Does your PC have the Windows 10 Creators Update yet? The latest free update to Microsoft’s continually evolving operating system (OS) packs plenty of new features. But despite releasing in April 2017, many users haven’t been offered the update even months later.
If you decided to run the update yourself or just saw the prompt, you might have been greeted with a nasty error letting you know that Windows 10 is no longer supported on your PC. Let’s see what’s causing this error and your options for upgrading.
What’s This Error Message All About?
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill Windows upgrade error .
Some users are seeing the following popup whenever they try to run the Windows 10 Creators Update installer:
It’s a shock, because these folks have computers that work just fine with vanilla Windows 10 and the Anniversary Update. But seeing this error, along with the confusing “uninstall this app now” message, makes no sense because your PC has to pass a requirements check before this installer runs.
Of course, there’s no app to uninstall. This message is telling you that the latest version of Windows 10 won’t work on your machine. Microsoft is blaming this on a certain line of Intel processors .
Codenamed Clover Trail models, the following CPUs won’t work with the Creators Update:
- Atom Z2760
- Atom Z2520
- Atom Z2560
- Atom Z2580
Microsoft claims that these processors are no longer supported by Intel and without the driver support, they’ll have too many problems with the Creators Update. Most of the PCs using these processors are two-in-ones that sold between 2013-2014 and originally ran Windows 8. They had no problem upgrading to Windows 8.1 or taking advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.
Acer states that “Microsoft is working with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility,” but what should you do until then? If you’re affected by this problem, we’ve gathered your options for moving forward.
Stay on the Anniversary Update With Extended Support
Thankfully, people affected by this issue aren’t losing support for Windows 10 . The Anniversary Update will continue to work for everyone until its current expiry date of March 2018.
However, Microsoft has added an exception for anyone affected by this issue. If you have a PC with a Clover Trail processor, Microsoft will continue to support the Anniversary Update until January of 2023, which is when Windows 8.1’s extended support ends. You won’t enjoy any of the new features of the Creators Update and beyond, but will still receive security patches.
This is a fair option. If you think Windows 10’s changes are frustrating and would rather stick with a version you know you like, your current PC will be fine for another several years. On the flip-side, five and a half years is a long time to go without any new features in Windows 10 .
Downgrade to Windows 8.1
If this issue has spoiled Windows 10 for you and you’d rather use a different OS, downgrading to Windows 8.1 is your best option.
This is a bit tricky as you can’t use Windows 10’s rollback feature unless you’ve just upgraded in the last few weeks, which likely isn’t the case. Computers with the Pro version of Windows 10 can downgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro if you have a product key for that version. Grab a copy of the Windows 8.1 installer from Microsoft, and try our tips on finding a cheap Windows 8.1 license so you can legally use and activate it .
You’ll notice that we discussed Windows 8.1 above, and not Windows 7. While Windows 7 is still a great OS, its extended support ends in January of 2020. That might sound like a long time, but it’s closer than it seems.
I'll upgrade when Windows 7's life cycle is over (i.e. No longer supported). By then Windows 10 should have improved substantially.
— megabug7 (@megabug7) July 31, 2017
Going through all the trouble to get a Windows 7 license just to have to deal with the upgrade to Windows 10 anyway in a few years doesn’t seem worth it.
Install Linux Instead
Here’s an option that’s ever-popular with our commenters when something goes wrong with Windows : just install Linux! Linux is 100 percent free so you don’t have to worry about any licensing issues or upgrade problems like these. It’s arguably better than Windows in some ways , and some even say it’s better than Windows .
You’ll probably have to get used to different software in Linux, and some elements might confuse you at first. But it’s easy to switch , and we have a guide to installing Ubuntu on your Windows computer. You can dual-boot it to try it out temporarily, or go all-in and get rid of Windows.
Whether you want to use Linux or stay on the Anniversary Update depends on what you value more. Linux will always be free and lets you do whatever you want, but you’re probably more comfortable with Windows.
Buy a New PC
An expensive option, but one that will solve your problem, is purchasing a new PC to sidestep the upgrade issue. Don’t run out and do this now, though. Wait a few months and enjoy the extended support of the Anniversary Update — perhaps they’ll find a fix for this problem by then. Only spend the money to get a new computer if yours really needs a replacement .
When it is time for a new machine, as long as it’s not the cheapest one they have , any decent desktop or laptop you can buy online or in a store should work with Windows 10 for years to come. There’s no telling if this processor situation could happen again in the future, though.
If you want to take an annoyance and turn it into a fun opportunity, you could save some money and build your own PC . We’ve written a complete guide to building a desktop PC so you don’t have to go it alone. Just don’t spend too much money on future-proofing !
To combine this and the above tip, you could also buy a cheap Linux PC . This lets you skip the step of installing Linux yourself!
No Support, No Problem
Problems like this are why we don’t recommend installing new updates right away . Unfortunately, there’s no workaround for this issue just yet. You could try installing the Creators Update through installation media instead of using the prompt, but even if you successfully upgrade you could run into performance problems.
For now, we recommend waiting patiently on the Anniversary Update. If Microsoft doesn’t issue a fix in the next few months, feel free to upgrade to a new PC, downgrade to Windows 8.1, or try Linux.
If you have a PC affected by this problem, we want to hear from you. What action will you decide to take? Tell us by leaving a comment, please!
Image Credits: Sanit Fuangnakhon/Shutterstock