Microsoft today started to push out the free Windows 10 October 2018 Update. As always, this will be a gradual rollout, meaning not everyone will get the latest and greatest Windows 10 update immediately. Microsoft will slowly ramp up the release via Windows Update starting next week, but there’s no guarantee when you will get it. If you don’t want to wait, you can get it by forcing Windows to update right now.
Update on October 6: Microsoft has halted the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
The best way to do so is to use the Windows 10 Update Assistant. Otherwise, you will have to wait for Windows Update to serve the October 2018 Update to you. That’s the safe way — and the method Microsoft recommends — but if you’re okay disregarding this advice, fire up the Windows 10 computer you want to update. Next, head to microsoft.com/software-download/windows10 and click the blue “Update Now” button as pictured above. This will download the Windows 10 Update Assistant.
Windows 10 Update Assistant
After opening the downloaded file (hit “Yes” if prompted to make changes to your device), you should see a screen like the one above. Click on the “Update Now” button on the bottom right.
The assistant will perform basic checks on your hardware and start the download process after 10 seconds, assuming everything looks good (it should if you already have Windows 10 installed).
You can keep using your computer while the update downloads, choose when to actually update, and roll it back if you do not like the October 2018 Update.
After verifying the download, the assistant will start preparing the update process automatically.
Only now will the update process actually start. This part might take longer than usual because Microsoft has shifted more of the update process to when you can still use your computer, as opposed to when it is applying the update and you can’t use it.
A few restarts
The assistant will automatically restart your computer after a 30-minute countdown (the actual installation can take up to 90 minutes). Click the “Restart now” button on the bottom right to start it immediately or the “Restart later” link on the bottom left to delay it.
After your computer restarts (a few times), Windows 10 will go through the final steps to finish installing the update.
Finally, Edge will open up and greet you with a “Welcome to the October update” message. Installing major Windows 10 updates is a long process, but Microsoft has had quite a bit of practice now, and for most users it goes rather smoothly.
Given that the update is free, there is no reason for you not to get it as soon as possible. If you have trouble getting it manually, best to wait until it is offered to you via Windows Update.