It’s a familiar feeling for anyone running Windows 10. First stop is the Update panel, where you check if Windows is downloading yet another GB-sized patch in the “background”.
Windows 10’s compulsory updates make very good sense from a security perspective, but the timing of this Creators Update is pretty savage if you live in NSW.
Public school holidays started on 10 April, and updates began rolling out the next day. And since this is the week before Easter, many parents will be relying on tablets and PCs to keep kids occupied while they finish up at work.
If you have a typical Australian ADSL connection (the national average is 9.6Mbps but some people – including this writer – only get two-thirds of that), and more than one Windows 10 PC in the house… well it’s pretty much goodbye YouTube for several hours.
Yes, you can trick Windows 10 into thinking your home ADSL is a “metered” connection and this will delay the update, but that’s a massive pain and has to be done on each machine, and then manually turned off again later.
A reminder (because you know you need reminding): the setting for metered connection isn’t in Updates & Security, it’s in Network & Internet. Can’t see it? It’s easy! Just go to Wi-Fi, then Manage Known Networks, then select your home Wi-Fi, then Properties, and then turn Metered Connection on. A mere eight clicks from the desktop! (Action Centre > All Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Known Networks > [Your Network] > Properties > Metered Connection).
Hilariously, while writing this story, Windows 10 took over focus and control of my PC as part of “getting ready for” the update. After I turned off a couple of options that Windows 10 had tried to turn back on again, the weird first-person-plural voice Windows 10 uses had the gall to say “We’ll let you continue working uninterrupted.” CONTINUE working uninterrupted? Sorry Windows 10, you blew that.
Seriously though, Microsoft is caught between and rock and a hard place when it comes to updates. In a world where “crackers” (remember: a hacker is actually a person who seeks vulnerabilities for constructive improvement) dedicate their lives to ruining your PC for no better reason than to send spam or just be evil, Windows 10 needs to do SOMETHING to make sure no one is just leaving their OS open to attack.
Our suggestion? An option to delay updates for up to 48 hours. Then at least we can prepare the kids for the shocking removal of their digital lifelines.
What’s that? Parents shouldn’t rely on YouTube and games to keep kids occupied, in a world where single-income families are a luxury that can only be afforded by the very rich (and the very poor, we guess)?
Easy for you to say. You probably don’t even have kids.
Oh and the worst part? The updates this week that choked your ADSL aren’t even the actual Windows 10 Creators Update. That’s still to come.