A few days after starting to roll out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to users, Microsoft has temporarily stopped distributing the latest feature update for its desktop operating system.
The company says it’s “paused the rollout … for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.”
Update 10/09/2018: Microsoft believes it’s identified the issue, and is making a new test version of the October 2018 Update available to Windows Insiders.
There have also been other complaints about the Edge web browser failing to work after the update or running into problems installing the update at all. But the unexpected file deletion is probably the biggest show stopper.
For now, Microsoft advises anyone who has already manually downloaded the update without installing it yet not to do so. Folks who have already applied the update and run into problems should contact Microsoft using the phone number or link listed in the “known issues updating to Windows 10, version 1809” section on Microsoft’s support page.
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update brings new features including a Cloud Clipboard, a SwiftKey-powered keyboard for touchscreen computers, and tools to make it easier to use an Android or iOS device with Windows. But it seems like Microsoft could have done a better job of testing the update before starting the official rollout.
Over the past few years, Microsoft has used its Windows Insider program to roll out test builds of Windows to beta testers before making most new features available to the general public. The last step before a public release is typically to offer a Release Preview version, but Neowin notes that Microsoft skipped that step this time around. Whoops.
Anyway, there are probably two good takeaways here:
- It’s probably not a great idea to be first in line to install Windows updates on your primary computer. Microsoft hadn’t yet started rolling out the October 2018 Update through automatic updates yet, so the folks encountering these problems were all people who had attempted to download and install it manually.
- Backup your data. USB hard drives are super cheap these days. Network Attached Storage devices can be a bit pricier, but they make it much easier to automate the process (and you can also use them as file and media servers). And for good measure, consider subscribing to a cloud backup service so that you won’t lose your files if Windows deletes them… or your house burns down with your computer inside.