How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Version 1511 Now

Mark O'Neill 20-11-2015

You may have heard that a major Windows 10 update has arrived An Insider Review of the Windows 10 Fall Update The Windows 10 Fall Update contains many minor improvements, a few feature updates, and a bunch of new settings. We show you what to expect and which default settings you might want to adjust. Read More . The Windows 10 “Fall Update” or “Version 1511” needs 20 GB of disk space to be installed. It’s worth updating as there are some nice features, but as usual, not everything has gone according to plan. It wouldn’t be the Microsoft we know and love, if there wasn’t some kind of screw-up somewhere along the line.


For some people, the update went according to plan. Windows Update delivered Version 1511, the update was done, bing-badda-boom, have a nice day. But for some, it didn’t even show up or threw other tantrums. If that’s you, let us help you out.

What Are the Problems?

Version 1511 Not Showing Up on Windows Update

The first problem (and the one I had to deal with) was that the upgrade wasn’t even showing on Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More . It was telling me that all updates had been provided, when I knew full well that wasn’t true.


The 44% Bug

Some users are reporting that whenever they try to apply the update, it gets stuck at the 44% mark. After much headbanging, what should one do? Someone complained on the Microsoft Community Forum and a solution was provided.


If your install is freezing at 44%, check if you have an SD card How To Choose The Right SD Card For The Job SD cards aren't all about storage! In fact, there are several other factors to consider, and when purchasing your cards, you should make yourself aware of them. That said, SD cards aren't all created equal,... Read More inserted and remove it, and the update should be able to progress beyond this spot. If you needed the SD card for additional disk space, see if you have a USB/Mini-USB port available that you can use instead for the upgrade. Otherwise, you may have to try freeing up some disk space off the hard drive..

But as many people have pointed out, freeing up a not-inconsiderable 20 GB may prove to be a bit impossible for some….

Deleting or Changing the Default Programs

While updating, even though it is not supposed to do it, Microsoft is deleting or changing the default programs. This was noticed by a Reddit user, and many other people confirmed it was happening to them too.


OK, you can easily reinstall the programs or change the defaults How to Change Default Apps and Settings in Windows 10 Here's how to change default programs and settings in Windows 10 if you aren't happy with how it behaves out of the box. Read More . However, a pattern was noticed. Most of what was removed were system monitoring tools (is Microsoft removing potential rivals to pave the way for their own offering?). Secondly, and this is really underhanded, Microsoft changed some of the default apps back to Microsoft tools.


New Upgraders Forced to Wait a Month For 1511

This one just makes no sense, and might strike some as rather petty on the part of Microsoft. If you have only upgraded to Windows 10 in the past 31 days, you have to wait another 31 days before getting the update. In other words, get to the back of the queue, matey.

Some of you may argue that waiting another month is a non-issue, and perhaps it is. But still, the decision is baffling to say the least. What is the logic in making people wait?

How Do I Get the Update?

OK, the first step is to go to Windows Update, and see if the update is there. You may end up being one of the lucky few who don’t have to go through so many loops. You can only hope and pray.

Bring up your Start Menu, and type in “update“. You should then get the system settings option to Check for updates (ignore Apps results, like Java). Choose the option with the cogwheel and wait to see if it appears.


Can you see this?


You can? Then congratulations my friend. Just be aware of the 44% issue. Remove any SD cards before you start. Upgrade and be merry.

God Darn It! It’s Not There! Now What?

OK, so you may end up like me and not see it at all.



Are you someone who has upgraded within the past 31 days? If so, you will need to wait. Sorry, don’t kill the messenger. But if you have been using Windows 10 for longer than a month, then the following method will work. I tried this and it worked perfectly.

First of all, do a thorough backup of all essential files, preferably to a removable hard-drive. This is not a clean-install that we are about to do, only an upgrade. But things do go wrong sometimes – that’s life. So make sure everything is backed up.

Secondly, download the Media Creation Tool. You will need to scroll down the page a bit to find it.


Install the downloaded file. I don’t think you need me for that part, you tech genius you. I’ll wait for you to weave your magic and come back to me.

After it starts, you will be presented with a screen. Choose the first option — Upgrade this PC now –, NOT the second. Got that? OK, good.


There’s no need to worry. Your files and apps will be preserved (unless the app is on Microsoft’s hitlist). So go ahead and start that now. You can’t use your computer while it is running, and the computer will restart several times. It took about 30 minutes or so for me. Normally at this stage, other writers may tell you to go and make yourself a coffee. I on the other hand advise you to have a few beers. Yes I know it’s 9 am but who cares? Live a little.

