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Should you install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update now?

Last night, Microsoft released build 14376 for Fast Ring Insiders on PC and Mobile, and even Slow Ring got bumped to 14372. Then this morning Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be officially released on August 2 (and yes, that is all editions including Mobile and Xbox One).

Clearly, we are on the last leg of the Redstone 1/Anniversary Update development cycle, and many users are now asking if they should take the plunge to Fast Ring. I've been running these releases on a few devices and will share my recommendations and experiences.

Before we get started make sure you check out what is coming in the Anniversary Update in our article "Windows 10 Anniversary Update: All the features and changes coming later this summer".

Windows 10 Anniversary Update on PC and Surface

Currently, I am running build 14372 or 14376 on five PCs and installing it on another two, those include:

  • Dell XPS 15 (9550) – Build 14372
  • Surface Book – Build 14376
  • Surface Pro 4 (Core m3) – Build 14366 to 14376
  • Surface Pro 4 (Core i5) – Build 10586.240 to 14376 (in progress)
  • Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch) – Build 14372 (updating to 14376)
  • Huawei MateBook (Core m5) – Build 14376
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S – Jumping from Production to Fast Ring

I can enthusiastically recommend installing Redstone build 14372 (Slow) or 14376 (Fast) on most modern PCs, tablets, or laptops. I cannot say I am running into a single issue on any of those devices, nor have I for the last three builds in the Fast Ring. I am also now getting ready to install it on my main desktop PC.

Of course, I'd be remiss to point out that all PCs are different, make sure you do a proper backup, etc. and that you experience may vary. But so far, none of us are suffering any significant or even minor issues. There are a few, but minor quirks with some apps you may notice, but Microsoft has been quick to update those apps on a regular interval.

While there is a small risk in doing an Insider update at this stage, Microsoft is just putting the polish on the builds, sanding the edges down, and getting it ready to ship. Insiders usually get the "Gold" shipping version one to two weeks ahead of the public release date so there will likely be one or two more releases to go to hit that build (you'll know when the watermark in the lower right corner magically disappears).

Overall, however, the preview experience for PC is just great, so jump on in.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update on Mobile

Microsoft is also updated Windows 10 Mobile for the Anniversary Update, and if you are running a Windows phone, you may want to know if you should jump into today as well. Microsoft has not said as much about Mobile if only because it's just another SKU for them, but it too should be updated around the same time as PC.

Nonetheless, the picture here is a little less clear if you should update right now.

Overall, the experience of the Fast Ring has been great on my Lumia 650, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. However, there is one issue that I and a few others are having, and it relates to Wi-Fi disconnections. Microsoft is actively trying to fix this problem and in fact are imploring you to lend them a hand in this forum post (opens in new tab), but for the last three builds, it has not yet been fixed.

Personally speaking, this Wi-Fi disconnect problem is the only issue I am having and since I am on Wi-Fi constantly it is a rather frustrating one. Your phone's Wi-Fi will be connected, then eventually slow down, and then just show as 'No Internet'. From my experience, only rebooting the phone will bring it back and even then it's a temporary solution. I even recently swapped out my router for a new FiOS Quantum one with 100Mbps speeds and still have the issue.

Regarding stability, speed, and features, once you go to an Anniversary preview build it is very hard to go back. New features that I am finding difficult to live without include: the new Microsoft Authenticator app, the Your Groove feature in Groove Music, Microsoft Wallet (Tap to Pay), new Store UI with app update history, and how the Iris scanner won't turn on if the device is PIN unlocked during its timeout period.

Having said that, the current 10586.420 (and now .456) Production release is running so well on my other Lumia 950 that I find it hard to pass on that stability and performance.

Because phones tend to be a little quirkier if I were running an x50 series device I would wait until Microsoft figures out this Wi-Fi disconnect issue. It's not universal, and the majority of users do not appear to suffer from the bug. But if you do end up experiencing your Wi-Fi dropping it can be a frustrating experience. At the very least, be aware of the risk before making a decision.

How to enroll as a Windows Insider?

If you are new to the Insider Preview program for Mobile or PC, you can check out my guide: How to join the Windows Insider Program to get started!

It's very easy to enroll and get started, and it's even easier with the Anniversary Update.

