• Windows 10 Update – Home vs Pro

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    I am planning on a fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit to “replace” my Windows 7 32-bit.  I was under the impression that with Win 10 Pro I can control the installation of Windows Update patches, but on Home I do not have that control.  I was at a meeting this afternoon and someone told me that I have patch control with Win 10 Home.  Who is correct?  I do not want Windows to install patches (except MSE/Defender) without my approval.  Thanks.

    Viewing 11 reply threads
    • #2110494

      Neither answer is really correct.  The newest version of Windows 1909 Home includes a few built in options to adjust updates, it has a pause button and when a feature/major update is ready, at first it gives you a download and install button, not installing it until you click.  Pro includes more options, like a defer feature update choice and a defer quality update choice to delay quality updates for up to 60 days.  Pro also includes the group policy editor which includes policies to disable all updates I think and many others like ability to somewhat easily disable Cortana and many other things.

      But either home or pro can run third party update blockers.

      Neither of them works the way that old versions of Windows did where you could pick and choose from a menu of updates.  Most updates are now cumulative, and quite large to download, and include dozens or hundreds of fixes.  You can (with methods posted on this site, or the defer option in pro) delay the January update for a while.  But other than picking to stay on December or November instead of January, there are hardly any choices to make.

      Woody shows a method that works for home or pro users, involving the pause button, whenever he mentions that MS-DEFCON is better than 2, https://www.askwoody.com/2020/ms-defcon-3-no-rush-but-you-should-get-the-january-patch-tuesday-patches-installed/

      There is another method involving the use of wushowhide, which is a Microsoft tool.

      Also see here for another comment about Group Policy https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/advice-on-choosing-win-10-version/

    • #2110521

      And setting the network connection on Home to “metered” stops auto-download / install of updates – you get a button to press to download / install.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2110533

      In addition to the above.
      You can block quality (monthly) updates and then pick single KB updates to download and install from Microsoft’s catalog.


    • #2110617

      Just a reminder that if your version of 7 is Pro you get 10 Pro for free, if your 7 is Home you get 10 Home for free.  7 Ultimate goes to 10 Pro.  If you get Windows 10 home, you can from the Microsoft store upgrade to pro for $100 I think, but this may not be the only source.  Some of the features of Pro are the ability to join a domain, and Bitlocker.  Joining a domain can be necessary to use a computer in many corporate facilities.

    • #2111101

      I am confused by the replies. What I do in Win 7 is to allow MSE updates to install without my interaction. For the monthly patches, I normally install MRT as soon as it is available, and I do not install the monthly Win 7 security or .NET updates until Woody gives the “all-clear”.

      From what I read above, I do not have an option of which monthly patches to install; I either install all or none. I am confused about updates that add new features – are these part of monthly security updates? If I decide to postpone a new feature update, will that also postpone the security updates?

      About the “free” upgrade – is that an upgrade install or a fresh install? I want a fresh install of Win 10 to keep my existing Win 7 as a dual boot.


      • #2111111

        A Feature Update is actually an upgrade to the next version of Win10. Current versions are v1809, v1903, and v1909. They are released roughly twice a year.
        Monthly Cumulative Updates are like Rollups in Win7. They are released on Patch Tuesday like the Rollups in Win7.

        MSE is not available in Win10. Windows Defender is MS’s built-in AV/Firewall. It gets updates automatically like MSE did in Win7.

        In Win10 you can use wushowhide (a Microsoft tool) to hide updates you don’t want to install and unhide them when you do want to install. But there is basically ONE update for the OS (the CU) so you either install updates or you don’t. ( .NET, Defender, Flash, MSRT are separate from the OS and have their own updates like Win7).

        There are different ways to conrtol updates depending whether you have Home Edition or Pro Edition. With the latter you have more control.

        The install of the “Free” upgrade is your choice. You can choose whether to keep your programs and data, keep only your data, or keep nothing. This choice is presented at the beginning of the install.

