*You need to Postpone The Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Before it’s Too Late

by the Editor   …..

Microsoft is distributing AU to groups of users in stages via Windows Update. First to get it are users with the latest hardware, which presumably is certified “ready for Windows 10.” (Xbox owners got some of the AU on July 30.) Enterprise customers get the AU next, probably because most of the new features in the AU are geared towards large organizations. Consumers with older hardware will get the AU last, giving Microsoft and hardware OEMs more time to update driver software for older machines.

I could tell you how to cut to the head of the line and get the AU right now, but I don’t think that is a good idea. Many users are reporting major problems after installing the AU.

A thread on Reddit concerning PC “freezes” following installation of the AU swelled to over 600 posts in five days. The first post in this mega-thread summarizes solutions proposed by Redditors and their results. There doesn’t seem to be just one cause and one solution to freezes. A solution that worked for some users does not work for others. It’s an ugly, chaotic mess that no one knows for certain how to clean up.

Several people reported that the AU update went smoothly, but afterwards found that System Restore was disabled after the update. System Restore is a Windows feature that lets you undo system changes, and I recommend that it always be turned on. To make sure System Restore (aka System Protection) is turned on, search for “restore” on the Start Menu, then click Create a Restore Point. Select your System drive (C:), click the Configure button, and ensure that “Turn on system protection” is enabled.

Other problems reported after installing the AU include Cortana disappearing entirely; user-defined settings returning to defaults; some Windows Store apps crashing immediately upon launch; and, most ominous of all, installation of the AU failing with many different error messages, such as 0x80070057, 0x800705b4, 0x8024200D, and more.

If you’re not sure about the presence of the Anniversary Update on your Windows 10 computer, you can check your Windows Update history. To do so, click Start > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the “Advanced options” link, then click “View update history.” If you see “Windows 10 Version 1607” listed there, you’ve got the AU installed.

Microsoft continues to push a product that’s not ready for use

I am not surprised by this fiasco. Microsoft publicly committed to releasing the AU as close to Win 10’s first anniversary as possible, for no reason other than marketing mileage. Quality control didn’t just take a back seat to that arbitrary deadline; it was bound, gagged, and locked in the trunk. It would be amazing if the AU wasn’t freezing computers.

Here’s a rundown of the major new features in the AU; most have nothing to do with the majority of you, my readers.

Windows Ink is a technology that improves the experience of pen computing. Users can quickly jot down notes, scribble on screenshots, or mark up documents in core Windows apps like Word and PowerPoint. A touchscreen and pen device are required, of course, which is why I doubt many readers will be affected by Windows Ink.

Cortana will be available “above the lock screen,” so users can ask her questions without pausing to enter their system passwords. That’s not a big deal. A much bigger deal is that Cortana no longer has an “off” switch in Windows 10 Home or Pro editions after the AU is installed. Combined with Cortana’s voice-recognition capability, these changes will send some readers rushing to the nearest tin foil reseller.

Security-minded readers may appreciate some of the new features in the AU. The new Windows Defender may prove useful to security-conscious readers; chief among them is a real-time crowd-sourced database of potentially malicious sites that Defender will warn you about if you try to reach them. Windows Hello is a biometric authentication scheme that is added by the AU; if your system has the right kind of input device(s), you can forego a password and log in by swiping a finger, smiling for a camera, or holding something up to your eye’s iris.

The Edge browser included with Windows 10 gets power-saving improvements and the ability to add extensions (Finally. Welcome to the year 2000, Mr. Edge.)

How to Postpone (or remove) the Anniverary Update

I would not be in any hurry to install the AU on my PC. Give Microsoft time to sort out the bugs that are being reported now. While it’s impossible to reject updates permanently, there are two ways to postpone them until a later date, depending on which edition of Windows 10 you have. Note that both methods shown here block only major updates like the AU; you will still receive security patches and bug fixes for your existing Win 10 version.

Windows 10 Pro users can postpone major updates for up to 4 months by checking the “Defer Updates” box on the page at Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Options.

Windows 10 Home users don’t have the “Defer Updates” option. Instead, they can tell Windows 10 to use its “metered connection” bandwidth-conserving features. Blocking downloads of major update files like the AU is among those features. Click your way through Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Advanced Options. Under “Set as metered connection,” slide the control switch to the “on” position.

If your PC uses a wired (Ethernet) connection to reach the Internet, try this Windows Central guide to setting an Ethernet connection as “metered.”

If the AU is already installed, you can uninstall it via the Recovery utilities. Click through Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. In the “Go back to an earlier build” section, click on the “Get started” button. Choose or add a reason for reverting to an earlier build of Windows 10. Click Next to make it so. The AU will be uninstalled, along with any apps installed after the AU was installed.

Have you received the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Any problems? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Let us know.

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