Tips on going to Slow or Fast Ring

If you do decide to take the plunge on either PC or Mobile to the Anniversary Preview (Slow or Fast Ring), here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • For official support or to post question you can go to the Microsoft Insider Program Community Forums (opens in new tab) to browse for topics, or post about your issues
  • Switching Rings and especially enrolling for the first time can take up to one day to take effect. That is, you may have to wait a day before 'Check for updates' pulls down a new build. Be patient. Often, it goes much faster (and switching rings is faster than enrolling).
  • Un-enrolling – Once Microsoft pushes the 'final' Redstone release to the Insider Rings sometime in July and you lose the watermark, you can Stop Insider Builds and just stay at the production level going forward.
  • Post Anniversary Update (August 2) the Slow and Fast Rings will likely be used for fixes, patches of Redstone 1 for a few weeks maybe even a month or two. At some point, however, Microsoft will begin to push Redstone 2 to the Fast Ring and initiate the dev cycle again for the next release of Windows 10 slated for early 2017. First releases in Fast Ring for a new dev cycle can be rough, so we'll revisit that issue later this fall.
  • Check for app updates after an OS upgrade! Go to the Windows Store and manually check for app updates after your OS updates. Insider builds are more than just the OS as there are the corresponding app builds that only Insiders get to go with the new features. For instance, to get the new Store experience you need to update the Store via the Store. Same applies to the new Groove 'Your Groove' feature so don't miss out.

I hope this article helps in your decision-making process. As I mentioned at the beginning, we are really at the end of the Anniversary Update development cycle with only minor patching left. You should be okay to join the Fast Ring now and get the latest Windows 10 Release a full month ahead of schedule and not have to worry about stability. Mobile is a little trickier, so your experience may vary.

