Categories
Design

How to check for windows updates

Windows 10, like its many predecessors, needs occasional updates to keep the computer running efficiently and securely. These updates usually occur automatically or will start after asking permission.

Sometimes, though, it’s helpful to manually check for any updates that haven’t been installed yet, especially if your computer is behaving strangely.

Here’s how to check for updates on a Windows 10 PC, and then install them.

How to check for updates on a Windows 10 PC

1. Click on the Start menu in the bottom left corner of your screen — it looks like the Windows logo.

2. From there, click on the Settings icon, which is a small icon that looks like a gear.

3. At the bottom of the Settings menu, click “Update & Security.”

4. Click on “Check for updates” to see if your computer is up-to-date, or if there are any updates available. Your computer will also show the date and time of when it was last updated.

5. If there were updates available, they’ll begin to download automatically. On the next screen, your computer will show the current status of your updates. Broader system updates will also be noted on this screen.

You can also view further information about your computer’s updates by clicking the various links on the Updates page.

Check for Updates in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP

How to check for windows updates

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

How to check for windows updates

  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

What to Know

  • Checking for and installing Windows updates, like service packs or patches, is a necessary for running any Windows operating system.
  • The updates can solve specific problems with Windows, provide protection from malicious attacks, or even add new features.

This article includes instructions for installing updates for Windows 10 and other editions all the way back to Windows 98.

How to Check for and Install Windows Updates

Windows updates are most easily installed using the Windows Update service. While you could certainly download updates manually from Microsoft’s servers, updating via Windows Update is considerably easier to do.

The Windows Update service has changed over the years as Microsoft released new versions of Windows. While Windows updates used to be installed by visiting the Windows Update website, newer versions of Windows include a special built-in Windows Update feature with more options.

Below is the best way to check for, and install, Windows updates based on your version of Windows. You’ll need to know which version of Windows you have to make sure you’re following the correct steps for your computer.

Check for and Install Updates in Windows 10

How to check for windows updates

In Windows 10, Windows Update is found within Settings.

To get there, select the Start menu, followed by the gear/settings icon to the left. In there, choose Update & Security and then Windows Update on the left.

Check for new Windows 10 updates by choosing Check for updates.

In Windows 10, downloading and installing updates is automatic and will happen immediately after checking or, with some updates, at a time when you’re not using your computer.

Check for and Install Updates in Windows 8, 7, and Vista

How to check for windows updates

In Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, the best way to access Windows Update is via the Control Panel.

In these versions of Windows, Windows Update is included as an applet in Control Panel, complete with configuration options, update history, and lots more.

Just open Control Panel and then choose Windows Update.

Select Check for updates to check for new, uninstalled updates. Installation sometimes happens automatically or it might need to be done by you via the Install updates button, depending on what version of Windows you’re using and how you have Windows Update configured.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7, and as such, doesn’t release new updates. Any updates available via Windows 7’s Windows Update utility are ones that have not been installed since support ended on January 24, 2020.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows Vista, and as such, doesn’t release new updates. Any updates available via Windows Vista’s Windows Update utility are ones that have not been installed since support ended on April 11, 2017.

Check for and Install Updates in Windows XP, 2000, ME, and 98

How to check for windows updates

In Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, Windows Update is available as a service hosted on Microsoft’s Windows Update website.

Similar to the Control Panel applet and Windows Update tool in newer versions of Windows, available Windows updates are listed, alongside a few simple configuration options.

Checking for, and installing, uninstalled updates is as easy as selecting those respective links and buttons on the Windows Update website.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, nor versions of Windows that preceded it. While there might be Windows updates available for your Windows XP computer on the Windows Update website, any you see will be updates released prior to the end of support date for Windows XP, which was on April 8, 2014.

More on Installing Windows Updates

The Windows Update service isn’t the only way to install Windows updates. As mentioned above, updates to Windows can also be downloaded individually from Microsoft Download Center and then installed manually.