      • #2111248

        About the “free” upgrade – is that an upgrade install or a fresh install? I want a fresh install of Win 10 to keep my existing Win 7 as a dual boot.

        In that case Windows 10 is not free. You used the word “replace” on the first line of this thread.

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2111116

      All new features are given only as feature updates which can be taken every 6 months but do not have to be taken for longer than that, officially support lifecycles are at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

      The other updates including mostly the Patch Tuesday (monthly, second Tuesday) are called quality updates by Microsoft in some documentation or security updates in other places.  In an emergency, an update may be issued “out of band” which means it does not wait for the next update and can be pushed at any time.  The monthly updates are all or none.

      You can take quality updates, for at least the support lifecycle of your version / edition / feature update / without taking feature updates.  The winver command will tell you your version.

      There is also a Microsoft update catalog where you can install individual patches, but it is only a searchable site, it is not like the old update that auto-detects what you need.  This is generally only done by businesses large enough to be very concerned about security and able to test patches on test machines or with a group of beta users.  Even then I think it is mostly done in-between patch Tuesdays.

      The free upgrade, if you know your Windows 7 key (usually from a sticker), can be done as a clean install, however there is risk in that.  The safest way is to do it as an upgrade, and after make sure you are online and show as activated.  Then, once you know it is activated, you can do it again as a clean install.  Or there is a shortcut using “reset my PC” which I think is meant to be similar to a clean install.  Especially if you want to change partitions, doing the second clean install has advantages.

      When installing, if you are online I am not sure if it is easy to avoid creating or using a Microsoft account, if you do not want one.  An easy way to make a local account instead is disconnect from the internet while doing the install.  This can be done easily with an ISO.

      Make a full image backup before, in case you want to go back, and in case you forgot to copy some part of your data or some program or registration key!

    • #2111177

      Sorry I now see you mention wanting dual boot.  I know nothing about that.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2171230

      You can install Windows 10 to a second partition on your hard drive, rather than s***ing with your working Windows 7 installation. I did, and like many others have been running Windows 7 / Windows 10 multiboot for years. Installing Windows 10 to the new partition will set up a multiboot menu for you (if all goes well!). If you don’t know how to partition a hard disk, it’s time to learn now.

      Before you start, download installer .iso files from Microsoft of both Windows 7 and Windows 10, burn boot disks from them, and check they work (i.e. the created media boots on your computer), in case installing Windows 10 on your computer makes it unbootable and you need to do a boot repair. And do a full partition backup to an external hard drive. If you don’t know how to do any of this, now is time to learn.

      For Windows 10 updates, I followed the advice published on this website, changing settings so that updates are always deferred for 183 days for Feature Updates, and 21 days for Quality Updates. And as recommended here, I never click the ‘Check for updates’ button in Windows. Instead, I periodically use the free Belarc Advisor to show me the list of available updates – it scans the computer in a few minutes, then displays links to the pertinent Microsoft articles, which contain links to download the patches (for each you need to choose the right numbered version of Window 10, 1909, for example, and whether 32 or 64 bit). I follow our beloved Patch Lady’s advice on when to install updates (mostly at the end of the month, giving other bunnies time to unofficially beta test them). Good luck! And do have your full backup done before the Win10 upgrade, and unless you’re very good at fixing Windows technical problems yourself with the aid of a search engine, have contact details of a good computer tech or friendly neighborhood geek at the ready in case it turns out you need them. You might, getting multibooting working the first time is sometimes easy but at worst can be a royal pain.

      Asus N53SM & N53SN 64-bit laptops (Win7 Pro & Win10 Pro 64-bit multiboots), venerable HP Pavilion t760 32-bit desktop (XP & Win7 Pro multiboot), Oracle VirtualBox VM's: XP & Win7 32-bit, XP Mode, aged Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2019s (8" & 10.1"), Blu-ray burners, digital cameras, ext. HDDs (latest 5TB!), AnyDVD, Easeus ToDo Backup Home, Waterfox, more. Me: Aussie card-carrying Windows geek.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by BigBadSteve.
      • #2171405

        I expect you’ll need two licenses to dual boot. Anyone have a definitive answer?

        cheers, Paul

        • #2176333

          I expect you’ll need two licenses to dual boot. Anyone have a definitive answer?

