Deferring upgrades

How to prevent Windows 10 from installing version 1903 (April 2019 Update)

You can avert unwanted problems by delaying the Windows 10 April 2019 Update, version 1903, on your device until you're ready, and in this guide, you'll learn how to do it.

Options to defer Windows 10 version 1903, April 2019 Update

On Windows 10, devices receive two feature updates each year, which usually introduce new features, changes, and improvements to enhance the overall experience and security. The only caveat is that these updates (such as version 1903, April 2019 Update) are mandatory and they install automatically, and because during the early days upgrades may still have issues, they can negatively affect the user experience.

Although it may not always be the case, when a new release of Windows 10 becomes available, it may still contain bugs, new or existing features may not work correctly, and drivers may break as a result of compatibility problems with the new version, which is why it’s a good idea to defer an upgrade until you are sure that most problems are resolved.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to block Windows 10 from installing the “April 2019 Update” on your computer using the Settings app, Group Policy, and setting a metered connection (if you’re running Windows 10 Home).

Important: Using the Settings app or Group Policy options won’t interrupt Windows Update from downloading and installing monthly cumulative updates for the current version that you’re running. Microsoft is planning to release the April 2019 Update sometime in April or early May 2019, but it’s still unknown the specific release date. However, it’s recommended to apply the settings to delay the upgrade before the next version comes out.

How to block Windows 10 version 1903 using Settings

If you’re running Windows 10 Pro with the latest update, you can use the Settings app to block new feature updates using the advanced settings for Windows Update.

Using the Windows as Service (WaaS) servicing program there are two branch readiness levels to obtain features updates. The “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” readiness level is the default option that every device is enrolled out-of-the-box, and this level receives upgrades immediately after a new version of Windows 10 releases. 

On the other hand, the “Semi-Annual Channel branch gets feature updates when Microsoft is confident that the new version is ready for enterprise deployment.

If you’re running Windows 10 using the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” branch, you can block a new version for up to 365 days since the day it was original released. Selecting the “Semi-Annual Channel” branch, also allows you to defer upgrades for up to 365 days, but devices enrolled in this level will receive the new release with features 4 months after it’s available in the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted).” Therefore, using the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” branch, you can defer feature updates up to 16 months.

To block feature updates using the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Update.

  4. Click the Advanced options link.

     Windows 10 version 1809 update settings
    Windows 10 version 1809 update settings
  5. Under “Choose when updates are installed,” select the readiness level: Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) or Semi-Annual Channel.

  6. Select the number of days, up to 365 days that you want to defer installing Windows 10 version 1903 (19H1).

     Windows Update advanced options to defer version 1903
    Windows Update advanced options to defer version 1903
    Quick Tip: To delay a new version of Windows 10 the longest, select Semi-Annual Channel and select 365 days. These settings will block new feature updates for 16 months.

Once you’ve completed the steps, Windows 10 will not install a new version until after the defer time you specified.

You’ll also notice that there’s an option to defer monthly updates, but you can only postpone these updates up to 30 days. However, you can use the Pause Updates option that temporarily prevents new updates (including feature updates) from being installed for up to 35 days.

How to block Windows 10 version 1903 using Group Policy

Alternatively, you can also block the Windows 10 April 2019 Update using the Local Group Policy editor.

To defer feature updates using Group Policy, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for gpedit.msc, and click 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 Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received policy.

    Windows Update for Business in Group Policy on version 1809
    Windows Update for Business in Group Policy on version 1809
  5. Select the Enabled option.

  6. Under “Options”, select one of the following options using the drop-down menu: 

    • Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) — stops Windows 10 from installing version 1903 for up to 12 months using the next step to specify the number of days.
    • Semi-Annual Channel — stops Windows 10 from installing version 1903 for up to 16 months using the next step to specify the number of days.
  7. Select the number of days to defer upgrades. You can stop Windows 10 from trying to install a new version for up to 365 days.

    Block Windows 10 version 1903 using Group Policy settings
    Block Windows 10 version 1903 using Group Policy settings
  8. Click the Apply button.

  9. Click the OK button.

After completing the steps, Windows 10 won’t try to download and install the April 2019 Update until the day you specified in the policy.

How to block Windows 10 version 1903 on Windows 10 Home

If you’re running Windows 10 Home, you can’t defer the April 2019 Update on your computer, but you can set a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection as metered, which limits access to the internet, including the ability to download and install feature updates automatically.

Setting a Wi-Fi connection as metered to delay version 1903

To set a wireless connection as metered on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Wi-Fi.

  4. Select the Wi-Fi connection to access its settings.

    Windows 10 Wi-Fi settings
    Windows 10 Wi-Fi settings
  5. Turn on the Set as metered connection toggle switch to enable and restrict background data usage.

    Set Wi-Fi connection as metered on Windows 10
    Set Wi-Fi connection as metered on Windows 10

Setting an Ethernet connection as metered to delay version 1903

To set a Ethernet (wired) connection as metered on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Ethernet.

  4. Select the wire Ethernet connection to access its settings.

    Windows 10 Ethernet settings
    Windows 10 Ethernet settings
  5. Turn on the Set as metered connection toggle switch to enable and restrict background data usage.

    Set Ethernet connection as metered on Windows 10
    Set Ethernet connection as metered on Windows 10

This method will block all kinds of updates, meaning that your computer will be unprotected until you disable the metered connection.

Wrapping things up

This guide outlines multiple methods to stop the next version of Windows 10 (version 1903) from installing automatically on your device, but you should only use these recommendations only if you know something is wrong with the update or you have a good reason. Although updates can introduce new problems, they’re important to safeguard your data and installation from hackers and malware. 

The April 2019 Update introduces a new set of improvements that changes various aspects of the operating system, and it introduces several new features, such as Windows Sandbox to test untrusted apps. You’ll find a new light theme that expands to the Start menu, taskbar, action center, and more. Reserved partition will now help your device to install updates without problems. Windows 10 will be able to fix common problems automatically, and a lot more..

These instructions are only meant to help you stop Windows 10 from installing a new version until you’re sure that bugs and issues during the early day have been resolved to prevent problems on your desktop, laptop, or tablet.