Blocking upgrade

How to prevent Windows 10 from installing the October 2018 Update (version 1809)

You can avoid unwanted problems by delaying the Windows 10 October 2018 Update on your PC until you're ready, and in this guide, you'll learn how to do it.

Defer Windows 10 version 1809 (Redstone 5)

Windows 10 receives two semi-annual updates each year to introduce new features and to improve the overall experience. However, because updates are mandatory, when a new feature update releases — for example, Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update) —, your device installs it automatically. The only problem is that during the early days, the new version may still have problems that could negatively affect the user experience.

Usually, when a new version of Windows 10 becomes available, it may still contain unknown bugs, some features may not work correctly on every system configuration, and device drivers may break due to compatibility problems with the new release, and these are some of the reasons that deferring an upgrade until most issues are fixed can be a good idea.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to stop Windows 10 from installing “October 2018 Update” on your computer using the Settings app, Group Policy, and even using a metered connection if you’re running Windows 10 Home.

How to defer Windows 10 October 2018 Update using Settings

If you’re using the latest version of Windows 10, you can use the Settings app to defer new features updates and pause quality updates. However, these options are only available on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise.

In the Windows as Service (WaaS) servicing process 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 by default, and this level receives upgrades as soon as a new version of Windows 10 releases. 

The “Semi-Annual Channel branch gets feature updates when Microsoft is confident that features are ready for enterprise deployment. (If you want to delay a new version as long as possible, you should use this option.)

If you’re running Windows 10 using the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” branch, you can delay 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 new versions 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 defer feature updates using the Settings app, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Update.

  4. Click the Advanced options link.

    Windows 10 update settings
    Windows 10 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 1809 (Redstone 5).

    Windows Update advanced options to defer version 1809
    Windows Update advanced options to defer version 1809
    Quick Tip: To delay a new version of Windows 10 as long as possible, select Semi-Annual Channel and select 365 days. These settings will block new feature updates for 16 months.

Once you 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 cumulative 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 from being installed for up to 35 days.

How to defer Windows 10 version 1809 using Group Policy

It’s recommended to defer the Windows 10 Redstone 5 (version 1809) using the Settings app, but you can also use the Local Group Policy editor to achieve the same result.

To defer feature updates using the Local Group Policy editor, do the following:

  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
    Windows Update for Business in Group Policy
  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 1809 for up to 12 months using the next step to specify the number of days.
    • Semi-Annual Channel — stops Windows 10 from installing version 1809 for up to 16 months using the next step to specify the number of days.
  7. Select how long you want 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 Apply.

  9. Click OK.

After completing the steps, Windows 10 won’t try to download and install the October 2018 Update until the day you specified in the policy.

How to defer Windows 10 version 1809 on Windows 10 Home

If you’re running Windows 10 Home, you can’t block the October 2018 Update from installing automatically on your computer. However, it’s possible to set your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection as metered, which limits Windows access to the internet, including the ability to download and install feature updates automatically.

Setting a Wi-Fi connection as metered to defer version 1809

To set a wireless connection as metered on Windows 10, do the following:

  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 defer version 1809

To set a Ethernet (wired) connection as metered on Windows 10, do the following:

  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

Although this guide outlines the steps to block the Windows 10 version 1809 (Redstone 5) from installing automatically as soon as it’s available, you should consider using these instructions only if you have a good reason. While software updates can sometimes cause some issues, they’re important to protect your device and files from hackers, viruses, ransomware and other types of malware.

The October 2018 Update improves many aspects of Windows 10, and it also introduces a lot of new features, such as a new cloud-powered clipboard that allows you to copy and paste content across devices. Screen Sketch is a new app to make it easier to take screenshots on Windows 10. Storage Sense gains a new option to cleanup OneDrive files. You can now change system font size. The File Explorer gets a dark theme, and there are a lot of new improvements.

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 fixed to prevent issues on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet.

Microsoft is planning to release the October 2018 Update sometime in October, 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.

Are you installing Windows 10 version 1809 right away or you’re planning to block it? Let us know in the comments.