Once you are back in, the first thing to do is check to see which version of Windows you have. Bring up the Start Menu once more and type “about” or “winver“. You should then see a systems settings option to see details About your PC (again, ignore Apps like Java) or Run (the winver) command.


If you can see “Version 1511”, then you have successfully upgraded. See, that wasn’t too difficult was it?

Enjoy Windows 10 Version 1511

If you have a read of Tina’s article An Insider Review of the Windows 10 Fall Update The Windows 10 Fall Update contains many minor improvements, a few feature updates, and a bunch of new settings. We show you what to expect and which default settings you might want to adjust. Read More , you will see some of what you can now expect from Version 1511. Forbes also has a great write-up on some of the features as well. Me, I’m personally rocking my dirty orange Start Menu and Title bars.

Let us know in the comments below if you managed to get Version 1511 the normal easy way, or if you had to go the extra mile in downloading the Media Creation Tool. What do you think of the new features?

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

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  1. John
    November 30, 2016 at 2:23 am

    We had our Windows 10 desktop looking like Windows 7, but after the upgrade happened on our computer it now looks like the big-ugly-app-button looking version. I want the old desktop back!
    I can't move one program to one side of the screen and have another on the other (I can't split the screen like in old versions or the classic look). HOWEVER, one glitch I have seen is if I have a window on one side of the screen, and I hover over that application on the taskbar and move my mouse up to the "preview" of the program, the old desktop is visible underneath!? It is a really bizarre thing that is hard to explain.
    I downloaded classic shell but it only affects my start menu, not the desktop layout. Any advice anyone!?

  2. dick chapman
    September 2, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    nothing has worked to get to 1511. It hangs at the 40% mark every time. Media Creation tool didn't work. Hard drive decompress - didn't work; Windows Update - didn't work; Policy choices have not disabled Win update; freeing space on hard drive -didn't work (seems to be enough). I wondered if I could bypass 1511 and go straight to 1604 successfully but have not found that answer. There is no SD card inserted. Am running out of things to try.

  3. yyzrush
    April 23, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    What kind of an update is this.I did a clean install of windows 10 version 10240. This update 1511 does an upgrade and bam goes my clean install. There is a reason I do not upgrade my windows and get that windows.old folder. Did anyone else face this problem ? I don't like to remove that windows.old folder as this creates a lot of registry errors.

  4. Ross Hill
    April 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Instead of using the media creation tool and going through a manual upgrade, select "Advanced Options" in the Windows Update screen and uncheck the "defer upgrades" option as this is why the upgrade is not being installed - by default some machines have this option enabled as it means the upgrade is not installed for weeks or months after it is available, allowing for kinks and bugs in the upgrade to be fixed with patches or minor updates before this version is installed on the PC. Unchecking "defer upgrades" and then checking for updates will show the 1511 Upgrade as available to install.

    • rozsomak
      May 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Man, I love you.

      • Mattis
        July 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

        The "defer upgrade" was already unchecked, but upgrade to 1511 is not listed. However, does it make sense to upgrade? After having used Windows 10 since last fall, I have not noticed any improvements over Windows 7.

    • Can
      August 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      For me, selecting defender updates did the trick....

  5. Fox
    March 31, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    As an Australian, I'm entertained by exactly how many beers it would take to complete that ~3GB download. Not a great health recommendation (I had to leave mine overnight...)

  6. Miguel Tapia
    February 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    If you just upgraded to Windows 10 and got version 1024, there is a way to speed up the process and get version 1511.

    When you first upgrade to Win 10, Microsoft creates a new folder on your C: named "windows.old." This folder created as a backup just in case you want to revert back to your old windows version (eg. windows 8 or windows 7). After 30 days this folder gets automatically deleted and the next time you check for windows updates windows 10 version 1511 will be available.

    To speed up this process you can get rid off "windows.old" using "disk clean up." On your search box type 1. "disk cleanup," 2. click on "clean up system files" 3. Scroll down and select "previous windows installations" 4. Let windows do its magic.

    After windows cleanup is done go to C: drive and check if your windows.old folder is still there. If it's still there You might have to restart your PC or run disk cleanup again.

    Once the windows.old folder is gone, go and check for windows updates, windows 10 version 1511 will be there along with other updates. Just run the updates and sit back and enjoy you newest version windows 10.

    *****DO NOT DELETE WINDOWS.OLD MANUALLY***** (by this I mean: don't go to your C: drive right click on the windows.old folder and select delete this will not work)

    • Scott
      June 4, 2016 at 3:13 am

      Thank you very much Sir. This worked for me.

    • Gustavo
      July 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Not all heroes wear capes, thank you.

    • George
      July 31, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      YOU 'RE GREAT !!

  7. Kyle
    January 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    why can't this be distributed like a service pack??

