Microsoft suspends optional Windows Updates from May 2020

Windows Update[German]Surprising announcements from Microsoft in times of the Corona crisis. The company suspends non-security related optional updates for Windows from May 2020 onwards for an undefined period.


The situation is currently changing daily. Since Microsoft is also sending employees to home office, because of the danger of infection by the corona virus, personnel resources in Redmond have been thinned out. And administrators in companies should have other worries than having to install optional updates from Redmond to their systems.

Optional updates are suspended

A few hours ago, Microsoft announced, among other things via the following tweet, that from May 2020 it will suspend all optional, non-security update releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products.

Microsoft is prioritizing security and tries to keep customers protected and productive. For this reason, C and D updates, which Microsoft uses for testing, are to be suspended.

In this context, I find interesting the suggestion of blog reader Karl, who in this tweet responds directly to the announcement of Microsoft Update. Karl suggests to introduce an own category for preview updates of the C- and D-Week in WSUS-/Intune. Such a category already exists for driver updates. 

C- and D-Updates

To classify this message, you need to know Microsoft's update scheme. On the first Tuesday of the month (A-Week), Microsoft Office receives the non-security updates for troubleshooting. On the second Tuesday of the month is the so-called Patchday (B-Week), on which Microsoft traditionally rolls out security updates for Windows, Office and other products.


This is followed by the third week (C-Week) and possibly fourth week (D-Week) of the month, during which Windows is provided with optional but non-security updates. These can also be postponed by the users from the installation and are used by Microsoft for testing. This is because the contents of these C- and D-Week updates are included in the cumulative security updates (B-Week) in the following month. Microsoft had already explained this in this article in 2018 (see also Windows 10: Microsoft explains the update cadence).

The moratorium applies to all versions of Windows

According to the brief message in the Windows Message Center, Microsoft has assessed the situation with regard to the Corona crisis. This included internal feedback and probably also customer feedback regarding personnel resources. Since optional updates do not contribute to the security of a Windows system, the distribution of all optional, non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products (Windows 10, version 1909 down to Windows Server 2008 SP2) will be suspended from May 2020.

There is no change to the monthly security updates (B version – updates on the 2nd Tuesday of the month). These will continue as planned in order to protect the customers' systems and keep them productive.

The unthinkable becomes true

This is an exciting development – in times of the Corona crisis, things suddenly are possible that were previously unthinkable. Companies suddenly allow employees to work in home office, even though this was previously a taboo. And Microsoft is suspending optional updates, which many administrators have not installed or have installed with a long delay anyway, from the month after next.

The exciting questions for me are: What does Microsoft do if the B-Week security updates cause collateral damage in the form of installation problems and subsequent errors that need to be corrected urgently? What happens if B-Week security updates have to be withdrawn due to massive problems?

And also exciting: What happens to the biannual cycle for Windows 10 feature updates? The suspension (or even better complete burial) of this model, with feature updates every 2 – 3 years was a core demand of many critics. Let's see when the planned spring update of Microsoft Windows 10 Version 2004 will be released.

A few days ago, Microsoft announced an extension of support for Windows 10 version 1709 from April to October 2020 (see Windows 10 Version 1709: Support extended till October 2020). However, there are no plans for a support extension for Windows 10 version 1809, whose support for Home and Pro will end in May 2020. So the whole thing remains exciting from the administrators' point of view. From a current perspective, I would cautiously consider the moratorium a 'good thing'. If and what will go wrong with this nice plan, we should find out soon enough.   

Similar articles:
Windows 10 Version 1709: Support extended till October 2020
Windows 10 V1709: Forced Upgrade to V1909 in WSUS?
Windows 10 Version 1709: Support extended till October 2020
Windows 10: Microsoft explains the update cadence
Windows (10) Update Survey and an open letter to Microsoft

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One Response to Microsoft suspends optional Windows Updates from May 2020

  1. EP says:

    hi guenni.

    looks like Microsoft will resume issuing optional or non-security patches starting next month in July 2020 as recently noted here:

    also noted in this recent Bleepingcomputer article:

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