Microsoft Just Released an Update to Windows 10. Here’s What You Should Know.

April 11, 2017

I make a lot of training courses for Windows, Mac OS and iOS. So when a major update or a new version of an operating system is released, people often ask me whether they should update. I thought it would be nice to get in the habit of sharing my thoughts each time a major update comes out.

Today, Microsoft released a major update to Windows 10, known as the “Creators Update.” Let me try to help you decide if you should update.

Note: If you are using an older version of Windows, like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, an upgrade to Windows 10 is a much more significant operation. This article is only meant to address the Creators Update for current Windows 10 users.

Step 1 – Prepare for the update.

There’s one important rule that I always ask people to consider before running a major update or upgrade, especially for an operating system like Windows. Make sure you have a current backup of your system before updating.

An OS update should not affect your projects and personal files. However, unexpected problems can pop up in an update like this. There is a very slim chance that your computer could crash and you could lose files during a system update. But you should backup everything to minimize this small risk.

Is this update automatic?

This is where our story takes an interesting turn. Not only is this update automatic for all users of Windows 10, it cannot be disabled for Windows 10 Home and Professional users. And, in case you’re wondering, this is a free update for current Windows 10 users.

Not all users will see this update today. It will probably be an extended rollout, so you might see this update become available over the next few weeks.

One day, your computer will display a notification telling you that an update is available and you should reboot your computer to install it. Or you may go to shut down or restart your computer to find those options replaced with “Update and Shut Down” and “Update and Restart.”

This is standard for Windows 10. Windows works like a service and will insist on keeping itself up-to-date. If you do nothing, this update will eventually take care of itself.

What are the advantages?

While this is considered to be a significant update to Windows 10, the list of noticeable changes is fairly short. There are a few updates to the general system interface, including a re-organization of the Settings. There are changes to some of the bundled applications in Windows, and there is a new application called Paint3D, which is used to create 3D objects and artwork. It’s a fairly light update compared to last year’s Anniversary Update.

Instead of summarizing all of the new features here, I recommend you take a look at my training course on LinkedIn Learning “Windows 10 Creators Update New Features”. This course shows the most significant new features and demonstrates how they work.

What are the disadvantages?

During my research and first-hand experience with the preview of the Creators Update, I have not encountered, nor heard about, any major bugs or problems. Some OS updates are plagued with glitches, mysterious “blue screens,” and features that don’t work.

However, I haven’t heard of any significant problems with the Creators Update. This is no guarantee, but I expect that users will have a smooth experience working with Windows after the Creators Update.

One potential issue to consider is whether an update to the operating system will cause problems with specific applications or hardware drivers you have installed. It’s not uncommon that drivers for high-end audio or video production peripherals might conflict with a new version of an operating system. I have not done any testing in this area, but I’ve also not heard of any specific issues.

My guess is that there will not be many problems in this area because the Creators Update does not include many big changes to the core system. That said, if you do have high-end production software or drivers for specialized hardware, I recommend you check the web sites or community forums for each specific software developer or hardware manufacturer and seek out advice specific to your setup.

Another important question is whether changes in the user interface will make people uncomfortable?

I don’t think that will be a problem. Most of the new changes are optional features that you can choose to use or not. There are only two places where this could be an issue. Some people may be caught off-guard with the change in how Settings are organized. But the changes are minor and you can always use the search field in settings to find what you need.

The other change that may make people uncomfortable is in Windows Defender, which is the built-in tool for virus protection. This application has a completely new interface and a different set of features. However, most people don’t interact directly with Windows Defender – they simply let it run in the background, monitoring the computer for potential virus infection. So I doubt these changes will be a problem.

With that in mind, I think the disadvantages to updating to the Creators Update are negligible.

Should I update?

This is an easy question. Windows 10 Updates are mandatory. If you use Windows 10 Home or Professional, unless your computer is permanently disconnected from the Internet, this update will happen.

Fortunately, this is a fairly light update. There may not be a huge list of new features, but the changes all seem to be positive and should not disrupt your work.

So, my advice is to make sure your backups are up-to-date and let this update run its course. Try to budget an hour or so when you can let the update happen without disrupting your work. I don’t expect you’ll encounter a lot of problems.

If you want to learn more about the changes in this update, please check out my LinkedIn Learning course Windows 10 Creators Update New Features. If you’re just getting started with Windows 10 and you need a complete training course, look for Windows 10 Creators Update Essential Training.