Another option is to use a free software updater program. Those tools are usually built specifically for updating non-Microsoft programs but some include a feature for downloading Windows updates.

Most of the time, Windows updates are installed automatically on Patch Tuesday, but only if Windows is configured that way. See How to Change Windows Update Settings for more on this and how to change how updates are downloaded and installed.

How to check for windows updates

Annoying as they might be, it’s important to keep Windows updated…just ask the victims of the latest ransomware attack. If you haven’t used your PC for a while or you just want to make sure you’re updated with the latest software, it’s easy to manually check and make sure in Windows.

Press the Windows button or Search button, and type “check for updates” in the box. Then, hit Enter or click on the first result. This will take you to the dedicated Windows Update page in the Windows 10 Settings application (or, if you’re using Windows 7, the Control Panel).

How to check for windows updates

The display will show you the last time Windows connected to a Microsoft server to check for the latest updates. Click the “Check for updates” button. After a few seconds you’ll know if you’re running the very latest version of Windows or not.

How to check for windows updates

Windows 7 users will see a slightly different window, but with the same options. Just click “Check for Updates” to see if updates are available.

How to check for windows updates

If you’re up to date, congrats. If not, just click “Install updates” follow the on-screen instructions to download and install what you need. You may be prompted to restart your computer once the update process starts, so save any open work.

Normally, you shouldn’t have to manually check for updates. By default, all versions of Windows will download and install updates automatically. If you’ve turned this feature off, you should really turn it back on (Under “Change settings” in Windows 7 and “Choose how updates are installed” in Windows 8). These automatic updates keep your computer safe, and as annoying as they can be, they’re very important.

Windows 10 doesn’t allow users to disable updates completely, but if you’re concerned with being forced to restart and lose saved work, there’s a way to schedule your “Active Hours” and make sure that happens when you won’t be inconvenienced.

Find operating system info in Windows 10

To find out which version of Windows your device is running, press the Windows logo key + R, type winver in the Open box, and then select OK.

Here’s how to learn more:

Select the Start button > Settings > System > About .

Under Device specifications > System type, see if you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

Under Windows specifications, check which edition and version of Windows your device is running.

Related links

If you’re having a problem with activation, see Activate in Windows 10.

If you forgot the password you use to sign in to Windows devices or email, see How to reset your Microsoft password.

For info about updating Windows, see Windows Update: FAQ.

Find operating system info in Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1

To find out which version of Windows your device is running, press the Windows logo key + R, type winver in the Open box, and then select OK.

If your device is running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, here’s how to learn more:

If you’re using a touch device, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings. Continue to step 3.

If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.

Select PC and devices > PC info.

Under Windows you’ll see which edition and version of Windows your device is running.

Under PC > System type you’ll see if you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

How to check for windows updates

Related links

If you’re having a problem with activation, see Activate Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

If you forgot the password you use to sign in to Windows devices or email, see How to reset your Microsoft password.

For info about updating Windows, see Windows Update: FAQ.

Find operating system info in Windows 7

Select the Start button, type Computer in the search box, right-click on Computer, and then select Properties.
How to check for windows updates

Under Windows edition, you’ll see the version and edition of Windows that your device is running.

Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020

We recommend you move to a Windows 10 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft.

Related links

If you’re having a problem with activation, see Activate Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

If you forgot the password you use to sign in to Windows devices or email, see How to reset your Microsoft password.

For info about updating Windows, see Windows Update: FAQ.

@chrisbhoffman
October 13, 2018, 6:40am EDT

How to check for windows updates

As Microsoft revealed, only people who clicked “Check for Updates” got bitten by Windows 10’s file deletion bug. When you click the “Check for Updates” button, Microsoft gives you updates early, skipping a normal part of the testing process.

