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Microsoft to pause optional Windows 10 updates due to coronavirus

XPS 13
XPS 13 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will pause optional Windows 10 updates in May.
  • The move is to prioritize security for Windows 10 devices.
  • Security Patch Tuesday updates are unaffected by the move.

Microsoft announced that it will pause optional Windows 10 updates starting in May. The move is to prioritize security updates during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While optional non-security updates will be paused, security updates will continue as normal.

Microsoft shared the news on Twitter and linked to a doc with more information (opens in new tab). Microsoft explains in the doc why optional non-security updates, known as C and D releases, will be paused:

Timing for upcoming Windows optional C and D releasesWe have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers. In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates. Starting in May 2020, we are pausing all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products (Windows 10, version 1909 down through Windows Server 2008 SP2).There is no change to the monthly security updates (B release – Update Tuesday); these will continue as planned to ensure business continuity and to keep our customers protected and productive.

Microsoft has had several issues with updates lately, causing a myriad of bugs. Some of those issues have been minor, but some major flaws managed to make their way into publicly released Windows 10 Updates. During the coronavirus outbreak, it's even more important that security updates go smoothly. By pausing other updates, Microsoft should be able to spend more time and resources to ensure security update stability.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

1 Comment
  • I think it's less about bugs and more about bandwidth. Microsoft Azure/Teams is exploding in traffic and having service problems with everyone working from home so instead of compounding bandwidth problems, they're going to do the smart thing and only release security patches... Ironically, security patches often have the highest risk of being consumer impacting so it kind of goes against the assumption they're doing this because they messed up before.