Microsoft announced today that it was getting ready to resume the release of optional Windows 10 updates that usually ship in the third or fourth week of the month. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic led the company to pause the release of these optional updates (also known as “C” and “D” releases) back in March, but things will finally go back to normal next month, with some subtle changes.
“Based on feedback and the ongoing stabilization of business continuity, we will resume optional releases in July of 2020 for Windows 10 and Windows Server, version 1809 and later, to once again provide you with the ability to test planned non-security fixes targeted for the next month’s Update Tuesday (or “B”) release. We are also instituting a few changes to simplify the update process and help you continue to stay current with Windows 10 and Windows Server,” the company said today.
Here are the four changes that will affect optional updates starting next month:
- If all optional updates are “production-quality,” they will now get a “Preview” label in Windows update for clarity, as seen in the image below.
- Going forward, optional updates will be released in the third “C” week of the month, following monthly Patch Tuesday updates on the second “B” week.
- IT admins using Windows Server Update Services will no longer see optional “C” releases for Windows 10 and Windows Servers in the WSUS channel
- Windows Insiders in the Release Preview channel will get in-development versions of optional updates in the “B” week before they become available for everyone in the “C” week.
What is not changing is the scope of these optional updates which will continue to focus on quality fixes. As usual, those of you who choose to skip these optional updates will still get all the quality fixes in the Patch Tuesday update for the following month. The latter are cumulative and include both security and quality fixes, and these will remain the most important updates you should care about.