“We Encourage You Not to Click ‘Check for Updates’”

Don’t take our word for it. Here’s how Microsoft defended its performance after Windows 10’s October 2018 Update was found deleting some people’s files:

We intentionally start each feature update rollout slowly, closely monitoring feedback before offering the update more broadly. In this case the update was only available to those who manually clicked on “check for updates” in Windows settings.

In other words, Microsoft intentionally rolls out big updates like this slowly to Windows 10 users, checking for problems to ensure you’ll be safe. But, if you ever head to Settings > Windows Update and click “Check for Updates,” Microsoft throws that careful process out the window and installs the latest update on your PC without any further testing.

Here’s how Microsoft put it back when the April 2018 Update was released:

While we encourage you to wait until the update is offered to your device, if you’re an advanced user on an actively serviced version of Windows 10 and would like to install the Windows 10 April 2018 update now, you can do so by manually checking for updates.

Did you catch that? Microsoft basically said “We encourage you not to click “Check for Updates” unless you’re an advanced user who wants the update early.”

Clicking “Check for Updates” Makes You a Tester

How to check for windows updates

Here’s how the Windows 10 update process is supposed to work:

  • First, the update goes through the “fast” and “slow” rings of the Windows Insider testing process, where willing users beta test it throughout the development process and give feedback. (The bug reports about file deletion were not noticed by Microsoft, which is why the Feedback Hub is now getting “severity” ratings so testers can better flag major problems.)
  • Second, the update goes through the final “Release Preview” testing ring before it’s made available as a stable release. (Microsoft skipped this step so the October 2018 Update could be announced and released during a press event.)
  • Third, once the update is marked as stable, only people who manually opt into the update will get it. Microsoft lets these people function as another line of beta testers while using Windows 10’s telemetry to monitor how the update is going. (The October 2018 Update was halted during this phase.)
  • Fourth, Microsoft slowly rolls the update out to average Windows users, ensuring it’s compatible with their system’s hardware and software before releasing it.

That all sounds great. It mostly worked, too. Only people who manually opted into the update received it, and Microsoft pulled the update before the general roll-out.

Why Does “Check for Updates” Do This?!

This would all be fine except for the part where clicking “Check for Updates” skips the orderly, safe testing process and pushes you to the front of the line. Most Windows 10 users don’t realize this, and that’s a problem.

This change in the behavior of the “Check for Updates” button was first made with the April 2018 Update and continued with the October 2018 Update. Previously, you had to download the Update Assistant tool and run it to upgrade early. This tool is still available, but now the “Check for Updates” button does the same thing.

The Windows team clearly believes that updates are so stable they can be offered in this way. After all, this makes them easier for average Windows users to install! But Microsoft is overconfident.

You Can’t Stop the Update Once It’s Started, Either

How to check for windows updates

Of course, due to the nature of Windows 10 updates, you can’t stop Windows Update once it starts downloading an update. So, when you click “Check for Updates” and a major update starts downloading early, there’s no “Oops” button that will cancel and tell Windows 10 to wait. That update is downloading and installing right now, whether you like it or not.

Sure, you can always roll back to your old version of Windows 10 after installing the update. But, as we saw with the original October 2018 Update, that might not be a good enough—the files would have been deleted, anyway.

Don’t Bother Manually Checking for Updates

Here’s some advice: Don’t go to Settings > Windows Update and click “Check for Updates.” Windows 10 will automatically download and install updates for you, anyway.

You only need to click this button if you want to install updates at a given time manually. For example, maybe you want to install updates while connected to a faster network.

This Only Applies to Major Upgrades Every Six Months

For now, this weirdness with the “Check for Updates” button only applies once every six months when a new major update to Windows 10 is released.

So, when Microsoft released Windows 10’s October 2018 Update on October 2, clicking the “Check for Updates” button told Microsoft you wanted it immediately, and your PC would immediately download it. But, if you didn’t click the Check for Updates button, Windows Update would wait for the update to be better-tested before installing it.