  8. Shirley
    January 18, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I originally upgraded from Window 8.1 to Windows Home 10. Windows Updater did not offer the upgrade to 1511, so I used the Media Creation Tool. The upgrade went thorugh fairly quickly and without any problems.

    Previously the boot up time for my machine was less than 1 min. With the new version of Windows my system is now taking 3-4 mins to boot up. I have downloaded all the latest drivers, remove items from the startup sequence and searched for solutions, but not found any. I've now got it down to 2mins, but still slower than before and only after a lot of time and effort.

    Not sure the new features are worth all this trouble.

  9. Roger Green
    January 9, 2016 at 12:07 am

    After receiving the update, I had to go back to a restore point and lost 1511. I'm not too concerned about the reason. I was trying to upgrade Kaspersky at the same time. Anyway, I think the 31 day cooling off period now applies to me. I am not seeing the update in order to try again.

  10. John Doe
    December 29, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Why update to this rubbish, check out all the Administrator issues being disabled. If you havent come across this in the first 10 minutes following the upgrade then you have no idea about computers at a very basic level. This version is rubbish... God help us all

  11. Tall Oak
    December 28, 2015 at 2:23 am

    Well here it is December 27, I upgraded my Toshiba laptop to 10 from 8.1

    I check updates daily and still everything is up to date yet no 1511 update

    Any ideas?

  12. PissedOff
    December 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Well here we go again. Another failed update from none other than Microsoft. There operating systems have all sucked since XP. And they continue to tell us how awesome this system is over the last one. Let`s face it, they have not been able to make a great system for quite some time now, and they won`t be able to in the future either. They just don`t have the intellect to figure this out. I`m switching to Mac and the hell with Windows

  13. Jim
    December 15, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I originally upgraded from Windows 7 and I had to use the the Media Creation Tool; the auto upgrade mechanism that worked for my laptops did not work for my desktop.

    Well I have no SD card installed. I have about 600 GB free. Using the Media Creation Tool my update continues to fail at the 44% mark. I've also tried removing devices from my computer; makes no difference. I give up. Looks like I'm stuck on build 10240.

  14. Dean
    December 15, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Mark O'Neill,
    Thank you very much for the detailed information on how to upgrade to the 1511 version of Windows 10. I have a Windows tablet with only 32gb ROM and I only had about 14gb available. I previously received an update for 1511 but it failed, maybe due to hard drive space.
    With using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool from their site today, I was able to get the 1511 update.
    There definitely was very little space (~8gb) remaining so I had to remove the previous version of Windows which brought me back up to around 14gb. Thank you again for your much needed help!

  15. Vivek Patil
    December 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    What is the size of the Windows 10 Pro 1511 update (via normal method)?

  16. Jack
    November 25, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    My Windows 10 Update window just keep floating dots on by...never says there is or isn't any updates. It's broke!

  17. Tina Sieber
    November 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Windows 10 Version 1511 is now available via the Media Creation Tool again. Microsoft had pulled the update because it reset user security preferences and they were concerned it had other issues.

  18. ItkuPitku
    November 25, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hi all,

    One place where I found the 1511 update available through the Media creation tool is here.

    In case somone is interested. It works!

  19. Yarun
    November 22, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for your detailed info Mark...

    Guys; I'm afraid the methods won't work anymore. I had the update last week, but did a fresh reinstall from an USB - just 2 days ago and now I don't seem to get the November update.

    Seems that Microsoft decided to pull the November update. Please see: [Broken Link Removed] for additional clarification.

    Quite odd Microsoft cannot offer the update as an ISO to the public. I read the ISO is still available for MSDN subscribers.

  20. Atiq
    November 22, 2015 at 10:32 am

    There is an actual Microsoft support page with a stand alone download for this update:

    P.S. You will need to open the link using internet explorer 6 or later.

    • TurboFool
      November 25, 2015 at 12:21 am

      That is not the 1511 update, that's an update FOR 1511. As in for people who already have it.

  21. austine
    November 22, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Both method didn't work.
    After using the media creation tool to update PC which cost me 4gig of data, i was still on build 10240
    IS there any other method?

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 22, 2015 at 11:47 am

      All I can say is that it worked for me a couple of days ago. I can't explain why it has suddenly stopped working.

      In the absence of it in Windows Update, you will probably just have to wait until Windows decides to give it to you. Sorry.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 22, 2015 at 11:51 am

      See the comment down below by Joe. He has provided a new link.

      • Martin
        November 23, 2015 at 1:11 am

        OK I used the link Joe provided in his comment and when through the entire process — which took close to 12 hours thanks to my slow DSL Internet connection — however afterwards I still have Version 10.0 (Build 10240) so exercise was a complete waste of time.

