Microsoft resumes optional updates from July 2020

Windows Update[German]Microsoft seems to be getting back into gear after the coronavirus restrictions. Starting in July 2020, the company plans to distribute optional updates during C and D week for Windows 10 and Windows Server again.


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In March 2020, Microsoft made a surprise announcement that it would suspend all optional, non-security update releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products from May 2020. This was justified by the fact that companies that had been thinned out by the coronavirus protection measures wanted to protect their customers. Microsoft was concerned with prioritizing security and keeping customers protected and productive. Therefore, C and D updates, which Microsoft uses quasi for testing, are to be suspended. I had reported in the blog post Microsoft suspends optional Windows Updates from May 2020.

Optional Windows 10 updates again from July 2020

In the Techcommunity article Resuming optional Windows 10 and Windows Server non-security monthly updates Microsoft announced the end of this moratorium on optional Windows updates.

Based on feedback, Microsoft will resume the optional update versions from July 2020 for Windows 10 and Windows Server, version 1809 and later. With this, Microsoft again wants to give customers the opportunity to test planned non-security relevant updates that are scheduled for the patchday (2nd Tuesday of the month, B-week) for the following month. Microsoft is also introducing several changes to simplify the update process and help users stay up-to-date with Windows 10 and Windows Server.

In response to feedback, these validated, optional updates are now called “preview” versions and are offered only for Windows 10 and Windows Server, version 1809 and later. The name change is reflected in the title of the updates found, as shown in the example on the Windows Update page under Settings below.

Windows Update
(Source: Microsoft)


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In order to simplify update management for IT, these “preview” versions are only released during “C” week. There is no change to the cumulative monthly security updates (also known as “B” week). These versions will continue to include all previous updates to keep your users protected and productive.

If you use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to manage updates, you no longer see “Preview” (or “C”) versions for Windows 10 or Windows Server in the WSUS channel. This ensures consistent update management for all supported Windows versions in your environment.

Finally, for participants in the Windows Insider program or the Windows Insider program for enterprises, versions of these non-security updates that are in development will be released in the Release Preview Channel during “B” week.

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).


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