Windows 10 April Update 2018: What you really need to know
Following on from rumours that the operating system’s next big update has been renamed, Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 10 April Update 2018 (formerly the Windows 10 Spring Update or Windows 10 Spring Creators Update) is set to arrive on the last day of its namesake month.
The update was originally supposed to land on April 10, but had to be delayed after the discovery of a critical bug, leading to fears it might not end up being released until May.
Aside from the name change, this isn’t the most exciting Windows 10 update we’ve ever seen.
The big new addition is a feature called Timeline which lets you view recent OS activity from either the machine itself or your phone.
Focus Assist is another key feature, and will disable notifications for a certain amount of time or at certain times of the day with the aim of helping you focus on the task at hand.
There will also be a series of changes designed to bring the OS in line with Microsoft’s new Fluent Design language rolling out with this update, and a number of additional features coming to Microsoft’s Cortana assistant. The Xbox Game Bar is also getting an upgrade.
It’s unlikely to set the world on fire, but considering many of Windows 10’s users got the OS for free after upgrading from Windows 7 and 8, it’s nice to still be benefiting from regular updates.
If you can’t wait to download the OS, you can follow the steps below to get it right now.
How to download the Windows 10 April Update 2018
As far we know, you still need to be a member of Microsoft’s Windows Insider programme to download the April Update.
This could change at any moment, as Microsoft has promised that it will available as a free download from April 30, but normally software updates rollout on a gradual basis. If you’re not being prompted by your Windows machine to install the update, chances are you’re still in queue, making the steps below your best available option.
- Become a Windows Insider by going to this page on Microsoft’s site and clicking the ‘Become an Insider’ option. You’ll have to sign in using your Microsoft account and follow the instructions.
- Next, on your Windows 10 PC open the Settings application, and click ‘Update & Security’
- Choose the ‘Windows Insider Programme’ option from the bottom of the menu on the left of the window. Since you’ve already joined the Insider Programme in step 1, the ‘Get Started’ button should be available to click, and you should do so now.
- Now click ‘Link an Account’, choose the relevant account and click ‘Continue’
- From the drop-down menu on the next screen, select ‘Just fixes, apps, and drivers’, before clicking ‘Confirm’ on two separate windows.
- Finally, you’ll need to restart your PC to start the installation (which you can verify is taking place by opening up Windows Update and checking that version 1803 has started installing).
Make sure you only install pre-release software if you’re prepared to put up with a few bugs. If this is a system that you do critical work on, or that you rely on for your livelihood, then it might be better to wait for the final version of the software to roll out. Since that’s only likely to take a few hours, you might be better off just waiting.
That said, if you’re prepared to take the risk then be sure to backup your system beforehand in case anything goes wrong.
If you decide you don’t want to receive pre-release software in the future, then you can follow steps 1-3 above but click the ‘Stop Insider Preview’ button instead of the ‘Get Started’ button.