Need more help? Check out our Windows 10 community forums, which have many users on the latest build and who are sharing their experiences. Join the conversation!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Wow I can't believe it. They're going to release the Anniversary Update to PCs, Laptops, Surfaces, Tablets, Phones, iOT devices, Surface Hubs, Xboxs, and HoloLens all on the same day. The power of OneCore!!
  • Don't forget those HDMI sticks with Windows 10, they are going to be a huge chunk of percentage to reach the 1 billion goal for Windows 10 activations.
  • I know I can't wait! Gonna be a lot of Wi-Fi usage that day
  • The day the internet crashes lol
  • If they release anniversary update with Kim k's booty wallpaper :D :P
  • Source?
  • 4
  • Can confirm legit soure. /s
  • For the older phones ot still feels like the battery drains too fast, though not as bad as build 14372
  • On mobile show ring and I have had the calendar live tile not updating issue for at least 3-4 builds. So I'm kind of skeptical that the anniversary update is fully baked, at least when it comes to mobile.
  • Right from the release notes of last night's Fast Ring build 14376: "We also fixed an issue that could result in multiple Live tiles no longer updating until the phone had been rebooted." You cannot use terms like "fully baked" (a) on Slow Ring and (b) when there are still likely one or two releases left before it's signed off
  • Well then I think you have convinced me now is the time to jump to fast ring
  • Any idea what the final build number will be?
  • I didn't know Daniel was a prophet.
  • Maybe 14400
  • Well, I`m on the build 14376 and I can say this is not fixed, at least for the Calendar and Mail "live" tiles...
  • HARD Reset
  • Daniel, I've had those same WiFi problems for months on PRODUCTION builds. I've heard nothing from MS on it and can't get a response back from support.
  • It's a known issue that they're working through. You can help them out by downloading the Feedback Hub app and upvoting the many WiFi feedback items that affect you. When you upvote an item, it sends some telemetry back that will help them see trends which will ultimately hopefully help them real down this painfully annoying issue.
  • Next guide is how to disable telemetry on Windows 10 lol
  • LOL, as much as I know you were joking, if anyone who is both experiencing this problem (everyone?) and has disabled diagnostics telemetry, they're doing everyone (including themselves) a disservice, since the more data Microsoft has to work with, the quicker they're going to be able to diagnose and remediate.
  • Thanks, I understand that and have given feedback via the hub, sent emails and tweets - nothing.
    It's literally been months and I've exceeded mobile days limits every time. So this little bug is costing me money. Ridiculous.
  • there was a feedback Gabe link in offcial release blog, still under investigation
  • Other than the WiFi issue (which is occasional) I don't have any problems on my lumia 928 running build 10586.456. It just uses alot of battery and the US English keyboard doesn't save custom words anymore. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I'm definitely enjoying the Insider Program on PC and phone too. Still some bugs on Mobile, but overall a great experience. Anyone else recommending it for PC as a full-time device?
  • I'm recommending it on pc too. As for mobile, the experiences vary depending on your phone. I'm using the 950XL and right now I'm using the battery too quickly. I can attribute this to the insider preview of course. The battery is not lasting me a day. I can say that there are few or no overheat issues too. Last night I was finally able to cast my phone on my Windows 10 PC using the connect app.
    If you have a charger next to you most of the time, go ahead and try it out.
  • Battery life has greatly improved for me on the 950, it seems to be better than what I was getting on the release preview now. So, I guess it'***** and miss at the moment.
  • LOL. It got censored out due to forgetting a space between "it's" and "hit"
  • Haha yea I was baffled at first but when it hit me... =D
  • Congratulations, you win typo of the day!
  • what is this magical app you speak of? I must've been out of the loop. download link to the windows store, pls?
  • It comes with the PC build. It's literally called "Connect". Type that in the Cortana / search box and it should show the app. Bear in mind that it's part of the Redstone / Anniversary Update, so you have to be in the Insider program to get it for now.
  • I have lived with the bugs on the fast build since 10 was released to testers before 10 was real. :D well it was real it was just testers only :D:D:D 
  • I'm running it on my phone, but I'm hesitant to run it on my main - well, only - PC. I'll wait for the official release.
    I also plan to fully wipe my phone without restore from backup when it is officially released for mobile.
  • On PC its actually just as stable as the previous non-insider update last year but with more features, so you'll be missing out to not update now, but its not my business at the end of the day :) with mobile, it's suffering from some quick battery drain etc. but I can't say the same for PC . (I run it on my primary laptop (my only laptop) and it really has no issues) :)
  • I have it on my main pc. But I added partitions and installed 10.0.10586.420 on to a clean partition and installed my programs on there.
  • You can install it on a virtual machine. That's what I did.
  • I just installed the latest build on my PC today and I honestly can't go back. It's working very well, no crashes and looks refined. The only issue I have is Edge freezing, which is a minor complaint. All in all, I do recommend it.
  • I have been running fast ring builds on my sp3 for a while now. The last 3-4 builds have been very nice with very little issues. My only issue is there still seems to be some higher battery drain when sleeping. I'm wondering if we will see anymore firmware updates. Last one was on 1/19.
