What’s Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809), and why you should upgrade?

Windows 10's next major release — codenamed "Redstone 5," officially known as "October 2018 Update" — is rolling out in a few weeks, and here's all the info you need to know.

Windows 10 version 1809 (Redstone 5) File Explorer using dark theme
Windows 10 version 1809 (Redstone 5) File Explorer using dark theme

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) is the next big feature update for the operating system. “October 2018 Update” is just the friendly marketing name that Microsoft will be using for the release, but it’s technically version 1809.

The October 2018 Update is simply another update, but unlike those patches that release every month, this release delivers a set of new features and improvements. However, they’re not as significant as the ones found in the April 2018 Update (version 1803).

Windows 10 October 2018 Update release date

The new feature update for Windows 10 is expected to release sometime in October 2018, and it’ll be offered as a free upgrade for devices already running the operating system.

Microsoft will be rolling out version 1809 gradually, meaning that no every device will get the update the same day. Instead, only computers known to support the new version will get it first. When the update has been tested even further, and there aren’t blocking bugs, the company will continue the rollout to other devices.

If your computer isn’t seeing the October 2018 Update automatically, chances are the reason is that the update isn’t compatible with your device just yet. This is one of the reasons, it’s not recommended to force a new version of Windows 10, unless you know exactly what you’re doing, and you understand the risks.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update version number

Following the same version scheme as previous versions, this new release will be known as “Windows 10 version 1809,” which indicates the year and month of the release — even though, the update may end up rolling out the month after.

Windows 10 About settings deplaying version 1809
Windows 10 About settings displaying version 1809

Windows 10 October 2018 Update installation

As soon as the “October 2018 Update” arrives, and it’s compatible for your device, you’ll receive a notification from Windows Update to install version 1809 as a regular update (but it’ll take longer to install).

If you can’t wait until it becomes available automatically, it’s possible to update using the Media Creation Tool and Update Assistant. You can also download the Windows 10 version 1809 ISO file if you want to take that path (when available).

Windows 10 October 2018 Update reasons to upgrade

Although it’s recommended to install a new version of Windows 10 because of its new features, you also want to upgrade to get the new improvements and security enhancements to keep your device and data safe and secure.

In this new version, Windows 10 will introduce a new set of features and changes to improve productivity, performance, and security.

This update is much smaller than the first semi-annual update of 2018, but you’ll get a number of good features. Perhaps the two more significant additions in Windows 10 version 1809 is the new clipboard experience that uses the cloud to sync your content across devices, and the ability to view your clipboard history and pin those items you paste frequently.

Clipboard experience on Windows 10 version 1809
Clipboard experience on Windows 10 version 1809

The second biggest addition is the new dark theme for File Explorer, context menu, and popup boxes.

File Explorer using dark theme on Windows 10 version 1809
File Explorer using dark theme on Windows 10 version 1809

Alongside these new features, you’ll see other additions and improvements, such as Screen Sketch (Snip & Sketch), which is a new app that replaces the old Snipping Tool to take screenshots on Windows 10.

Screen Sketch PrtScn button enabled on Windows 10 version 1809
Screen Sketch PrtScn button enabled on Windows 10 version 1809

You can now free up space automatically by allowing Storage Sense to make OneDrive files that you don’t use available only online.

The option to change the system font size is back to Windows 10, and the search experience has been updated with a wider interface to accommodate previews in the right pane to access more information and actions a lot faster.

Change system font size on Windows 10 version 1809
Change system font size on Windows 10 version 1809

Also, Microsoft brings its SwiftKey technology to the desktop to offer better autocorrections and predictions when using the touch keyboard, and the update introduces type insights to help you improve your typing more efficiently letting you see stats for auto correcting your spelling mistakes, prediction of the next word you would type, and word suggestions.

Starting with version 1809, Windows 10 includes a new update logic to accurately predict when is the right time to restart the device when there’s an update pending.

You can learn more about all the new features and improvements coming this year in this guide.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update block automatic install

Although the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is meant to improve the overall experience, new releases are known to have bugs and many problems during the initial rollout. (Though, Microsoft has been getting somewhat better on releasing stable updates.)

If you want to avoid possible errors and other issues, it’s always a good idea to defer Windows 10 feature updates for at least a month or two until you know for sure the update is stable and working correctly. However, if you’re planning to install the new version as soon as it’s available, follow this guide to upgrade without problems.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, 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+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].