Updating Windows

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Microsoft made updating Windows software more complex with the advent of Windows 10 and Windows 11. How you update Windows now depends on what version of Windows you have.

There are main updates and optional updates:

Main Updates 

To check for updates:

In either case you will usually have to restart Windows after the update.

Optional Updates 

To check for optional updates:

  1. Go to the Windows Update window as described above for your version of Windows
  2. Click on Advanced options
  3. Look at Optional updates and see if any optional updates are available. If there are:
    1. Click on the right arrow to the right of the number of updates
    2. Click on the downward arrow to see a list of the updates
    3. Click on all the checkboxes and click on Update
    4. After the updates are done, restart Windows if necessary

NB: Microsoft offered major updates twice a year until 2021 Q3, when Microsoft changed major updates to once a year. It is usually best to wait a month, or even several months, before installing these ma­jor updates, because initial versions of the updates tend to be very buggy.

NB​: in Apr 2017 Microsoft made it much harder to learn about se­cu­ri­ty updates. Prior to that date, Microsoft pub­lished a page which concisely reported all updates; after that date, Microsoft instead published a page which buries se­cu­ri­ty update infor­ma­tion in a huge mor­ass of details.

See Also: Updating Office.


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