Are you trying to install the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (otherwise known as the 20H2 update or Windows 10 version 2009) using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool, only to be told that you cannot keep your files, apps, and settings? Well, going ahead with the upgrade means that you will lose everything you have on your computer, which, honestly, does not sound like a good idea.

Why does this issue occur, and what can you do to fix it? This guide will help you. So please, keep reading.

“Why Can’t I Keep My Files, Apps, and Settings?”

To answer this question, you should know the following information. Microsoft releases two versions of Windows 10 every year. The first one comes each fall, and the second version arrives each spring. These versions of Windows are referred to as feature updates. When available, they are automatically installed via Windows Update.

The latest feature update is the Windows 10 20H2, released on 20 October, 2020. It has a build number of 19042.572 and includes bug and performance fixes. But Microsoft also made some significant changes, like removing the System Control Panel, which had been in the OS for many years.

If you are already using Windows 10 and you want to install the October 2020 Update the easy way, head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.  Then click the ‘Check for updates’ button. The system will run a search for available updates. If the results display ‘Feature update to Windows 10, version 20H2,’ simply click ‘Download and install’ to get it.

It may happen that the update is not available. In that case, it means that Microsoft does not think that it will perform well on your PC. The best course of action is to wait for the update to be available for your PC via Windows Update.

However, some users may decide to circumvent this gradual rollout process, which is not very advisable. If you do so, you are likely to encounter bugs with the update. You probably will not enjoy it very much.

To upgrade your PC now, all you have to do is download and run the Media Creation Tool. The tool makes it possible to keep your personal files, apps, and settings while replacing the system files. This is referred to as an in-place upgrade.

But therein lies the problem: if your current version of Windows is Windows 10, version 2004 (also known as the Windows 10 May 2020 Update), you cannot successfully use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade to the October 2020 Update without wiping your hard drive.

When you try, you get an error message that says that your files, apps, and settings will not be retained. The message goes like this:

‘Your files, apps, and settings can’t be kept because your current version of Windows might be installed in an unsupported directory or you’re trying to install an older version of Windows.’

This message probably does not make any sense to you since you are sure that your current version of Windows is installed in the right directory. You are also not trying to install an older version of Windows. It is the newest version (Version 20H2) that you are trying to install.

So why exactly are you facing this issue?

It is due to a bug in the latest enablement package found in the Cumulative Update for Windows 10, version 2004.

We mentioned earlier that Microsoft releases two feature updates a year – one in the spring and one in the fall. But some users find it inconvenient to upgrade their system every six months.

This is especially so for enterprises with thousands of employees scattered all over the world, operating in different time zones and speaking different languages. It will take a lot of time to orchestrate upgrades and perform installation, testing, and mass deployment operations. Not to mention that the company has to allot at least 20 – 25 minutes for the installation process, during which the computers will have to be idle.

In order to circumvent this problem and encourage users not to skip versions, Microsoft started adding the code for the fall release into the spring version’s CUs (Cumulative Updates). They began implementing this when Windows 10 1903 was released. The code is called the enablement package. It is kept disabled until the next fall feature update is ready.

The enablement package enables faster installation of the fall versions of Windows 10. You will only find it in spring releases (for example, Windows 10 version 2004, Windows 10, version 1903, etc.) that have the latest cumulative updates installed.

The roadblock you run into when you try to use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade from the Windows 10 May 2020 Update to Windows 10 October 2020 Update is caused by a bug in the enablement package.

When carrying out the in-place upgrade process, you get to the ‘Choose what to keep’ page, and an issue with the enablement package causes the ‘Keep personal files and apps’ and ‘Keep personal files only’ options to become greyed out. You are, therefore, left with the ‘Nothing’ option, which, if selected, will wipe everything on your drive.

How to Fix ‘Your Files, Apps & Settings Can’t Be Kept’ in Windows 10

The solution is quite straightforward. All you need to do is uninstall ‘Feature Update to Windows 10 20H2 via Enablement Package (KB4562830)’ in the Windows Update history.

Follow these steps to get it done:

  1. Click the Start icon at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Once you are in the Start menu, click the cogwheel icon to open Windows 10 Settings.

As an alternative, you can open Windows 10 Settings quickly by using the Windows icon + I keyboard combination.

  1. Click on Update & Security on the Settings Home page.
  2. Click on Windows Update in the left pane of the new page.
  3. Click the ‘View update history’ option under the ‘Check for updates’ button in the right pane.
  4. Click the ‘Uninstall updates’ link on the ‘View update history’ page.
  5. Locate ‘Feature Update to Windows 10 20H2 via Enablement Package (KB4562830)’ in the list and select it. Then click the ‘Uninstall’ button at the top of the list. Alternatively, you can right-click on ‘Feature Update to Windows 10 20H2 via Enablement Package (KB4562830)’ and click on ‘Uninstall’ from the context menu.
  6. Click the ‘Yes’ button when prompted to confirm the deletion.
  7. Click the ‘Restart now’ button.

Once you have completed the above steps, try running the Media Creation Tool. The options that let you keep your files will now be available.

You will no longer encounter an error message that says, ‘Your files, apps, and settings can’t be kept because your current version of Windows might be installed in an unsupported directory or you’re trying to install an older version of Windows.’

Summary/Conclusion

Windows 10 version 20H2 shares a common core operating system with Windows 10 version 2004. They have an identical set of system files, enabling Microsoft to include the new features in Windows 10, version 20H2 in the last monthly quality update (cumulative update) for Windows 10, version 2004. However, the components are inactive and dormant. They remain so until they are activated via the ‘enablement package.’

The enablement package is a master switch that activates the 20H2 features. It helps reduce the installation time for the feature update. However, there is an issue with ‘Feature Update to Windows 10 20H2 via Enablement Package (KB4562830)’: it tries to force users to wipe their files, settings, and apps when they try to use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade to Windows 10 20H2.

There is no permanent fix to this issue yet, but there is a workaround – uninstalling “Feature Update to Windows 10 20H2 via Enablement Package (KB4562830)” in the Windows Update history.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you. If you have any remarks or questions, be sure to share them with us via the comments section below.

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