"We don't just hit a button, 400 million machines update and we break the internet," says Microsoft spokesman David Dennis.
No, thewon't be nearly that fast. Microsoft heard you loud and clear when you said -- so even as the company promises to its operating system, it's going to be a slow, measured rollout.
The Windows 10 Creators Update is officially launching today, April 11. But you shouldn't expect to automatically find the free update on your computer on day one. Microsoft says it could take as long as a couple of months before everyone sees it, and even thenuntil you're ready.
"We went into this with the guiding principle of 'do no harm,'" says Dennis, adding that Microsoft is working with individual computer hardware manufacturers to make sure the new update won't cause unforeseen issues on their PCs. (One woman successfully.)
But what if you'd rather get the Windows 10 Creators Update as soon as possible, caution be damned? Here are four techniques that might bring you those new features faster.
Try Windows Update
Obvious, yes? But if you haven't checked Windows Update in the past couple of weeks, you might want to check again. Microsoft is advertising the Windows 10 Creators Update right inside the Windows Update setting screen. It looks like this:
If you press that "Yes, show me how" button, I'm not totally sure it'll bring you the update any quicker. But it registers your interest with Microsoft, so it probably won't hurt to press it, either.
Once the update is available, the steps should be roughly:
- Open the Settings menu and go to Update & security > Windows Update
- Click Check for updates to prompt your PC to scan for the latest updates. The update will be downloaded and installed automatically.
- Click Restart Now to restart your PC and complete the installation process, or Pick a time or Snooze if you'd rather restart later.
Join the Windows Insider Program
The riskiest, but also the most certain way to get Windows features fast: opt into a program where Microsoft installs unfinished versions of Windows on your computer. Windows Insiders have already been playing with earlier versions of the Creators Update for months.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, here's what to do:
- Open the Settings menu and go to Update & security > Windows Update.
- Pick Advanced options.
- Under Get Insider Preview builds, pick Get started and say Yes to subsequent prompts. You'll need to restart your computer, and you may have to wait several days before the update follows.
Manually download the update from Microsoft
Microsoft has updated its Software Download page with the Creators Update. You can download Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant or Media Creation Tool at this link to install the update.
- At this link, click the Upgrade Now button to download the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant.
- Launch it from your Downloads folder, and it'll scan for updates.
- When the Creators Update is ready, it'll install it at that point -- if not, it should tell you that you're already up to date.
Another way to upgrade:
- At this link, click the Download tool now button to nab the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
- Launch it from your Downloads folder, and pick Upgrade this PC now.
- The tool will automatically download the Windows 10 image file (ISO) and attempt to install it.
Try a clean install
Now we're in the danger zone: a clean install means wiping your PC, so you have the freshest copy of Windows without any bits of old apps clogging things up. (And if you tried it before Microsoft uploaded the Creators Update, you might have wound up with a clean copy of Anniversary Edition instead of the new hotness.)
But -- assuming you know what you're doing -- you'll find our. Just skip ahead to the part titled "For Windows 7/8 machines," since those are our instructions for people downloading the image from scratch.