  • I am on the Fast Ring on my main desktop computer and my Dell Venue 8 Pro and I approve this message.
  • Pretty much perfect on PC for me.  On mobile sometimes notifications will come in a little late, but that's the only problem I have.
  • I get late, or even no notifications for Xbox achievements on both Xbox One and mobile. On 8.1, they used to within seconds. On 10 things are less certain. Some go to phone, but don't pop on Xbox, and vice versa. Odd.
  • I would love to install it on my PC, but a am going to wait a month. I already have fast on my surface, laptop & mobile
  • Yes. I have 14366 (need to update when I have more data available) but it's been solid.
  • Hello Daniel im using the 650, I was disconnecting from WiFi 2 - 3 - 4, Times a day every day, having to restart phone every time, but since I turned everything off wifi sense hotspots especially Bluetooth share, & NFC tap to share, I can say I have, had it happen Once in 4 weeks, so make of it what you will, its one hell of an improvement.
  • Like your avatar! :)
  • "Having said that, the current 10586.420 (and now .456) Production release is running so well on my other Lumia 950 that I find it hard to pass on that stability and performance." Isn't .456 only on the Release Preview Ring (and not on the production ring yet)?
  • I'm using Lumia 950 and it is on .420 Production release
  • How does it feel on Surface Book? I removed myself from the fast ring on my SP3 due to the graphic crashes some time ago. I am ready for the update, but if anything stands out to you on SB I am going to hold tight.
  • I have installed it on my main PC/desktop a couple of builds ago. And I'm absolutely happy with it. My ol' faithful Dimension 9200 (with dual core 3.2GHz 2GB RAM, NVidia 7900 GTX) feels alive again. I'm going to up the RAM to 4GB (max supported) and switch to SSD. I should be good for a few more years, especially with Windows 10 installed.
  • I would recommend it to anyone anytime. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Wi-Fi programming screw up is a deal breaker. Reboot required to access ANY wi-fi. It is NOT ready. Add, Bluetooth flakiness, including OS lockups when trying to stop Bluetooth an lockups in Edge. Using Lumia 640. Until the last update, everything went smoothly.
  • FWIW, I haven't experienced/noticed any WiFi issues while on the insider fast builds on my 950. So as Daniel said, it might just be a minority that are experiencing this bug.
  • No problems with my fast ring 950XL either
  • Hmm... It's working just fine on my 640
  • I've had those same WiFi issues for months, but on all networks... the kicker is that I'm on the PRODUCTION build and I can't get help or a response from Microsoft on it.
  • The os lock ups when switching Bluetooth on/off is the biggest issue I've had with the past two fast ring os images on my 950xl. Deeply frustrating. Aside from that, things are looking very good.
  • Me and my neighbour have same desktop PC, HP Compaq Elite Pro with 4 GB of Ram on board. Only difference is he has replaced his HDD with an SSD. We're both running 10586 build and it's noticeably slower performance on my PC with HDD, especially on boot up. The point is, Windows 10 is perfect, you don't need a beast of a PC to run it smooth. With anniversary update it will only get better, I would recommend it to anyone. Get an SSD!
  • I will get an ssd then
  • You won't regret, believe me. My PC was ready to operate after like 110 seconds after boot up and his one about 40+-. SSD is a revolution.
  • That is actually pretty slow! I have older core 2 quad xeon with 4gb ram and some cheap san disk ssd and it is ready almost immediately after boot up. Maybe you thought after pushing the button? Still high number.
  • You can actually move hard drive or SSD that has Windows 10 installed, to a new PC and it will still work fine. Windows To Go...
  • Windows To Go is something else.
  • No dont its bad its evil. the thing will burn your pc like all that 10 is deishnged to do. #BringBackXP
  • wow joking get negative LOL
  • I own 2 Windows 10 devices but I still use a Netbook with Windows XP as a secondary support device, XP is still such a good OS, but I think Windows 10 is better looking and Edge browser is much faster than Chrome on Javascript.  If Edge could just run on XP :D
  • XP is bloated.
  • Stay true to the roots bro... :P :D
    #BringBack3.1 :D
  • Frick WIndows bring MS DOS
  • Nope, for the simple reason that you'll have no official support and asking here will just get you patronizing answers about how you shouldn't install beta software..... Just wait a few weeks for the official update.
  • You'll have no official support
    Microsoft has their own support forums for Insiders. You can also file bugs for support using the Feedback App. Where else are you getting official support from pray tell? The moon?
  • Rude response mr. Rubino
  • I be smart i support myself.   aka tones of preview suport questions are on that site. i usualy search an error on bing and then if finds me the information.
  • Interesting point. My S3, currently on Release Preview, is under warranty. It did have a total meltdown a few months ago and I had to take it to MS store (in Mass MetroWest - hi Dan!) and they wound up needing to wipe it. If I brought them the same machine but with a Redstone build, would they have wanted to help me?
  • If you take it to a Microsoft Store they would have definitely helped you regardless if Insider or not. They're very good like that there and I always recommend them for any issue with PCs or hardware.
  • Well I had a problem with a laptop some time ago, and because it had insider preview installed there was no SUPPORT
  • >writhing in pain from laughter
  • Come on then: What's the Calendar and Time app with tiles like that? I like the look of them for my 950
  • I too am curious
  • I don't recommend it if you own a Vive and nVidia card. Occasional hard lockups since going to Redstone builds when using the Vive...
