I remember reading in the news that some Windows 10 update destroys your installation a couple of weeks ago.

Currently, I am on Version 1909 (Nov 17 2019) Build 18363.592. Is it safe to run the update program?

  • 9
    You can always safely assume that any Windows bug critical enough to make the news will have been fixed (or at least rolled back) within two weeks of it hitting the news. – Mike Scott Feb 20 at 16:06
  • 11
    Please edit your question and specify which update you are referring to exactly? There has not been update that could delete your data in the last 90 days. You might be thinking of an update that would give you a temporary user profile, at no point, was your data deleted. – Ramhound Feb 20 at 18:44
  • 3
    @IanKemp I think recommending Windows 10 LTSC on this site is unwise. It's not designed for consumer desktop use but instead for embedded devices. If anyone is thinking about using LTSC they should read about the pros and cons first. techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-it-pro-blog/… – Martijn Heemels Feb 21 at 12:48
  • 1
    There was a WIndows 10 update a few years ago that bricked your computer - or, at least in my case, forced me to learn how to use Safe Mode to back out an update. Pissed me off royally for an evening until I could get to work, though... – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Feb 22 at 20:49

It is best not to run Windows Update, and rather to wait for it to notify you, because the week of the month when clicking "Check for Updates" is of crucial importance. This is described in a Microsoft blog post : Windows monthly security and quality updates overview.

The updates released in the third and fourth weeks of the month, called "C" and "D", include new bug fixes and improvements for other non-security issues. These are distinct from Patch Tuesday updates from the second week of the month, which are suitably called "B" updates.

Windows Update will only install C and D updates when you go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click "Check for Updates". In Microsoft’s world, this makes you a "seeker" who wants to test these updates in advance before most Windows users get them.

The Windows 10 telemetry will detect any problem caused by these updates before they appear in the next B update, without any thank-you note for unwittingly helping Microsoft out. In other words, clicking the button on the wrong week will qualify you as a "volunteer" beta tester, and Microsoft will apologize for any problems (which will not fix those problems).

So, if you click “Check for Updates” in the third, fourth, or first week of a month, before the next B update has been released, you’ll probably get a C or D update installed on your system. If you never click “Check for Updates”, you’ll stick with the better-tested B updates (tested by others than yourself).

So the solution is simple : Do not click “Check for Updates” before the B updates have been released by Microsoft, and never after the second week of the month.

My personal advice would be to never use “Check for Updates” at all, because of the risk of forcing the installation of updates that have not yet been vetted for your computer. It's preferable to let Windows Update decide which updates are now ready and tested for your computer and software.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    I did not know this, but these are great info to know. Guess I'll have to click it next week, just to (not) be safe then :P – bracco23 Feb 21 at 8:06
  • 54
    So they have intentionally created a button which behaves differently depending on phase of the moon. I can now understand people that say computers don't make any sense. – user694733 Feb 21 at 10:02
  • 7
  • 10
    @isanae The way I read that, the patch delivery process from MS is still the same, in regards "B", "C" & "D" patches. The only difference is now when you hit "Check for updates" during the fourth week of the month, you (may) see patches listed as optional, with a big "Download and install now" choice ... which my 74 yo mother will do, because optional means "do it" to her. – CGCampbell Feb 21 at 12:56
  • 1
    @isanae after reading the linked post it seems it is mostly still true, except that now the loaded gun doesn't go off as soon as you touch it but rather you have to pull the trigger (and most people still won't be aware of the potential damage) – Buck Thorn Feb 23 at 10:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.