Microsoft removes standalone download of November Windows 10 update

If you want the November update for Windows 10, you can no longer use the Media Creation Tool to get it—Windows Update is the only option.

new windows 10 logo primary
Credit: Rob Schultz

If you wanted to upgrade a PC to the latest release of Windows 10 using the Media Creation Tool (MCT), prepare to jump through some more hoops. On Saturday, ZDNet’s Ed Bott reported that Microsoft recently removed the downloadable version of the November update for Windows 10, replacing it instead with the build of Windows 10 it released back in July.

Microsoft responded to Bott’s story to explain that the November Update’s removal was intentional, and that the company “decided that future installs should be through Windows Update.”

To make matters worse, if you upgrade a Windows 7 or 8.1 PC to Windows 10 today using the Build 10240 Media Creation Tool, you might not be able to get the November update for another month. As BetaNews points out, Microsoft’s FAQ for the November update states the following:

If it’s been less than 31 days since you upgraded to Windows 10, you won’t get the November update straight away; this will allow you to go back to your previous version of Windows if you choose. After the 31 days have passed, your PC will automatically download the November update.”

In addition, According to Bott, Microsoft made the change with no warning beyond a single line on the download page that says, “These downloads cannot be used to update Windows 10 PCs to the November update (Version 1511).” In other words, if you downloaded the MCT after the switch to the older Windows 10 build, didn’t read the fine print, and expected the November update, you’re going to be in for a surprise.

Why this matters:  For most typical users, this isn’t going to be a huge deal, seeing as most average users likely aren’t going to touch the MCT. But if you’re a more advanced user who wants to create a bootable Windows 10 installer—or if you just don’t want to wait for updates to appear in Windows Update—you’re not going to like this change. At all.

It’s especially obnoxious considering Microsoft executive Gabe Aul actually took to Twitter a couple weeks ago to recommend using the MCT to bypass Windows Update, as Bott pointed out in his report.

Hopefully, the Windows team will come to its senses and reverse its decision because with Microsoft’s new Media Creation Tool policy, everyone loses.

This story, "Microsoft removes standalone download of November Windows 10 update" was originally published by PCWorld.