          Yes.  An email from Microsoft Support on 8/29/2009 regarding Windows XP Retail:

          “According to Microsoft Software License Terms, retail version Windows XP can be installed on only one computer at any given point of time. This also applies to the hard drives. Please note that one is not allowed to install Windows XP on 2 or more drives on the same computer.”

          I dual boot with dual retail licenses.  From other correspondence with Microsoft Support, upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10 consumes the Windows 7 license and converts it into a Windows 10 license.  From the Windows 10 EULA:

          “License. The software is licensed, not sold. Under this agreement, we grant you the right to install and run one instance of the software on your device (the licensed device), for use by one person at a time, so long as you comply with all the terms of this agreement.”

          I use retail licenses because my PC’s are DIY.

          Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
          We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2176314

      I have purchased Windows 10 Pro, and I have created an ISO-image boot disc.  After I install from the disc (in dual-bot mode  so that I can still boot Windows 7), I assume that MS will then install patches.  Does anyone know at what patch level I will be when the patch process completes?  I am still confused about the various patch levels of Windows 10.  Or, on the other hand,  does it really matter?  If I install this week, I will probably get the February Patch Tuesday patches.  Thanks.

      • #2176324

        If you disconnect from Internet when you do the install, you will be able to create a Local Account. The Version and Build will be whatever is on the disk from which you do the install. If you do not connect to the Internet, after the install you will be able to set the Windows Update and settings in the Settings App for as much privacy as you want (as is possible in Win10) before you face Microsoft.

        If you connect to the Internet while doing the install, you will be forced to create a Microsoft Account. During the install, it will download and install Windows Updates up to the current version and Build and install any other thing MS wants to put on the computer. You will be exposed to MS until you go in and set the WU and other settings to your liking.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2177093

      I posted anonymously in Mar 04 11:08 because I forgot to login. I successfully installed Windows 10 on a partition of a new disk. I used the instructions at https://www.howtogeek.com/197647/how-to-dual-boot-windows-10-with-windows-7-or-8/ . I disconnected the Internet cable during the install, and then I re-connected to run Windows Update. It brought me to level 1909 with the 2020-02 cumulative patches installed. The only problem I had is that the procedure, for some unknown reason, did not set up dual-boot. So I had to do some Google searches to find the bcdedit utility. There were sites that had the command syntax, but I did not find any with the actual commands. So I tried and did not succeed. Then I printed the configuration (as a test of my printer), and I saw that there were another place where I had not changed the drive letter. After I made that change, I was able to dual-boot.

      bcdedit /copy             [produced new entry {…}]
      bcdedit /set {…} device partition=Q:
      bcdedit /set {…} description Windows 7
      bcdedit /set {…} osdevice partition=Q:

      Will there a problem because my local Windows 10 login is not associated with a MS account?  I use OneDrive ONLY to send a handful of files to MS and others (as I do with Dropbox).  I do not want to store my files in the cloud.

    • #2177468

      Will there a problem because my local Windows 10 login is not associated with a MS account?

      There is no requirement to have an MS account on your W10 machine – I haven’t.

      cheers, Paul

    • #2212190

      I use retail licenses because my PC’s are DIY

      Wouldn’t this entitle you to use OEM licenses?  You are, in effect, the manufacturer of your computers.

      Money aside, I thought the key difference between retail and OEM was who the computer owner contacted for assistance with the OS.  Retail license holders can get help directly from Microsoft but other customers, i.e., ones whose machines have OEM licenses must get help from the manufacturer.  In other words, you have to help yourself, as I imagine you do anyway.

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    Reply To: Windows 10 Update – Home vs Pro

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