following these instructions is not recommended 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 to install version 22H2, 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

  5. Select the Enabled option.

    Disable safeguard 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. (See also this video tutorial with the steps to disable the policy.)

After the installation, the policy will reset, and you will 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, 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, and 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 and choose the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.

    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

  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, the option to install Windows 10 22H2 will be available from the Windows Update settings when you are ready to upgrade.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He's also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ & Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, and LinkedIn.