Windows 10 business users can no longer manually defer feature updates through the Windows Update page in the Settings App. Microsoft introduced the change through the release of Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004).

The company confirmed the change through Windows 10 2004 for IT Pros documentation this week. According to the company, it is removing the manual deferral ability because users were becoming confused by the options.

“Last year, we changed update installation policies for Windows 10 to only target devices running a feature update version that is nearing end of service. As a result, many devices are only updating once a year. To enable all devices to make the most of this policy change, and to prevent confusion. We have removed deferrals from the Windows Update settings Advanced Options page starting on Windows 10, version 2004.” 

Windows 10 version 2004 rolled out last month, so this change has been in place since then. Of course, as no feature update is coming until the end of the year, no-one noticed the removal of manual deferrals.

Handling Deferrals

Until the May 2020 Update arrived, users running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education could defer updates for 365 days. This manual option was available in the Advanced Options menu in Windows Update.

While manual deferrals have been removed, users can still postpone Windows updates. Microsoft points to this method:

“If you wish to continue leveraging deferrals, you can use local Group Policy (Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business > Select when Preview builds and Feature Updates are received or Select when Quality Updates are received).”