Back in March, Microsoft said it was halting all optional Windows 10 updates. The company said the move was designed to ease pressure on developers during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay/work-at-home measures. Now, Redmond has confirmed Windows 10 Optional Updates will resume later this month.

It is worth noting that company made a promise last month saying optional updates would return in July. When Microsoft decided to postpone the updates, the company said it would help developers and users during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers. In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates,” said Microsoft at the time.

The delay ultimately meant the May and June updates were postponed. While the world is nowhere near clear of the threat of COVID-19, a degree of normalcy has returned for many people. As such, Microsoft feels it’s a good time to resume the updates.

“Starting in July 2020, we will resume non-security releases for Windows 10 and Windows Server, version 1809 and later. There is no change to the cumulative monthly security updates (also referred to as the “B” release or Update Tuesday release),” Microsoft noted.

New Method

As you may know, options updates are not sent out automatically by Microsoft. Instead, users can choose to manually install the updates if they want.

As we noted a month ago, Microsoft’s return to optional updates comes with a new schedule process for releases. Before the postponement, Microsoft used A, B, C, and D releases. These letters simply denote the week of the month:

  • A (1st week of the month) – Microsoft Office updates
  • B (2nd week of the month) – Update Tuesday (Patch Tuesday)
  • C and D (3rd and 4th weeks of the month) – Cumulative optional updates for non-security fixes

When the updates return, Microsoft is changing the C and D week updates. These updates will be called “Preview” updates. Furthermore, they will be available only to users on Windows 10 and Windows Server 1809 and newer. Microsoft adds all Preview updates will arrive on the C week of the month.

Weeks A and B will remain the same, while for the time being there will be no releases on Week D each month.