Microsoft change feature updates frequency for “home” Windows 10 users

Microsoft has announced changes to how Windows 10 get feature updates [that is/was the big one roughly every 6 months – assuming no issues]. For OEM and retail Windows 10 editions [think the “Home” version], feature update installations are no longer mandatory. Instead, the feature update is offered as an optional update. The PC’s owner has to approve of the installation manually. You’re free to ignore that prompt for as long as the current version is supported, or a maximum of 18 months.

For Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions, it is the status quo.

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Windows 10 warns about updating to the May 2019 update

I guess depending on the version you use [I’m using Pro with a feature update delay] you may or may not see the message below when you should update to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Obviously you probably shouldn’t install the May update through other means [MediaTool, ISO] if it’s giving you this warning.

BTW, I wish Microsoft would get their version format settled. Is it v1903 or 19H1? Is it v1909 [seen in the Windows Insiders] or 19H2?

Microsoft to force feature updates on near out of support Windows 10 installations

Microsoft announced this week that for Windows 10 devices that are at, or within several months of reaching end of service, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update…. The Windows 10 April 2018 Update (Windows 10, version 1803) will reach end of service on November 12, 2019 for Home and Pro editions.

Starting this June [2019], Microsoft will begin updating devices running the April 2018 Update and earlier versions of Windows 10.

[Ed’s comments: Expect a flood of complainers/whiners plus some butchered installations.]

Windows 10 19H1 finally released

Very [almost] quietly, Microsoft finally has released Windows 10 19H1 [a.k.a. v1903]. It is based on build 18362.30 – although there are already up to 18362.116.

By the old title [“v1903”], this was to be released in March or early April. We are in the last full week of May. They were obviously some issues but they didn’t want the fiasco of v1809 which was released in November 2018.

v1809 release only managed to pick up around 30% of the Windows 10 users. Many holding out and hoping for a stable 19H1.

The next feature release is expected sometime in the second half of 2019 but is expected to be more like a traditional “service pack” – mostly fixes and corrections and less of new or updated features.

As usual, consumers will probably get notification with the best likely systems [newest usually] to be offered it first.

ISO images are available from the usual sources as well as the Media Tool creation tool is available from Microsoft.

New and updated features to the Spring 2019 Update of Window 10

As mentioned previously, the spring update has been rename May 2019 Update and is using the code “19H1” [2019, first half]. The delay is supposedly to test the final [or escrow] build extensively. It is now expected to be release on May 10th.

The following are among the features and options that have been updated and are expected to be in the 19H1 release:

  • Complete over hall of the Windows Update setup.
  • Less cluttered search box since Cortana has its own icon. Plus you can adjust the indexing of what to not to search.
  • Built in hypervisor [not in the Home version] that will run in a sandbox.
  • Microsoft accounts can be based on a phone number, with no email address required.
  • Security Center [formerly Windows Defender Security Center] adds a tamper protection setting and a unified protection history for suspicious events.
  • Can now install fonts by drag and dropping in a box.
  • After previously adding a dark theme, a light theme has also been added.
  • Use the Task Manager often? You can set the default tab to open up. Plus adds a DPI Awareness column that helps pinpoint offending apps.
  • Copy text, images and files between PCs is easier with the Cloud Clipboard.
  • Snip & Sketch, the heir apparent to Snipping Tool, adds further options such as capturing a window. Snipping Tool is still around for now.
  • Updated printer dialog box.
  • Updated network dialog box [if entering network information manually].

Windows 10 v1903 delayed and renamed

Microsoft has announced that the spring 2019 release [a.k.a. v1903] has been pushed back to May and will be called May 2019 Update or 19H1.

Microsoft said they have decided to delay the release so that they can extend the pre-release phase of testing to catch more last minute bugs.

The “19H1” designation gives them further leeway as they aren’t forced to release a final version by a specific month. For a “H1” name, they could release it any time between January [unlikely] until June [still possible].

This also delays the next release of the server equivalent.

Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 12

The new Windows Update

With Windows 10 comes a different Windows Update. The one thing you may notice is that if the Windows Update settings already lists updates to download and install, you can’t rescan for any newer updates. The old wuauclt /scannow doesn’t work.

Or can you…

There is a new Windows Update tool called usoclient.exe [which can be found in c:\windows\sydstem32]. It has the following options:

  • refreshsettings: Refresh the settings if any changes were made
  • restartdevice: Restart the device to finish installation of updates
  • resumeupdate: Resume the update installation after a reboot
  • startdownload: Start to download the patches
  • startinstall: Start to install the downloaded patches
  • scanInstallwait: Combines scan, download, and install
  • startinteractivescan: Will open dialogues and/or ask for user input as well as to show progress or report any errors
  • startscan: Start a scan

Example:

usoclient startscan

Notes:

  • By itself, you get nothing. There are no command line parameters that you can see [i.e. no /help or /?].
  • There is no hyphen or forward slash for the options.

What is Storage Sense?

In the background, Microsoft has been developing and updating Storage Sense. Storage Sense now has the capabilities of Disk Cleanup plus other features.

Storage Sense is intended to be a silent assistant that just takes care of your storage space on a Windows 10 device. When you configure all of the settings it just works in the background to keep your storage healthy and well maintained.

In Microsoft whacky and infinite wisdom, this feature is turned off. You can go to PC Settings > System > Storage and then select any of your systems storage devices to manually see what the situation is with disk space and perform maintenance right there yourself.

Corrupt system components?

If you are getting a sense that there may be some corruption among your system components, run the following command from the command prompt. Give it a few minutes to run.

DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

This should help clean corruption among your system components.

A reminder that, as usual, research to see if these tips may help you. And as usual, use at your own risk.