Windows 10 is Evolving – Please Keep Up!

Windows 10 is, by design, an evolving Operating System. According to Microsoft, there will never be a Windows 11, just a continuously changing Windows 10.

In reality, what does this mean for you, as a humble PC/Laptop user? Well, the most obvious thing is that you will see small incremental changes occurring as the regular updates are applied. In fact, Microsoft have stated that they will update Windows 10 every 6 months and while there have been a couple of hiccups along the way, they have generally remained on their own self-imposed schedule in recent years. March and September are the “big” months to watch out for.

The current version of Windows 10 (at the time of writing in April 2019) is “1809”. The version designation is simply the year (YY) and month (MM) when the update was initially released. Those of you who are quick with the maths, will already be asking “then where’s v1903?” and you are right to pose the question. Sadly, I don’t know the answer right now but what I do know if that it won’t be far away!

It is important that you keep up to date with these ongoing updates. Generally Windows 10 will nag you to update if you try and put it off and I suspect that over time, Microsoft will get stricter with the window of opportunity before forcing the issue! To keep everyone’s costs down they need us all to keep up and since few of us actually paid for Windows 10, we can hardly complain!!

The quality of Windows 6-monthly Updates is steadily improving and (apart from an early glitch with v1809) haven’t caused noticeable problems for PC users (in NZ anyway!). Version 1809 is in fact very stable. In New Zealand we have an additional advantage in that Microsoft seem to schedule our Update rollouts later than many other countries so any problems are normally well resolved before our turn comes around.

Initiation of a 6 monthly Update is normally automatic. Your PC/laptop simply tells you it has updates to do and away it goes (usually for several hours). The next thing you know, the PC is asking you to log back in and the Update is done.


All this is well and good but I have noticed lately that many PCs are still languishing on v1803 and haven’t been updated to v1809. I can’t be sure of the reason but I suspect the initial rollout problems with v1809 may have caused a minor glitch and some PCs have been left out. At the Learning Centre, our desktops were updated automatically but our laptops (and the Office machine) never were.

With v1903 imminent, it’s probably time to force v1809 onto your PC so you are prepared for the next step forward (probably in late April or May). Here’s how to go about checking and updating if necessary. I have used this process a number of times with complete success…

Step 1 – Check which Version of Windows 10 you are using

Locate the magnifying glass in the Taskbar – it may also be a white circle (Cortana). Click the magnifying glass (or circle). Type “winver” (without the quotes) and press the Enter key.

You will see a screen like this.

In this case, my PC is running Version 1809 – the OS Build info is not important!

Make a note of your version and click OK to close the window.

If you’re on Version 1809 (or higher) then you’re fine and don’t need to read any further UNLESS your version number is more than 9 months older than the current date.

If you are still on Version 1803 (or lower) then you should take action now.

Step 2 – Forcing the Update using Windows Update Assistant

Microsoft provide a tool to force your PC to update onto the latest version of Windows 10. It’s called Windows Update Assistant and you can find a basic description by clicking here. To directly download Windows Update Assistant you can click here.

You will get this screen. Click the blue button Update now

When Windows asks you what to do with the download, click

This will start the Update process immediately for you

Windows will ask you if the App called Microsoft Windows can make changes to your PC – The answer is YES.

After this point, the Update Assistant will check your PC can indeed be updated and then ask you a couple of other harmless questions before starting the download of the latest version of Windows. Once the % starts ticking over, you can leave the PC to do it’s magic. The actual Update process can take between 1hr and 4hrs depending on the age and speed of your PC – be patient. Leaving it running overnight is a good strategy!

When you return to the PC, it should be waiting for you to login.

Step 3 – Confirming the Update was Successful

Once you’re back up and running again, check the version number using WinVer as described above. It should now be on Version 1809.


If you are still having difficulties or are not comfortable with the process outlined above, bring you laptop along to a How Do I…? Workshop and one of our Tutors can get you started.


UPDATE

Notwithstanding everything written above, the following information was published by ComputerWorld in mid-April 2019 here

A new “Download and install now” option will be included in Windows 10 1903, aka “Windows 10 May 2019 Update,” now scheduled to begin release in late May. 

Around the same time, Microsoft has promised, the option will also be added to the two previous upgrades, 1803 (April 2019 Update) and 1809 (October 2019 Update) so that current Windows 10 users won’t have to upgrade to avoid an upgrade.