Skip to main content

Windows 10 .ISO tool removed, forcing users to rely on Windows Update

windows 10 upgrade dialogue change you re waiting for so the internet doesn t break
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends
Microsoft has removed Windows 10 Build 10586 from official .ISO availability, meaning it’s only possible to upgrade to the newest version through Windows Update.

The change occurred as a surprise move on Sunday, November 22. Previously, the latest build had been available through the media creation tool, a software utility designed to help users upgrade through an .ISO download.

This sudden reversal came as a surprise. Microsoft made no announcement beforehand, and the media creation tool has been available with the latest build for only a bit more than a week. Users quickly noticed the change, prompting a brief announcement.

The November update was originally available via the MCT tool, but we’ve decided that future installs should be through Windows Update. People can still download Windows 10 using the MCT tool if they wish. The November update will be delivered via Windows Update.

Yet this blurb only tells us what we already know — it doesn’t do much to explain the reasons.

Pulling the .ISO is not a small decision. It leaves Windows Update as the only source of upgrade. While Update usually works, it’s far from bug-free, and it of course requires a PC with an active Internet connection. Pulling the .ISO bars users from working around Windows Update problems or updating a machine that is, for whatever reason, kept offline.

It also means that users can’t jump-start their update. The latest Windows build is still rolling out to users despite its early November release date, and some had used the .ISO as a way to upgrade “early.” That’s no longer possible.

Well, not quiet. While the Windows media creation tool has been removed from Microsoft’s site, the link pointing to its download file does still work. You can grab it here. The link may be deactivated at any time, or the program rendered inoperable (it’s merely an interface to download the .ISO, no the .ISO itself), so curb your enthusiasm.

Hopefully this is a temporary measure, but even if so, it does nothing to help Microsoft’s confusing stance on Windows upgrades. There’s little transparency to the process, as users are forced to simply wait on Windows Update, which gives no indication when an update should be available. Removing the .ISO will also make matters more difficult for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users who are experiencing problems with the official Windows 10 update tool.

Matthew S. Smith
Matthew S. Smith is the former Lead Editor, Reviews at Digital Trends. He previously guided the Products Team, which dives…
If you use a VPN, don’t skip this important Windows 11 update
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 rear view showing lid and logo.

It's not you; Windows is causing the issues this time. If the VPN on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer is having a hard time connecting, it is likely because of Microsoft's April security updates for Windows 11 (KB5036893 for) and Windows 10 (KB5036892), which have been reported to be the cause of the problems.

But there's good news. According to Microsoft, a patch is now available to fix the VPN problems users are experiencing.

Read more
Best Lenovo laptop deals: Save on Yoga and ThinkPad laptops
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.

Today some of the best laptop deals to shop come from Lenovo’s various laptop lineups, which is great news if you’re in the market for both a quality laptop and some savings. Lenovo is regularly among the best laptop brands and often places several models among the best laptops. You’ll find all sorts of Lenovo laptops discounted right now, so we’ve made shopping a little easier and have rounded up the best Lenovo laptop deals below. You can read onward for all of those details, and if you aren't finding the right laptop among what Lenovo has to offer you can check out the current Dell laptop deals, HP laptop deals, and MacBook deals.
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 — $150, was $250

The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 is a great alternative to the best budget laptops. It’s hard to beat this price tag when it comes to a Lenovo laptop, and even at this price point, the IdeaPad 1 doesn’t hold back on features. It has 14-inch HD display that’s great for binge watching on, and it’s about as portable as most laptops get, coming in at just over three pounds and not much more than half an inch thick. You’re able to connect an HD monitor to this laptop via HDMI connection, and a built-in webcam with privacy shutter and dual array microphone makes it a great way to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues.

Read more
Asus ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: here’s how they compare
Asus ROG Ally and Steam Deck sitting next to each other.

It's been over a year since I originally wrote my Asus ROG Ally Z1 Extreme review, and the device has changed drastically in that time. It's still a compelling device that easily beats the Steam Deck in raw performance, but a slew of strange updates has left the ROG Ally in a weird spot compared to the Steam Deck.

For those who don't have a handheld gaming PC, the ROG Ally still wins over the Steam Deck. However, as you can read in our Steam Deck review, Valve's handheld still continues to be a force in the evolving world of gaming handhelds despite its aging hardware.
It's all a matter of price

Read more