Microsoft says Windows 10 is a "service" and the company updates it frequently with security patches, bug fixes, and new features. Updates are usually done automatically in the background, so let's debug: here is what Windows installs and when.
How often does Windows 10 check for updates?
Windows 10 checks for updates once a day. This automatically does it in the background. Windows does not always check for updates at the same time every day and only changes its schedule a few hours to ensure that Microsoft's servers are not overwhelmed by an army of PCs looking for any updates at the same time.
If Windows finds updates, it downloads and installs them automatically.
Although Windows 10 checks for updates once a day, this does not mean that it installs them daily. Microsoft does not publish Windows updates every day. As a result, Windows Update often does not find any available updates and installs nothing.
Definitions updates arrive several times a day
Microsoft's Windows Defender application, now called Windows Security, is An anti-malware (antivirus) application built into Windows 10. It runs automatically in the background and protects your PC. If you install a different antivirus, the built-in Windows antivirus will disable and let your antivirus of choice work.
Like all security applications, Microsoft's antivirus needs regular updates of definitions to be able to identify and detect the latest discovered malware. These updates are small, fast, and do not require a reboot. You will not even notice that your computer installs them if you do not open the Windows Update page in Settings and do not forget it.
To check when definition updates have been installed, go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> View Update History, scroll down, and expand "Definition Updates". ".
You can check how often definitions updates are installed by selecting Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> View Update History, by scrolling through the screen and clicking developing the section "Updates definitions".
Driver updates arrive at the opportunity
Hardware drivers are software that activates devices such as your sound, Wi-Fi network, graphics, printer, and other components on your computer. Hardware manufacturers sometimes release new versions of these drivers with bug fixes or other enhancements.
Windows Update also provides hardware driver updates for your PC. Hardware manufacturers provide new hardware drivers to Microsoft, and Windows Update downloads them to your PC. How often your computer receives driver updates depends on the devices it contains and the frequency with which hardware vendors publish updates.
You may need to restart your PC for driver updates, depending on the driver.
You can find a list of driver updates installed under "Driver Updates" in Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> View Update History.
Cumulative updates arrive once a month
Microsoft publishes a Windows "Quality Update" every month on the second Tuesday of each month, called "Patch Tuesday." There are large updates containing security patches as well as other fixes. These updates are called cumulative updates because they include a large number of patches, even those of previous updates, ensuring you install a large cumulative update even if your computer is turned off for a few months.
Technically, it's a bit more complicated than that. The cumulative update of Patch Tuesday is known as "Update B" because it is released the second week of the month. There is also Updates "C" and "D" published in the third and fourth weeks of the month. These contain bug fixes and other improvements, but you will only get them if you manually click the "Check for Updates" button. If you never do this, you will receive these bugfixes in the B patch next month's update on Tuesday.
Cumulative updates require a reboot. They affect important files that can not be modified during Windows execution.
You can also view a list of cumulative updates found by Windows from the Update History page. Go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update> View Update History, scroll down, and expand "Quality Updates".
Out-of-band updates arrive in case of emergency
While Microsoft normally expects to release security updates as part of Patch B updates Tuesday, once a month, Microsoft sometimes releases "out-of-band" updates. These are called this because they are released outside the normal calendar.
These are usually published in an emergency, for example, when a zero-day security vulnerability is exploited in the wild and the problem must be resolved immediately.
These updates usually require a reboot.
Feature updates arrive every six months
Microsoft also releases major major versions of Windows 10 once every six months. He calls these "feature updates". They include many modifications and improvements. For example, Windows 10 Updated April 2019 add a light office theme with a new default wallpaper and many other more modest changes, including improved search in the Start menu and low level improvements that make Windows 10 work faster.
However, these are not always deployed immediately. Microsoft is choking it and trying to offer an update to your PC only if the company feels that it will work properly on your hardware. You may not be able to receive them every six months if you do not look for them. For example, Windows 10 Updated October 2018 not yet on most Windows 10 PCs by the end of February 2019.
These important updates always require a restart. They require a much longer installation process. As a result, you will spend more time looking at a blue screen throughout the process. The duration of the update process depends on the speed of your PC and the update: Microsoft has accelerated the installation process in recent versions.
If you see a "Work on Updates" screen with a notice stating that "Your PC will reboot multiple times," Windows is probably installing an update.
As with Updates C and D, this post-release update will usually be available to you if you access the Windows Update screen in Settings and click "Check for Updates". he did not think that the update was ready for the hardware of your PC. Yes, it's a strange way of doing things.
You can see the latest update installed in the Update History screen. See "Feature Updates" at the top of the Settings> Update & Security screen> Windows Update> View Update History.
How to control when Windows updates
Windows 10 automatically updates itself and does not give you as much control as Windows 7, especially on Windows 10 Home.
You can still prevent Windows from automatically installing updates and restarting at certain times of the day. Just change "active hours" when you use your PC. For example, if you regularly use your PC from 18 hours. at 10 am, make sure these hours are marked as your hours of activity. Windows 10 does not install updates during these hours. You can set up to 18 hours of each day as activity hours.
To prevent Windows from automatically downloading and installing updates on a connection, you can: define the connection as measured. Windows will only download certain small critical updates and will not download or install most updates automatically. This setting is designed to record data over connections with limited data, but you can enable it on any connection, even a wired Ethernet connection.
Windows 10 Professional users can also access additional updates for pause, postpone or otherwise delay updates after being further tested on consumer PCs. Windows 10 Home can finally let you pause updates when the update of April 2019 happens too.