Windows 10 Gets Forced Update

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is to forcibly upgrade computers running a version of Windows 10 that's about to stop being supported. It's billed as a way to keep users "protected and productive."

The update will cover consumer devices plus "non-managed business devices" running Windows 10 version 21H2. That was the version with the major feature update in the second half of 2021. (Source:

The move should only affect users who have switched off automatic updates, which is why the forced update won't be to everyone's taste. The chances are that many people in this position have deliberately avoided automatic updates, for example because they would rather wait until new versions of Windows have been used by the general public for some time so that they can see if any new bugs are revealed.

Security Patches Stopping

Microsoft says the move is necessary as it's about to release the last security patch for computers running Windows 10 21H2. That creates the unusual situation that a new computer bought in late 2021 could be unprotected from security vulnerabilities barely 18 months later. According to Microsoft, getting monthly security patches is "critical to security and ecosystem health." (Source:

The forced update appears to be Microsoft's way of avoiding a common dilemma by which it doesn't want to stop issuing security fixes for widely used versions of Windows, but people have less incentive to stop using those versions while they are still getting security updates.

Out Of Hours Access

Microsoft hasn't said exactly when and how it will do the forced update, but it did remind users they have two ways to influence when updates happen. Both involve selecting "Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update" and then selecting "Change active hours".

One option here is to manually select active hours, such as when the computer is usually in use. The other is to have Windows automatically set and adjust the active hours based on the actual use pattern.

In both cases the idea is that Windows will carry out automatic updates (apparently including any forced update) outside of these hours. Users who choose the manual settings can only select active hours up to a period of 18 hours, so there's no easy way to game the system here.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you know what version of Windows you run? Is Microsoft right to automatically update people to a version that will receive security updates? Should users have the right to block updates completely?

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Average: 1.9 (46 votes)


Chief's picture

M$ seems to think of its users as total buffoons, idiots and brain-dead zombies.
They're probably right.

For those of us who actually know what we're doing, when the situation becomes untenable, we'll switch to another OS.

Until then, the 800-pound gorilla will continue to rampage and bother.

We all know that no one entity with power can be trusted.
After all, when settings say "DO NOT" and 'they' can force an update, who's really in charge?

Kookie's picture

Personally I have not ever turned off auto-updates - but am thoroughly irritated at Microsoft inasmuch as I am "one notch" below the requirements for Windows 11, and frankly do NOT want to spend another $1k +/- on a new PC!

buzzallnight's picture


I think there will be a patch to block this soon.

Unrecognised's picture

As long as the update isn't from Win10 to Win11, I'm annoyed but not stressed. As abovementioned, my machine won't support 11.

russoule's picture

so this company has forced my non-microsoft apps off of the menu after they were downloaded and installed. I won't use their store for this reason. I am now back in the position of locating the .exe for these apps to send them BACK to the Start Menu. a complete waste of my time!

M$ is just like the politicians,both sides of the aisle, wanting to FORCE us to follow what they believe is the proper thing to do. "Don't use Ashampoo Music. Switch to our Zune or whatever fancy name they have now" and of course "Don't use a gas stove. Swich to an electric." I SAY STOP!

This machine does NOT belong to M$. it belongs to me! LEAVE IT ALONE UNLESS I ASK FOR A CHANGE/UPDATE!