        At a minimum, I think you should take the part of your article that suggests downloading the Media Creation Tool, since that clearly won't work either (and says so right on the web page as I mentioned in my first comment which is now gone).

      • Martin
        November 23, 2015 at 1:56 am

        Ahhh...I think I found the answer to why version 1511 can no longer be downloaded in this article titled "Microsoft yanks latest Windows 10 release from its download server"


    • Martin
      November 24, 2015 at 12:43 am

      At the very end of the ZDNet article I mentioned in a previous comment, there's mention of an "unpublished link" to a version of the Media Creation Tool what will download build 10586.

      The link in the article is to:


      I just finished downloading an .iso, burning it onto DVD, and upgrading my 64-bit Windows 10 build 19249 to version 1511 (OS Build 10586.11) with it (even though it isn't named MediaCreationTool64.exe).

  22. Richard
    November 21, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I am about 3 seconds from installing Fedora 23 on my last PC and never looking back. I did a CLEAN INSTALLATION over a month ago and the update will not show up. I have tried the media creation tool TWICE and it still is Version 10.0 (Build 10240). I don't think it's too much to ask to allow installation of the update if we are agreeing that we know what we are doing. Having to run outdated software for no good reason, especially when I have had several of the interface bugs reported consistently occur, makes me angry.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

      I can totally understand your frustration. If it was me, I would have thrown the computer out of the window - without opening the window first ;-))

      There has been many times when I have seriously considered Linux. But my job more or less requires that I run Windows, so I am thinking about getting a netbook to run only Linux.

  23. Joe
    November 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I didn't use the media creation tool. There's another download. Go to and click "Upgrade Now". It downloads the file GetWindows10-sds_____________ . exe. I ran that, it acted like the media creation tool but just did an in-place upgrade to 1511 without issue.

  24. Martin
    November 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I already have Windows 10 build 10240 installed and Windows Update says the system is up to date, so I went to the download the Media Creation Tool web page to get the 1511 update, as suggested. However on that page is says "These downloads cannot be used to update Windows 10 PC's to the November update (Version 1511)."

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      It's not allowing you to update? Well it was fine 24 hours ago. I'm not sure what to suggest. Maybe check again tomorrow? It might be a temporary blip?

      Or MS has twigged to the fact of what people are doing, and shut the link down. If that is the case, you're out of luck. Sorry mate.

  25. Dennis Samuel Primm
    November 21, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Let me clarify... I meant to say the update worked on my SSD but not on my HHD.

  26. Dennis Samuel Primm
    November 21, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I have had the same problem on my Win 10 Pro on my HDD!!! It worked on my SSD, but not on my HDD. This is awesome! Thank you so much for the trick!

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      Glad it worked, but Martin didn't seem to be as lucky as you :-(

  27. Anonymous
    November 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    The 31-day wait for recent upgraders isn't baffling at all, the reason has been clearly stated by MS.

    It is to allow them to still be able to make use of the roll-back option whereby if they don't want to stick with W 10 they can return to their previous 7/8/8.1 OS. Forcing the November upgrade before the 31 day period expires will remove that option.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      From what I've read, you can still roll back to the previous version if you are on Version 1511. So it still doesn't make sense why they would withhold it.

      • Anonymous
        November 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

        Yes, you can roll back from 1511 (10586) - the November upgrade - but only to the previous version of W 10 (10240). The point of the 31 day "cooling off period" for users who recently upgraded to the latter is that they can go back to their previous - ie pre-W 10 - OS, with the former installed they can't.

        • John
          November 30, 2016 at 2:27 am

          Mine says I can't since it has been more than 10 days!?

  28. Chris
    November 21, 2015 at 3:43 am

    If you use Google Chrome Apps and have downloaded the Chrome Apps launcher, be aware that you may lose the icons for the tiles in the start menu. If I pin something like Chrome Remote Desktop to Start, it will just the large Chrome icon on medium, and if you resize to small, it may just show a small black (or grey) square.

    I may be just me, but I've read about others having this problem.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up. I didn't know about that.

  29. TheFutureMe
    November 20, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Doesn't work for Win 10 Enterprise.

  30. KDSJr
    November 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I got my update notice showing for Microsoft 10 Pro. It got stuck around the 77% mark for about 10 mins then it slowly creeped through the rest of the download. Several reboots but otherwise no issues. During the 77% on-hold period I check out the FAQ site and saw that others had freezed up. I waited and the wait paid off.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      yeah it's always nerve-wracking when things suddenly stop, and you never know if things are going to work out!! :-)

  31. Bob
    November 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    The update doesn't show up for everyone immediately because Microsoft is rolling it out in stages.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 21, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Maybe not everyone wants to wait?