The Windows 10’s April 2018 Update is now available, but it may be a few months before every PC gets it. If you don’t want to wait, you can download the April 2018 Update from Microsoft right now.

A Warning About Upgrading Early

It can be annoying waiting months for a big Windows 10 update to reach your PC, but there’s a reason for the delay. Microsoft normally ensures the update works on your PC’s hardware and won’t cause any problems before offering it to you via Windows Update. If there seems to be a problem on some PCs, Microsoft can pause the update for those PCs and work on fix before continuing it.

If you choose to skip the orderly rollout, you may encounter problems with the Windows 10 operating system on your PC’s hardware. You’re installing a stable operating system, so it’s much less risky than joining the Insider Preview program and using an unstable version of Windows. However, there is a risk you could encounter bugs or other issues on your PC.

Be sure you understand and accept these risks before opting into an early upgrade. Microsoft says the below tricks are for “advanced users.”

RELATED: Everything New in Windows 10's April 2018 Update, Available Now

Option 1: Check for Updates Using Windows Update

Starting with Windows 10’s April 2018 Update, you can now initiate the update without downloading any software.

To do so, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the “Check for Updates” button here.

Windows 10 will check for updates and begin downloading the “Feature update to Windows 10, version 1803.” This is the April 2018 Update.

If you don’t manually check for updates in Windows Update, you’ll receive the update when Microsoft decides it’s appropriate for your PC. If you do manually check for updates, you’ll receive it immediately.

Option 2: Download Microsoft’s Update Assistant

Microsoft offers an Update Assistant tool whenever it releases one of these big Windows 10 updates. You can download this tool to manually opt into the April 2018 Update, even if Microsoft hasn’t pushed it to your device yet. Microsoft has noted that this tool is for advanced users using an officially licensed, or “genuine,” version of Windows 10.

Head to the Download Windows 10 page and click the “Update Now” button to download the Update Assistant. Run it and you’ll be told your PC is not running the latest version of Windows 10.

This dialog is a little unclear if you’re not familiar with Windows 10’s version numbers. If you’re using the Fall Creators Update, you’ll be told your PC is running “version 1709”. The tool will offer to upgrade you to version 1803, which is the final stable version of the April 2018 Update.

Click “Update Now” and the Update Assistant will download and install the April 2018 Update for you. You can continue using your PC normally and even minimize the window, if you like. It will remain running in the notification area while it downloads the update.

How to Downgrade If You Have a Problem

If there is a problem, you can roll back to the previous version of Windows 10 you had installed. Just head to Settings > Update & security > Recovery and click the “Get started” button under “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10”.

RELATED: How to Roll Back Builds and Uninstall Updates on Windows 10

You can only downgrade within the first ten days. You also won’t be able to downgrade if you delete the Windows.old folder or use a software program that deletes it for you, like the new “Free Up Space” tool or Disk Cleanup. After ten days, Windows automatically removes the Windows.old folder to free up space, so you won’t have the option of downgrading without reinstalling Windows.

Once you’ve downgraded, just wait until Microsoft offers you the update via Windows Update. The problem should be fixed by the time your PC receives the update normally.

Get Early Updates Next Time with the Insider Previews

If you’re running an Insider Preview build of Windows 10, now is a good time to leave the Insider Builds behind. If you stay on the “Fast Ring”, Microsoft will soon begin pushing you very unstable versions of the next Windows 10 update. You may want to switch to the “Slow Ring”, “Release Preview”, or even leave Insider Preview builds behind for now and use the stable version of the April 2018 Update. Head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program to choose your Insider Preview settings.

RELATED: Should You Use the Windows 10 Insider Previews?

If, however, you want to get updates earlier next time, you can enable Insider Previews to get a pre-release look at these features. The “Release Preview” track of Windows 10, in particular, is pretty great, since it’s much more stable than the Fast and Slow rings, and will get you new updates without having to wait for the rollout. It’s still technically an Insider Preview—one that keeps you on the stable build of Windows 10 but gives you Windows updates, driver updates, and Microsoft app updates early—so download at your own risk. But in our experience, the Release Preview is a relatively stable track with quick updates, which is great.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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