As announced, the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803, became available for download on April 30. If you really want to install version 1803, just go to the download page and click Update now. Fair enough.

What we didn’t expect was an immediate move to push Win10 1803 onto PCs. It now appears that many people, from all over the world, have been upgraded to 1803 — their only transgression being a click on the “Check for updates” button in Windows Update.

[ Further reading: How to handle Windows 10 updates ]

The original announcement, from April 27, says simply:

The April 2018 Update will be available as a free download beginning Monday, April 30.

A subsequent official post, dated April 30, says:

The April 2018 Update is available today if you go to Windows Update and manually check for updates.

…which is precisely what happened. Many of us were expecting Microsoft to hold off on the full-court press until next Tuesday. For example, Mary Jo Foley in her ZDNet article on the rollout said:

Q: When will existing Windows 10 users be able to get the April 2018 update?

A: Tech-savvy users who are interested in proactively grabbing the April 2018 Update can get it starting on April 30 by downloading it. Microsoft will start rolling it out to other Windows 10 users via Windows Update on Tuesday, May 8.

It ends up we were wrong. On the afternoon of April 30, Abbodi86 posted:

Win10 1803 is already released to Windows Update. As a matter of fact, it’s released to all channels (Windows Update, MCT, ISO, Update Assistant), except the update server WSUS channel and the enterprise VLSC channel.

That came as something of a shock to many of us. What it means is that unless you’ve taken precautions to make sure that 1803 won’t install, if you click on Check for Updates (Start, Settings, Update & security), you may find yourself in the upgrade tar pit.

Or maybe not. Microsoft’s methods for choosing suitable machines remains inscrutable.

[ Got a spare hour? Take this online course and learn how to install and configure Windows 10 with the options you need. ]

There’s no official update page for Win10 1803 just yet, but the reports I’ve seen say people are being upgraded via Windows Update to Win10 1803 build 17134.1. That’s odd because beta testers running Win10 1803 received a cumulative update on April 27 that brought 1803 up to build 17134.5. What's the difference? Who knows?

PKCano says:

I am guessing that MS was in such a hurry to get 1803 out the door that they released the Insider version 17134.1 with the Insider restrictions still present— ie, you can't touch the telemetry settings and limit the data scooping … it was grayed out like in Insiders.

In the past, new versions of Win10 were accompanied by an immediate update to the latest build. This time, it doesn’t look like that’s happening. The forced recruits are working with the intentionally restricted beta version.

What to do if 1803 installs and you don't want it

Assuming you don’t want to move to 1803 just yet — Preston Gralla’s review isn’t exactly glowing, and as you can see from Martin Brinkmann’s post on ghacks, problem reports are just starting to pile in — there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, if you find yourself in the middle of an unexpected upgrade, just disconnect from the internet. From a different computer (or your phone), take a look at the detailed instructions posted by AskWoody Lounger mcbsys to use wushowhide to stop the upgrade dead in its tracks.

Second, if you find yourself upgraded and you want to go back, you’ll have that option for at least 10 days. Just don’t change anything after you’re on 1803. To go back, click Start, Settings, Update & Security, on the left choose Recovery, then under Go back to the previous version of Windows 10 choose Get Started.

Most of all, there’s no reason to leave your machine exposed to Microsoft’s upgrade whimsy. There’s a series of steps you can follow right now to protect yourself from the upgrade — and wait until you’re good 'n ready to let 1803 in the door.

Got upgraded? Tell us about it on the AskWoody Lounge.