Microsoft will no longer allow business users to manually defer Windows 10 updates in the Windows Update settings. The new policy kicked in with the Windows 10 2004 May Update, as spotted by WindowsTimes.com (opens in new tab) (via ZDNet) in Windows 10 2004 for IT Pros documentation (opens in new tab).
Users are supposedly losing the ability to push back updates in order to "prevent confusion," Microsoft claims. The long-awaited update deferral feature was added with Windows 10 version 1703 in 2017, giving users the choice to delay an update for a maximum of 365 days.
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"Last year, we changed update installation policies for Windows 10 to only target devices running a feature update version that is nearing the end of service," Microsoft wrote. "As a result, many devices are only updating once a year. To enable all devices to make the most of this policy change, and to prevent confusion, we have removed deferrals from the Windows Update settings Advanced Options page starting on Windows 10, version 2004 (opens in new tab)."
In Windows 10 version 2004, users will only have the ability to pause updates for up to 35 days using Advanced Update options. The result is that all enterprise laptops running Windows 10 are now required to download feature updates, which usually arrive twice a year.
There is a workaround built-in by Microsoft for those who will undoubtedly be furious at the decision. If you'd like to continue using update deferrals, you can do so through a group policy.
Here is the path you'll need to take in order to configure update deferrals: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business > Select when Preview builds and Feature Updates are received or Select when Quality Updates are received.