If you use Microsoft Windows 10 and don’t want to worry about missing any important software changes, you’ll be glad to know that you can make this process automatic. The operating system allows you to automatically download updates so your system can continue to function at its best.
However, you will have to first go into the Setting menu and set up automatic updates to make sure they occur.
All forms of Windows, including the Windows Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions, offer the function of automatic updates. You can also choose to stop them from happening if you’re running low on storage space on your device or don’t want to upgrade your OS.
In this article, we’ll explain what these updates are, how to enable automatic software updates, and everything else you need to know about keeping your Windows PC updated.
What are automatic updates?
Microsoft created automatic updates to keep your Windows OS up to date without you having to do it manually. This can be useful for a multitude of reasons, including making sure your computer runs with the latest versions of the programs you rely on even if you often forget to have updates performed or if you aren’t sure which updates are right for your system. Fortunately, you can change your settings so updates are performed without your hands-on involvement.
You can also change your settings back if you find that automatic updates aren’t working for you. This can be the case if you are noticing compatibility issues with your software and you want to avoid certain patches or updates. Because Microsoft is constantly trying to improve how the OS works, this can mean that certain types of updates may not work together.
It is also possible to have Windows delay the download of certain software you have on your device. You can restart downloads later once your software has been revised to work with a new update. You can also choose what works best for you and the type of software you use on your PC.
Why would I want automatic updates?
There are a number of advantages of automatic software updates. One of the most important ones is that it can keep your computer running in top form. Updates often include patches, which can fix problems you may experience with your operating system. They may also include new tools or software associated with Windows that makes it easier to run programs.
Peripheral programs may need Windows to be current
Also, many times it can be impossible to install certain software without a more recent version of Windows. You may have downloaded a particular version in order to run a necessary program. Keeping track of whether you have recently upgraded your device or not can be a hassle, so it’s easier to let Windows make automatic updates rather than deciding whether each individual update should be installed.
Security is another reason why you may want to turn on automatic updates. Malware can cause problems with the software you run or how your operating system functions. Updates often identify the weak spots in your system that may be exploited by malware. They can also help to remove malware if it has been downloaded onto your device, which can save you from having to take your computer into a repair shop or reinstalling your operating system.
How to change your update settings
Windows 10 has made it simple to change update settings, and it should take only a few minutes for you to set up automatic updates for your system.
- Click on the Start button and choose Settings
- On the Settings menu, there is a variety of options to change your systems, but choose the Update & Security button
- Then, choose Windows Update if hasn’t it’s already been selected
- Go the Advanced options page, where you will be given a list of which update settings you want to utilize. These settings determine the types of software downloaded and which Windows updates should be installed on your computer
Here are the types of update options available to you:
1. Automatically download updates
Choose this option when you want your OS to perform updates once they are available. These include non-security updates, patches, as well as security updates. They can also be something as big as feature updates, or just minor bug fixes you may not even notice when using your computer.
2. “We’ll show you a reminder when we’re going to restart”
For many Windows updates, a restart is required so they can be applied to your system. These include updates of all types, and your system will alert you in advance that Windows is about to restart so you can save your files or close any applications that shouldn’t be open.
3. “Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows”
It’s likely that you have a number of other programs on your computer that were also created by Microsoft, including Microsoft Office
. You will have to manually set these to update along with your OS. Keep in mind that if you are looking to update any apps you have purchased in the Microsoft Store, you’ll need to visit the store to download updates.
Go to Settings within the Store and use the toggle feature on the “Update apps automatically” option.
4. Pause updates
There are a few reasons you may want to pause updates on your device. If you have heard about compatibility issues between the most recent update and your software, you may want to pause updates until these problems are addressed. Windows will pause the updates for a few days before downloading them.
5. Defer updates
If you want to wait longer than a few days to perform updates, choose the option to “Defer updates” for a few months. This can be helpful if you don’t want new features for your OS. However, keep in mind that this does not stop Windows from installing security updates and you can’t choose option this if you have Windows 10 Home.
6. Choose the branch readiness level
Not only can you decide if you want to set up automatic updates within Windows, but you can also choose when you want them installed. You have two choices: “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” and “Semi-Annual Channel.” The first means that the update is likely compatible with most individual computers and software, while the second relates to companies and organizations that may run different applications.
7. Choose how updates are delivered
This option allows you to choose whether you want updates to be installed only when you are connected with your home network or if you would like updates downloaded while using any network.
If you use a public network or one that is not secure, then you might want to wait until you are connected to a network you’re confident about. You can also speed up the update process by clicking on “Updates from more than one place.” This allows you to use a number of networks to finish downloads more quickly.
Setting up automatic updates on your Windows 10 PC can make the entire process so much easier for you. If you often forget to manually update your computer or want to ensure it’s as secure as possible, it’s time to go automated.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.