Microsoft has removed the option to defer feature updates in Windows 10 May 2020 Update

Microsoft building in California

If you've upgraded to Windows 10 May 2020 Update (or Windows 10 version 2004), you will have noticed various changes, and perhaps encountered a few issues along the way. One thing that some system administrators are noticing is that it is no longer possible to defer feature updates for up to a year.

Instead, the only option available is to pause all updates for a maximum of 7 days.

See also:

It seems that the thinking behind the change is that it goes some way to reducing the number of computers out there that are running older, unsupported versions of Windows 10, or versions that are a couple of major updates behind.

Microsoft explains what is going on in a support document:

Update less: Last year, we changed update installation policies for Windows 10 to only target devices running a feature update version that is nearing end of service. As a result, many devices are only updating once a year.

To enable all devices to make the most of this policy change, and to prevent confusion, we have removed deferrals from the Windows Update settings Advanced Options page starting on Windows 10, version 2004.

If you wish to continue leveraging deferrals, you can use local Group Policy (Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business > Select when Preview builds and Feature Updates are received or Select when Quality Updates are received).

As Microsoft explains, it is still possible to further delay the installation of updates, but by removing the option from Settings and hiding it instead in Group Policy Editor, Microsoft will be hoping that fewer and fewer people do defer updates.

Image credit: Walter Cicchetti / Shutterstock

24 Responses to Microsoft has removed the option to defer feature updates in Windows 10 May 2020 Update

  1. MJ says:

    Q the defenders of forced updates..... BTW, most users that have their updates paused, have them paused for a reason...

    • YourBreastsAreHuge says:

      There's no reason to pause non security updates for a whole year though.

    • Mike Lukic says:

      That "Reason" could be just some stupid reason, fear of new or a change, genuine fear of something going wrong or even knowing that they changed something that would interfere with update or change their settings. Some are dead afraid from loosing their files or sky falling and many other reasons.
      I just keep updated full system backup, so no fear.

      • MJ says:

        Change for change sake is not always a good thing. Sometimes it interrupts workflow (some of us that need the computer to always work and not have to spend the time to restore from a backup). Yes, hardware failures can cause you to have to restore your PC but some of us don’t want changes that MS makes adding to that failure rate. Either way, since I have to use Windows 10, I am glad I chose to use LTSC...

      • Mike Lukic says:

        Workflow interrupts are easily manageable by scheduling at slack times but only when they work right. Most part of regular updates are for security reasons and least of problematic updates are caused by cosmetic changes.
        What's so baffling with this update is that Insider preview in Release ring from which this update came from, doesn't have these problems. A perfect example when a beta outperforms it's stable edition. It's not even because of it being an update but clean install has same problems.

      • John Deer says:

        New World Order Monkey-are you.??

      • Mike Lukic says:

        Nope, just anarchist and not tractor driver like you.

  2. Eyevou says:

    We can view this as MS wrestling control from their pro+ users or just putting it in line with everything else. I'm in the latter camp.

    If you're on pro+ it's probably a good idea to learn GPE anyway.

  3. Weilan says:

    If only updates were good, it wouldn't have been considered bad news.

  4. guru_v says:

    Good old MS...showing the same concern for customers as always.[/s] Inching many toward open-source OS with each little update.

    • John Deer says:

      UBUNTU, the best being Linux Mint.

      • John Deer says:

        And the best for Businesses, their completely FREE OFFICE program the same and better than MS Office with all the bells and Whistles you can wish for.🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂

    • Myst Erio says:

      Yeah, any day now....

      MS has been DOMINATE on YOUR desktops since:
      "MS-DOS - Microsoft Disk Operating System (1981"

      But, but, but...any day now...inching towards "open source". (Yawn)

  5. MyDisqussion says:

    But you can still defer updates in Microsoft Windows X Pro two-thousand four ? Just not as easily?

  6. RH says:

    I turned back on the insider builds and skipped over the 2020 update to the pre-release 20152 update. Been a couple weeks, got an update to that one, so far NO issues.

  7. YourBreastsAreHuge says:

    This is important because there are some security patches that can only be obtained by installing a major feature update.

  8. Mike Lukic says:

    Looks like MS is good enough to do own deffer, so many didn't get even a chance to go from 1903 to 1909 let alone 2004

  9. baggman744 says:

    Once again, resistance in futile.

  10. Mike Lukic says:

    It's not only one or unusual.

  11. John Deer says:

    This is why I am changing over to Ubuntu Linux Mint. Microsoft has become part of the New World Order and Bill Gates foundation even after claiming he sold his shares to ????,, NEW WORLD ORDER.!!!😠😠😠🐵🐒💩💩💩

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