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One Month On, Win10 AU Doesn't Auto-Apply

While working on one of my test systems this morning, I realized one Win10 image hadn’t run since late July. Because the Anniversary Update (AU) went public on August 2, it was still on Build 1511. But when I ran Windows Update, it applied a raft of updates for Build 1511 without offering the AU. Even remembering that Microsoft promised to stagger access, I was shocked that Win10 AU doesn’t auto-apply 29 days after release.

Fortunately, I had a bootable UFD with the 1607 installer. I simply plugged in that drive, then ran setup.exe from File Explorer. This launched the Win10 AU installer, and got things underway. It was even smart enough to suspend my dual-boot configuration. Thus, installation completed without requiring me to catch the various reboots as they occurred. In general the process went smoothly, and completed in about 40 minutes.

Ask Yourself: Why Win10 AU Doesn’t Auto-Apply Itself?

After going through a belated AU update, I’m curious how MS offers AU to Current Branch PCs still running Build 1511. Surely, I can’t be the only user who’s got a physical or VM-based install not yet updated to 1607? I’m guessing that MS established rules for offering the update to smooth out traffic immediately after the release. I’m guessing further that they haven’t yet changed those rules. I wonder: how long before they add the Anniversary Update directly to the update stream? I guess only time will tell!

Should you find yourself in this situation, you can access the Media Creation Tool to build an installer. Or, you can grab the Windows 10 AU ISO and build your own media instead. (I usually take the latter path, because Rufus gives me more and better options for building a Windows installer UFD.) Either way, you’ll be able to short-circuit Microsoft’s “delay before AU offer” mechanisms apparently still in place. If you can’t beat Windows Update, you can work around it instead!

[Note: persistent apps and drivers do stick around in Windows.old after the anniversary update. Read my blog post “Anniversary Update Post-Install Cleanup” for instructions on removing them. Long story short: a bootable repair or recovery disk will help that process along.]