Windows 10 Security PSA: Enable Automatic Store Updates

The Microsoft Store app start screen on Windows 10.

Microsoft sometimes distributes important security updates through the Microsoft Store. This is the lesson we learn in July 2020, when Microsoft sent an important update for Windows 10 HEVC codecs not through Windows Update but via the store.

Yes, security updates can come from the store

This is not a huge surprise, since codecs are installed through the Store in the first place, either by you or by your PC manufacturer. However, if you have automatic updates of disabled applications From the Microsoft Store, your Windows 10 PC will have the old vulnerable codecs installed until you open the Store and install the update manually.

It’s easy to see how many Windows 10 PCs may never install this important security update.

How to enable automatic store updates on Windows 10

To avoid this kind of problem in the future, we recommend that you enable automatic app updates from the Store. To do this, open the Microsoft Store app from your Start menu or your taskbar. You can press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type “Store” to search for it and press “Enter” to launch it.

Launched the Microsoft Store app on Windows 10.

In the Store, click the menu button in the upper right corner of the window. It looks like a “…”. Select “Settings”.

Open the Microsoft Store settings screen on Windows 10.

Make sure the “Update applications automatically” option at the top of the window is set to “On”. You have finished. You can now close the store.

Enabling automatic application updates on Windows 10.

How to limit automatic updates

Want to prevent Windows 10 from downloading unnecessary app updates in the background? Consider uninstalling the apps you are not using.

You can right-click many apps included in Windows 10 from the Start menu and select “Uninstall” to remove them. If you don’t use Microsoft’s Mail app, don’t hesitate to delete it.

Uninstall Windows 10 Mail app from Start menu.

Windows does not download updates for applications that you have not installed. If you want to use the app in the future, you can reinstall it from the Store.

If you don’t want to worry about updates to these codecs, you can also uninstall them and just use a third party video player like VLC instead. You just need to update VLC or whatever video player you want.

However, we don’t really know which apps included with Windows 10 will receive security updates through the Store in the future.

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