Microsoft’s Windows 10 version 1909, November 2019 Update, is now available for compatible devices, and like previous releases, it’ll be an optional update, which you’ll be able to install manually through Windows update. Of course, that’s as long as your current installation is not nearing the end of service, in which case, the update will download and install automatically.
However, now that Microsoft puts you in control of feature updates, the question still remains whether you should install it now or wait a little longer.
Is it safe to install version 1909?
The best answer is “Yes,” you should install this new feature update, but the answer will depend whether you’re already running version 1903 (May 2019 Update) or an older release.
If your device is already running the May 2019 Update, then you should install the November 2019 Update. In part, it’s because the latest version is available through Windows Update as a small update, similar to a service pack, and it includes fixes and improvements for the work available with the previous version.
Also, because the update is available as a cumulative update, it’ll install faster, and it won’t require complete reinstallation of the operating system, significantly reducing the amount of problems you may encounter when doing an in-place upgrade.
On the other hand, if you’re running an older release, such as the October 2018 Update or April 2018 Update, the answer for “Is it safe to install Windows 10 version 1909?” question is still “Yes,” but you should proceed with more caution.
Although Microsoft has been making a lot of changes to its update mechanism, jumping from an older release to the latest version will require full reinstallation of the operating system, and there are a lot of problems that can happen when performing an in-place upgrade. In addition to possible unknown issues with the new feature update, you can also come across software and compatibility problems if you’re using outdated drivers, poorly designed applications, very old programs, or security software, such as third-party antivirus.
Should I wait to install version 1909?
Usually, it’s never a good idea to rush and install a new version of Windows 10, as previous releases (even quality updates) have shown us that in the early days there are still chances of coming across bugs, errors, and compatibility problems.
If you’re planning to upgrade, even if you receive the notification letting you know the update is ready, it’s always recommended to wait a minimum of three to four quality updates before upgrading.
Also, if you don’t see the new option in Windows Update to download and install the November 2019 Update, you shouldn’t try to force the latest version using the Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant, because it could indicate that the update isn’t ready for your device just yet.
If you attempt to upgrade anyway, you’re likely to come across issues, including the new “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10,” “This PC can’t be upgraded to this version of Windows 10 because of a service or driver that’s not ready yet,” or similar errors.
Finally, consider that even though, the feature update is now ready, Microsoft won’t be pushing it to devices approaching end of service until several months later (already available), which means that the update may still need more testing before making it available automatically.
If you’re still running an older version of the OS, and you’re not having issues, then you can wait a little longer. However, you shouldn’t skip the update, because eventually, the version on your device will be discontinued and no longer will receive security and improvement updates.
Update March 5, 2020: This guide was originally published in October 2019, but it’s been updated to reflect new changes.