There’s lots of hoopla surrounding the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Win10FCU), but many PC users might be feeling left out in the cold because they haven’t been offered the option to upgrade yet. Fortunately, there’s a safe and simple way to download the upgrade today, despite what Microsoft wants.
Microsoft says it didn’t make the the Win10FCU available to everyone because “our phased approach is actively listening to all available feedback mechanisms and making the appropriate product updates during the rollout.” Translating from marketing speak, that means that if there turns out to be major bugs in the new version, Microsoft would like to know that before it’s on millions of computers.
And while the company didn’t explicitly say this, Windows 10 is installed on over 500 million PCs, and there’s no way Microsoft’s servers could keep up if all of them tried to immediately download the upgrade.
That’s why a large majority of people who go to Settings > Update and Security > Check for Update are told that their PC us up to date, despite it not yet running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Fortunately, there’s a way around this restriction. And to give credit where credit is due, it’s provided by Microsoft itself. The company isn’t really blocking people from upgrading now, it would just prefer everyone wait until Win10FCU is automatically offered to their device.
Those who don’t want to wait just have to use Microsoft’s Software Download Site:
Obviously, pressing the Update Now button will start the process. On our test device, the transfer took several hours, so give it some time. The computer can still be used while Win10FCU is downloading
Microsoft’s upgrade tool will check to be sure the target computer is capable of running this software, but any device that can handle Windows 10 shouldn’t have any problems. We tested this new version on a Surface Pro 2 from 2013 without issue, so it doesn’t require the latest and greatest hardware.
To be clear, this is an official Microsoft download, not something pirated, so it won’t work on non-official, unregistered versions of Windows 10.
What’s New in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
For many people, the biggest change in the Win10FCU is OneDrive Files On-Demand, which puts simple links onto the PC to files on OneDrive, allowing users to see what they have in the cloud without needing to store every file locally.
There are a number of enhancements for those fortunate enough to have a touchscreen and pen. Users can annotate PDFs, for example, and a new Handwriting Panel makes it easier to enter text with a pen. There’s even a “Find My Pen” feature.
Beyond, that, Microsoft clearly took the name “Creators Update” to heart, with fun new ways to create with the computer. The addition of Story Remix to the Photos app allows users to turn a collection on images and videos into an album or even a movie. The Magic Select tool in Paint 3D can remove something from an image and then fill in the blank area behind that object.
There are lots of other small tweaks too, like a new emoji keyboard that makes it easy to enter these ubiquitous little characters.