by Bill Snyder

Microsoft Gives Windows 8.1 Users 30 More Days to Install Mandatory Update

May 12, 20142 mins
Patch Management SoftwareSmall and Medium BusinessWindows

Microsoft planned to punish users who didn’t install a Windows update by refusing to patch their systems. After protests, the company pushed the final date back a month to June 20, 2014.

Maybe it was the protests,. Maybe someone at Microsoft woke up and realized that bullying users isn’t a great idea. Whatever the cause, the software giant said today that it won’t drop the hammer on customers who don’t install the Windows 8.1 update – at least not for another month.

In April, Microsoft said it wouldn’t patch Windows 8.1 for consumers who hadn’t installed the update. Although the update is probably worth installing (despite its reported bugs), punishing users by refusing to give them security patches seems Draconian and hardly customer friendly. The idea wasn’t well received, so Microsoft pushed the date back to June 20 for consumers. Businesses still have until August 12 to install the update.

After those dates, users will be left out in the cold.


Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc announced the change in a company blog post:

“While we believe the majority of people have received the update, we recognize that not all have. Having our customers running their devices with the latest updates is super important to us. And we’re committed to helping ensure their safety.”

Most Windows 8.1 users should have received the update automatically, but some may have disabled automatic updates and could still be running an older version of Windows 8.1. To check which version of Windows 8.1 you have, simply go to the Start screen and look for the search button in the top-right corner. As long as you see that button, you’re running the latest version. If you’re still running Windows 8, don’t worry about. It isn’t affected.

Microsoft got tired of patching Windows XP, and with some exceptions, it isn’t doing it anymore. That makes sense in the case of a 12-year-old OS, but it makes no sense at all in the case of the much newer Windows 8.1, which many users already hate.