Since the initial release of Windows 10 back in 2015, there have been a total of nine updates for the operating system including the release this week of Windows 10 Version 1909 (aka 19H2).

The first eight updates for Windows 10 were full feature updates and were brand new builds that upgraded the previous release. These downloads were typically anywhere between 3 and 5 GB in size.

This ninth update for Windows 10, officially known as the November 2019 Update, breaks that past full build upgrade model with just a cumulative update. Anyone on Windows 10 is familiar with these cumulative updates because that is how monthly updates are delivered through Windows Update on Patch Tuesday. These are usually small payloads that can be downloaded quickly followed by a fast install to get your system back up and running.

Well Windows 10 Version 1909 is that style of update which was released under KB4524570 and will give you Windows 10 Version 1909 (OS Build 18363.476).

For anyone on Windows 10 Version 1903, aka the May 2019 Update, you will be able to get updated to Version 1909 through this small update. If you happen to be on Windows 10 Version 1809 or earlier, then you will need the full size update to upgrade to this latest release.

Although this is just a cumulative update for Windows 10, there are some new features and enhancements as part of the upgrade:

  • Add new entries to the Calendar app by clicking on the date and time in the Taskbar.
  • Cloud Clipboard options are now in Settings>System>Clipboard. Both Azure Active Directory (AAD) and MSA can use this utility.
  • Third party digital assistants can not be activated on the Lock Screen.
  • Improved inking latency
  • Manage Notifications from the Action Center and individual alerts rather than digging into the Settings>System>Notifications & actions.
  • Search in Explorer is now supplied by Windows Search including searching your OneDrive files.

As you can see, not a long list of changes in this update and that fits in with the scope of a cumulative update very well. I suspect a lot of work was done under the hood on this update to improve reliability and performance and those are usually things that do not make a new features list.

How can you get the Windows 10 Version 1909 Update?

There are a few options to get this cumulative update on your device(s):

  • Windows Update is the most reliable method because if there happens to be a compatibility issue between your hardware or software configuration, the update will be blocked in Windows Update. This update will also no longer auto install but instead lets you know it is available on the Windows Update main page in Settings. You can then ignore it or click on Download and install to start the upgrade process.
  • Media Creation Tool (MCT) allows you to either do an in-place upgrade or create installation media to use on multiple devices or to perform clean installs. Although this does check hardware/software compatibility, you can often override that block at your own risk with this tool. 
  • Visual Studio Subscribers can download the ISO’s for 1909 from the VS benefits website and create their own installation media with them for performing upgrades and clean installs. This is another method that will caution but let you override hardware/software compatibility issues.

No matter which of the above methods you choose to use, always have a backup just in case. 99% of the time these upgrades will go just fine but you want that backup for those 1% occurrences.

Microsoft continues work with their next feature update of Windows 10, currently being tested under the codename 20H1. This week they released the first Slow Ring build for this version (19013) and the latest build in Fast Ring is 19023.

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