Microsoft started rolling out the Windows 10 October 2020 Update yesterday, but many of you have yet to see it appear in Windows Update. The company is once again doing a gradual rollout, to ensure a quality experience for everyone. However, Windows Update isn’t the only way to install the latest Windows 10 release.
For users already running the May 2020 Update, Windows Update will provide the fastest update experience as the October 2020 Update will install like a regular cumulative update. That’s because the latest Windows 10 release shares a common core with the May 2020 Update, which already has all the new features in a dormant state. What Windows Update does is just download an enablement package that will turn all the new features on, and the process should take less than 5 minutes on your PC.
If you don’t want to wait for the October 2020 Update to appear in Windows Update, though, you can install it manually on your PC today. Here are 3 different methods you can use, though we recommend backing up your files before proceeding:
- You can join the Windows Insider Program and get on the Release Preview Ring, which received the October 2020 Update a couple of weeks ago. You can leave the program once the update has been installed.
- You can download the update with the Update Assistant, which is available on this page. However, make sure to back up your files before proceeding as the update process implies a full reinstallation of Windows 10, while keeping your files intact.
- You can also use the Media Creation Tool, which can do a full reinstallation of the OS (like the Update Assistant), a clean install (wiping any previous Windows installations, potentially including your files), or create installation media to install the October 2020 Update on other PCs. It's also available on this page.
Again, it's probably best to wait for the October 2020 update to become available in Windows Update, as Microsoft uses telemetry and AI to make sure that the installation won't cause any problems on your PCs. Microsoft is also blocking the update on some PCs due to a compatibility issue with Conexant audio drivers, and affected devices are also unable to install the May 2020 Update via Windows Update.
Overall, the Windows 10 October 2020 Update is a minor release bringing Theme-aware Start Tiles, Microsoft Edge tabs in Alt+Tab, Tablet posture improvements, and more. Stay tuned to OnMSFT as we'll publish our detailed overview and associated video very soon.