Microsoft relaxes some Windows 10 update and upgrade rules

Upcoming Creators Update lets users more easily defer restarts; new 'snooze' feature postpones restarts for 3 days

Microsoft today announced that it would offer customers more options for installing -- and delaying -- monthly security updates and once-or-twice-a-year feature upgrades in the Creators Update slated to ship this month or next.

"What we heard back most explicitly was that you want more control over when Windows 10 installs updates," John Cable, director of program management for the team responsible for Windows' servicing and delivery, said in a post to a company blog [emphasis added]. "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

Cable had it right when he used what, for Microsoft, was a very blunt description of the quality of feedback: Users have loudly complained since 10's debut about how it grabs control of their PCs to install updates and upgrades, often at the most inconvenient times, such as in the middle of presentations or during the final stages of a rushed project.

With the Creators Update, Windows 10 will notify users that an update has been downloaded. From an on-screen dialog, users may restart the system immediately -- restarts are the penultimate step before an update or upgrade install -- schedule that restart at a later time and date, or "snooze" the restart. A snooze will postpone the restart for three days, Cable said, at which point it will reappear.

According to ZDNet blogger Ed Bott, the new restart options will be baked into all editions of Windows 10, including the least expensive, tagged as simply "Windows 10," that target consumers. Bott also said that users will be able to repeatedly snooze the restart, effectively delaying an update installation indefinitely.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to a request to confirm Bott's assertions.

Additionally, Windows 10 will expand the "active hours" -- an option that first appeared in the mid-2016 Anniversary Update -- from the current 12 hours to 18 hours. During the designated active hours, update restarts will not occur.

Although the changes will be tested using the Insider program, Cable did not specify a timetable. The most recent Insider build, labeled 15046, was released Tuesday.

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