Deferring upgrades

How to prevent Windows 10 from installing version 1909, November 2019 Update

You can avert unwanted problems by delaying the Windows 10 version 1909 until you're ready, and in this guide, you'll learn how to do it.

Options to defer Windows 10 version 1909

Although Windows 10 receives two feature updates yearly which usually include new functionalities and improvements, starting with version 1909, November 2019 Update, Microsoft is testing a new approach to make updates less intrusive. Instead of releasing two versions that require full installation, moving forward only the first major update of the year will require reinstallation, and the second major update will be a minor servicing update that will arrive as a cumulative update through Windows Update for devices already running the May 2019 Update (version 1903). In addition, the new version won’t install automatically until you initiate the process manually.

As a result of being a minor update, the process will not require a full reinstallation, and the experience will be similar to a monthly cumulative update.

If you’re not running the May 2019 Update, then upgrading to version 1909 will require full installation just like in previous releases. The new version will also download and install automatically, but only on devices running a version nearing the end of service. (Microsoft has yet to announce the date when devices will receive the new version automatically. The good news is that it won’t be the same day as the official release date for version 1909.)

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 November 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 version 1909 sometime in September 2019, but it’s recommended to apply the settings to delay the upgrade before the next version comes out.

How to block Windows 10 version 1909 using Settings

If you’re running Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home, the November 2019 Update won’t download automatically until you start the process manually. This means that if you want to prevent Windows 10 from installing the new version, then don’t click the Download and Install now option in the “Windows Update” settings page.

If you want to go a step further or your device is nearing the end of service, on Windows 10 Pro, you can use the Settings app to block new feature updates using the advanced settings for Windows Update.

Using the Windows as a Service (WaaS) servicing program, you can delay a new version for up to 365 days since the day it was original released.

Use these steps to block feature updates using the Settings app:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Update.

  4. Click the Advanced options button.

    Windows Update settings with Advanced options
    Windows Update settings with Advanced options
  5. Under “Choose when updates are installed,” select the number of days, up to 365 days that you want to defer installing Windows 10 version 1909 (19H2).

    Delay Windows 10 version 1909 using Settings
    Delay Windows 10 version 1909 using Settings

Once you complete 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 1909 using Group Policy

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

Use the steps to defer feature updates using Group Policy:

  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.

    Group Policy Windows Update for business policies
    Group Policy Windows Update for business policies
  5. Select the Enabled option.

  6. Under the “Options” section, use the drop-down menu, and select the Semi-Annual Channel option.

  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.

    Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received policy
    Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received policy
  8. Click the Apply button.

  9. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, Windows 10 won’t try to download and install version 1909 until the day you specified in the policy.

How to block Windows 10 version 1909 on Windows 10 Home

If you’re running Windows 10 Home, you can’t defer the November 2019 Update on your computer by simply not initiating the upgrade process manually through Windows Update. However, you can always 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 1909

Use these steps to set a wireless connection as metered on Windows 10:

  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 1909

Use these steps to set a Ethernet (wired) connection as metered on Windows 10:

  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.

This guide outlines multiple methods to stop the next version of Windows 10 (version 1909) from installing automatically on your device, but you should only use these recommendations 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.

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 days have been resolved to prevent problems on your laptop or desktop.