Windows Update Enable or Disable Safeguard Holds for Feature Updates in Windows 11


  • Staff
Windows_Update_banner.jpg

Feature updates are new versions of Windows that are released via Windows Update twice a year usually around spring and fall.

Microsoft uses quality and compatibility data to identify issues that might cause a Windows client feature update to fail or roll back. When Microsoft finds such an issue, Microsoft might apply holds to the updating service to prevent affected devices from installing the update in order to safeguard them from these experiences. Microsoft also use holds when a customer, a partner, or Microsoft internal validation finds an issue that would cause severe impact (for example, rollback of the update, data loss, loss of connectivity, or loss of key functionality) and when a workaround is not immediately available.

Safeguard holds prevent a device with a known issue from being offered a new operating system version. Microsoft renews the offering once a fix is found and verified. Microsoft use holds to ensure customers have a successful experience as their device moves to a new version of Windows client.

On devices that use Windows Update (but not Windows Update for Business), the Windows Update page in the Settings app displays a message stating that a feature update is on its way, but not ready for the device. Instead of the option to download and install the feature update, users will see a "Learn more" message. If you see this message, it means one or more holds affect your device.

The lifespan of holds varies depending on the time required to investigate and fix an issue. During this time Microsoft works diligently to procure, develop, and validate a fix and then offer it to affected devices. Microsoft monitors quality and compatibility data to confirm that a fix is complete before releasing the hold. Once Microsoft releases the hold, Windows Update will resume offering new operating system versions to devices.

See also:

If wanted, you can enable the Disable safeguards for Feature Updates Group Policy to allow Feature Updates without blocking on any safeguard holds.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable safeguard holds for feature updates in Windows 10 and Windows 11.


Opting out of a safeguard hold can put devices at risk from known performance issues.

Microsoft recommends opting out only in an IT environment and for validation purposes. You can also validate an upcoming Windows feature update version without the safeguards being applied by using the Release Preview channel of the Windows Insider Program for Business.

Disabling safeguards does not guarantee your device will be able to successfully update. The update might still fail and will likely result in a bad experience since you are bypassing the protection against known issues.


You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable safeguards for feature updates.

After a device installs a new Windows version, the Disable safeguards for Feature Updates Group Policy will automatically revert to “not configured” (aka: safeguards enabled) even if it was previously enabled (aka: safeguards disabled). Microsoft does this to ensure the admin is consciously disabling Microsoft’s default protection from known issues for each new feature update.



Contents

  • Option One: Enable or Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Two: Enable or Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates using REG File





OPTION ONE

Enable or Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates in Local Group Policy Editor


The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Two.


1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).

2 Navigate to the policy location below in the left pane of the Local Group Policy Editor. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update>Manage updates offered from Windows Updates

Disable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates_gpedit-1.png

3 In the right pane of Manage updates offered from Windows Updates in the Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Disable safeguards for Feature Updates policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4 Do step 5 (enable) or step 6 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


5 To Enable Safeguards for Feature Updates

This is the default setting.


A) Select (dot) Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)​

Disable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates_gpedit-2.png

6 To Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)​

Disable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates_gpedit-3.png

7 You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.





OPTION TWO

Enable or Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates using REG File


1 Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


2 To Enable Safeguards for Feature Updates

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Enable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
"DisableWUfBSafeguards"=-

3 To Disable Safeguards for Feature Updates

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Disable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
"DisableWUfBSafeguards"=dword:00000001

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 Restart the computer to apply.

8 You could now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


Related Tutorials

 

Attachments

  • Windows_Update.jpg
    Windows_Update.jpg
    11.8 KB · Views: 55
  • Disable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates.reg
    670 bytes · Views: 129
  • Enable_safeguards_for_Feature_Updates.reg
    644 bytes · Views: 113
Last edited:

IronZorg89

Member
Member
VIP
Local time
4:13 PM
Posts
92
OS
Windows 10 and Win 11 in VM
This is a very good feature when "Enabled" (Default). I cannot fathom any reason whatsoever why one would like to disable it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 and Win 11 in VM
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ROG Strix GA35DX
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    ASUSTek COMPUTER INC.
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080Ti
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
Top Bottom