Windows Update's Check for Updates button on Windows 10's May 2019 Update

Microsoft promised to stop installing unstable updates when you click “Check for Updates” and now it’s delivering. Rather than automatically installing such updates, Windows gives you a “Download and install now” button. The button started appearing on PCs today.

We previously warned that clicking the “Check for Updates” button would often install unstable updates. Windows Update would normally wait to install big updates like Windows 10’s buggy October 2018 Update and monthly cumulative C and D updates. However, if you clicked “Check for Updates” at the wrong time, Windows would just install those updates immediately. You wouldn’t see any warning this was happening and there was no way to cancel it.

In other words, the “Check for Updates” button often meant “Please give me unstable updates that need more testing.” Microsoft actually warned people not to click it in blog posts that no average Windows user would read.

Microsoft announced big Windows Update changes on April 4, 2019. Rather than automatically installing these updates, Windows would present them as optional in the Settings app on Windows 10. The Windows Update pane will have a “Download and install now” link when these less-stable updates are available. You have a choice of whether to install them, even if you clicked “Check for Updates.”

RELATED: Microsoft Abandons Windows 10's Constant Forced Updates

As Bleeping Computer spotted, some Windows 10 users are seeing this interface already. An “Additional updates available” section offers a cumulative update that won’t yet automatically be installed. We haven’t seen this interface on any of our Windows 10 systems yet, but Windows Central’s Zac Bowden has. Microsoft is likely rolling it out slowly.

The change is reportedly appearing on systems running Windows 10’s May 2019 Update, also known as version 1903 or 19H1, but may also be appearing on older systems.

When the May 2019 Update is available, it won’t install immediately—you’ll have to click one of these “Download and install now” links. If you don’t, you can stick with your current version of Windows 10 for up to 18 months after its release. And, when those C and D updates arrive near the end of a month, you can safely click “Check for Updates” without installing them. Just wait a few weeks and you’ll get the updates in next month’s B update after they’ve been tested.

RELATED: Now Windows 10 Has C, B, and D Updates. What is Microsoft Smoking?

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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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