  • Quick battery drainage a big problem on the insider releases for mobile
  • Not for me on a 950DS
  • Me neither on 640. It's been eight hours and I'm at 70%. It's been in my pocket for four, but the earlier builds had my phone docked to the wall
  • No way, .420 was giving me 8-9hrs, now I'm at 13hrs remaining with 41% battery at this moment in time, 950XL DS
  • Side comment - what's that calender app on that picture??
  • Hope Calendar. We have written about it numerous times.
  • Thanks! And what is the word clock tile??
  • Perfect Clock
  • The best clock tile app out there.  
  • I love windows 10 mobile. But I lost my Lumia 928 yesterday, and now I'm stuck with a galaxy S4 again. :( Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I actually meant the tile on the phone on the picture. Says ' Wednesday 26 etc'
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2016...
  • My PC is on production, and my phone is on fast. I don't experience the WiFi disconnecting issue (it's a 535), but I'm having a little issue with the bluetooth toggle. When I press it to switch bluetooth on, it works just fine. But when I press it to turn it off while a device is connected, it just doesn't turn off. And after I press it once again, the phone freezes, and can only work again after a soft reset, or removing the battery to turn it off. But after the restart, my SD card is f*cked up. It will always say at the startup, that there are some errors with it, and the apps installed on it don't work immediately, just after some time, the phone recognizes it. This can be fixed with an SD card reformat (and in my case, reinstalling 100+ apps too), but this thing kills the gadgets apps many functionality too. After you plug in some headphones, or connect a bluetooth one (or speaker), it starts, but most of the pinned apps (those that are on the SD card) just can't launch from there. And their tiles are just a gadgets app symbol with a name. Happily, if you long press that bluetooth toggle, and turn bluetooth off in the settings app, it does actually turn that off. But it's not as easy as just pressing the toggle. And I don't want to do a hard reset, and install everything again just to make the gadgets app working again. But I love that app :/ Anyway, all the other things are fine in the newest builds, but this one annoys me a lot :D
  • Dimming does not work on my lumia 950 with the latest update for fast ring. It just dims out, can't bring the screen to dim off back to default brightness... Also, windows central live tile is not functioning, almost at all...
  • Dimming does not work on my lumia 950 with the latest update for fast ring
    Weird, mine is working here with no issues.
  • The moment screen goes to dim, I try to prevent this by touching the screen, but the brightness stays dimmed. I need to turn the screen off/on to restore the default brightness. This was an issue back 1+ year ago on earlier versions of w10. I had the exact same issue on L730 back then.
  • I found the solution: Battery--> Battery usage by app --> win default lockscreen NEEDS TO BE managed by windows... I had it always on.
    Resetted the phone, dimming problem gone.
  • Hi, I'm facing the same issue on my Lumia 950 since the AU build (now on 14393.189). Tried the above but no dice. Any tips?  
  • Brightness is one of those things that has improved, but 8.1 seemed better.
  • Of course, each person's experience varies, but brightness was one of the biggest improvements I noticed going from WP8.1 > W10m. The one exception is the daylight readability mode, which is not as aggressive. My old 925 on auto-brightness would frequently select a "super-ultra-low brightness" mode when indoors. This was fine in a 100% dark bedroom or movie theater, but it made the screen almost unreadable otherwise. I would constantly have to direct the ambient light sensor at a lamp to see what I was doing. (And playing color-matching games in bed was nearly impossible to tell white from yellow or blue from purple.) I could turn off auto-brightness, but then the phone was unusable outdoors. And the quick action for brightness didn't allow the nice quick changes it does now, which allow you to keep automatic-brightness, while still adjusting overall brightness settings.
  • Had the WiFi issue a few times. But generally not too frequently.
  • I posted a fix that worked for me on the 650
  • 14376 running well on my icon. no wifi issues. battery could be better, but not aweful as in a few builds ago.
  • I might try the anniversary update before official release to test if my AMD Graphics card driver won't have any issues. When I updated to 1511 in November I had to install a new Graphics driver for my discrete GPU, not a big deal, but when Windows 10 was launched a year ago, my laptop didn't recognize the graphics card and entered an infinite boot/restart cycle, so I hope this is not the case. Looking forward for a Media Creation tool to install this Windows 10 version on a clean formatted SSD drive soon.
  • I see the bug that has come back from a previous build the connected to internet icon on reverse again on build 14376 connected to WiFi shows the wired connection icon and connected to wired shows the WiFi icon not major but it has crept back in. PC build by the way.
  • I've been running the fast ring on my 930(daily driver) for a while now. I have not had the Wi-Fi issue. And the last few builds have been getting steadily more reliable.This latest build is running seriously well so far!!!
  • Redstone running really smooth on my 640.
  • No wifi disconnect issues here, but I'm getting the "Restoring User Data" for a lot of apps for like, hours at a time. Any workaround for this?
  • Just reboot the phone and go back to the Store. Not a solution, but a temp work around and it work every time.
  • I'll give it a try. Thanks, Dan!
  • Been on fast ring with desktop, ultrabook, and Windows phones for a long while. It's worth it imo. Hard reset without restoring works every time when I have major issues.