• Win10 version 1903 disappearing Update settings described, but not explained

    Of all the problems with Win10 1903 – the version that’s being pushed onto unsuspecting machines right now – this one’s the worse.

    In Win10 1903 Pro, if you go into Windows Update, advanced options, you get a pane that looks like this.

    Several of you have noted that, if you specify deferral options as I have here (non-zero numbers in either of the two bottom boxes), the entire “Choose when updates are installed” part of the advanced options dialog disappears.

    @abbodi86 has undertaken some experiments with the settings. Here’s what he has concluded:

    Yep, the Feature Update deferral box disappears once i change the entries to non-zero.

    Maybe it’s an intentional move so the user cannot change the period frequently? 🙂

    Anyway, the Feature Update deferral period can be still controlled with registry setting

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings] “DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays”=dword:0000016d

    Group policy can be used to show you the feature update deferral period. The box will show up greyed, but at least you can know the period

    @abbodi goes on to say that he tested changing the Quality Update deferral period the same way, with the same result — if you set it to anything other than zero, the whole section disappears.

    Here’s what really galls me. This is a known bug (feature?), replicable on any Win10 1903 Pro machine. Microsoft has documented the bewilickers out of its new 1903 features that let anybody defer forced updates. (Ironic that the ability to pause forced updates is 1903’s most important new feature, eh?)

    Yet in this, the most fundamental way to control forced updates, we clearly have a bug (feature?) that severely limits your ability to control updating — and we haven’t heard a single squeal from Microsoft.

    I’ve been hoping that the second monthly cumulative update for Win10 1903 will fix this bug, but we haven’t seen it yet. And if it is fixed, it isn’t clear to me how Microsoft will install the fix. Will it obey the settings hidden in the user interface (but still accessible in the registry, and through Group Policy)? Or will it just push through the fix?

    Microsoft’s seeing the aftermath of one fundamental flaw: The beta test versions of Win10 1903 didn’t include the full “defer updates” regimen. Feature update deferral and Quality update deferral weren’t tested outside of Microsoft. And you can see the result.

    MS takes full control of updates on Windows Insider installations, so even if three million people are in the program, not one of them tests forced update deferrals.

    Sorry, folks, 1903 isn’t even half ready for prime time.