The latest big Windows 10 Update – the October 2018 Update, as Microsoft calls it – has landed. Chances are, though, that you haven’t been upgraded yet. Here’s how to force Microsoft’s hand and get the latest Windows 10 Update right away.
Do you have the latest Windows 10 Update already?
First things first, let’s check if you’ve already been upgraded. There’s a chance it happened in the background when you nipped out for chips last night (Microsoft starts the automatic upgrade process on 8 May).
Type “about my PC” into the search box at the bottom left of your screen. “About your PC” will be the best match, so click on that. Scroll down the window that appears until you see “Windows specifications”.
As you can see above, my Edition is Windows 10 Pro and my Version is 1803. We want to upgrade to the latest Version, which is 1809. Time to upgrade…
Get the latest Windows 10 Update the quickest way (if it works)
Type “Windows update” into the search box. Press “Windows update settings” and the Windows update box will appear, and automatically start searching for updates.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, it will immediately spot the October 2018 update is sitting there and download it for you. Just follow the prompts to install it.
However, that isn’t always the case. For instance, it didn’t work for me on my Surface Book 2. As such, you’ll need to go through extra steps to install the latest Windows 10 update.
Get the latest Windows 10 Update: Prepare for the worst
Bitter experience has taught me that upgrades can go wrong. Because I store pretty much all my important data in the cloud, I’m not concerned about backing up my data – but I do want to set a restore point.
I admit this is paranoia. Microsoft creates a restore point during the installation process. It just means I know I can roll back to my current version of Windows should something go wrong.
Type “restore point” into the search box, then click on “Create a restore point”. This charming window will appear.
Click “Create” and enter a name for your restore point when prompted. Eg, “Pre latest Windows 10 Update.”
Windows 10 will do its thing and create a restore point. It shouldn’t take more than a minute.
During this time, have a think about whether there is data that only sits on your machine. If losing it would make you cry, save a copy somewhere else. And consider doing a full backup.
Get the latest Windows 10 Update: Download the update
Now to the heart of the matter: head to Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 website, where you’ll see a message saying “Windows 10 October 2018 Update now available”. Click the “Update now” button.
The Windows 10 Upgrade assistant will start downloading. It’s 6MB, so shouldn’t take too long to appear.
Run the assistant, clicking past the prompt that asks you if you’re sure you want to run it, and you’ll see this window:
You know what to press.
First the Upgrade Assistant will check if you’re okay to upgrade – in particular that you have enough hard disk space – and then you can just press Next and leave it to download the update in the background.
You can continue working away as if nothing’s happening. You probably want to minimise the window; to check its progress, click the blue Windows icon that will be sitting on your taskbar at the bottom right of the screen.
Note you may need to press the small up arrow to reveal it.
Be prepared to be patient. Even on my fibre broadband connection, currently giving me 38Mbits/sec download speeds according to Broadband Speed Test, it took 20 minutes for the Windows 10 October 2018 update to download.
Get the latest Windows 10 update: Install Windows 10 update
Once the update is downloaded, you’ll see this screen:
Unless you click the “Restart later” at the bottom left of the window, the update will load in 30 minutes. Plenty of time to close everything you’re working on. Or you can opt to restart immediately.
If you choose to defer it, you can bring up the window above any time by pressing the blue Windows icon in your taskbar (the Windows 10 Update Assistant).
Microsoft says the update takes “90 minutes or less to complete”, and in my
The final thing to say: if you don’t like the October 2018 update for whatever reason, you can roll back to the previous version. Type “Recovery” into the search box and choose “Recovery options”, then choose the “Go back to a previous version of 10” option.
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