Windows 10 October 2018 Update finally starts its phased rollout -- here's how to block it

The Windows 10 October 2018 update, aka Windows 10 version 1809, aka the botched update that deleted user files, caused default app issues, broke Apple iCloud, Edge, and Windows Store apps, and introduced a bunch of other problems, is finally rolling out to all -- well most -- users.

The update was first released at the start of last October, but then pulled a few days later when the scale of its problems become noticed. It was re-released in November, with a bunch of new problems. Microsoft has been working to fix these, and last month made 1809 available to 'advanced users' -- that is users who know how to manually check for updates.

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Now, however, coinciding with resolving the last known major problem (an issue with Morphisec Protector), Microsoft has begun its 'phased rollout' of the update, meaning if you haven’t already installed 1809, it will likely be barging its way onto your system shortly.

According to the status page:

We are now starting our phased rollout to users via Windows Update, initially offering the update to devices we believe will have the best update experience based on our next generation machine learning model.

There are still a number of upgrade blocks in place, due to compatibility issues with Intel display drivers, AMD GPU drivers, and more, so if your system isn’t fully compatible you won’t (or shouldn’t) be prompted to install it.

If you don’t want it -- and hey, let’s be honest, waiting a little longer just to be safe isn’t a bad move -- you can block it for now by clicking Start > Settings > Update & Security. Click on Advanced options.

You can pause updates here, and also change the branch readiness level. Click the box and select Semi-Annual Channel, not Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted). This will mean you’ll be offered the update only when Microsoft determines it’s ready for everyone (business users, in other words).

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