Of course, once you’re already using the October 2018 Update, clicking the button will do nothing until the next update comes out. They’re released about once every six months, so we expect to see it around April of 2019.

Microsoft, Please Fix!

We hope Microsoft reconsiders this approach. A button in Settings that says “Install the Latest Update Now” would be fine, but “Check for Updates” shouldn’t signal you want untested updates. Windows users don’t know or understand this.

If an extra button can’t be added to the Settings > Windows Update screen, Microsoft should keep relying on the downloadable Update Assistant tool for early adopters instead.

And please, Microsoft: Don’t skip the “Release Preview” stage again.

By: Waseem Patwegar

It is important to make sure that your computer is receiving timely updates and is up to date with all the security and software updates released by Microsoft. You will find below the steps to check or view installed updates in Windows 10.

How to check for windows updates

View Installed Updates in Windows 10

The main purpose of Windows Updates is to fix security bugs and enhance the performance of your computer.

However, it is not uncommon to find computers developing problems and suffering from performance issues following a Windows update. This can happen due to some of the device drivers becoming incompatible with the update and other reasons.

In such cases, it becomes necessary to view installed updates on your computer and uninstall a particular update, in case the problem on your computer can be traced back to this update.

Checking for installed Updates in Windows 10 is a fairly simple task, it can be done using Settings App or by using Control Panel.

Check Installed Updates Using Settings App

Follow the steps below to View Installed updates in Windows 10 using the Settings App.

1. Click on Windows 10 Start button and then click on the Settings icon.

2. On the Settings screen, click on Update & Security icon.

How to check for windows updates

3. On the Update & Security screen, click on Windows Update in the left pane and then click on View Installed update history link in the right pane.

How to check for windows updates

4. On the next screen, you will see the list of Updates installed on your computer.

While it is easy to View Installed Updates in Windows 10 using the Settings App, this method does not show all the Windows Updates installed on your computer, it only shows the most recent updates.

Also, you won’t be able to uninstall a particular update from the Settings screen (in case required). You will have to click on Uninstall Updates link which takes you to the classic control panel screen.

View Installed Updates in Windows 10 Using Control

Follow the steps below to view installed updates in Windows 10 using the Control Panel

1. Open Control Panel on your computer by clicking on Start > Windows System > Control Panel .

How to check for windows updates

2. On the Control Panel screen, make sure that you are in Category View and then click on Programs .

How to check for windows updates

3. On the Programs screen, click on View Installed Updates option located under Programs and Features.

How to check for windows updates

4. On the next screen, you will be able to see the complete history of Updates installed on your computer.

5. In case you want to Uninstall any update, right click on the Update and click on Uninstall .

How to check for windows updates

Choose How Updates Are Installed in Windows 10

Windows Home users can only choose from the following 2 options as far as updates are concerned.

  • Automatic (Recommended)
  • Notify to schedule restart.

Microsoft recommends that you go with the Automatic Update option. If you select Automatic Update, Windows 10 will regularly check for updates, download and install the updates on your computer, automatically.

In case you select the second option (Notify to schedule restart), you will be able to select a scheduled time to restart your computer, in order to finish installing updates on your computer.

In case of Enterprise Users, Microsoft allows users to select when they want to download and install the Updates.

Looking for info on the latest updates? Learn how to check for updates in Windows 10. See how to get the details about the Windows Updates. While Windows 10 updates automatically, this post will help you if you want to check for, download, and install Windows Updates on your Windows 10 PC.

Windows 10 operating system periodically checks with Microsoft to see if any updates are available and if any are available offers to download them and install them for you automatically. But if you want to manually check for updates in Windows 10, then you can do so as follows.

Check for updates in Windows 10

How to check for windows updates

Open Start Menu and click on Settings > Update & Security settings > Windows Update.

Here, press on the Check for updates button.

If any updates are available, they will be offered to you.

If Windows Update says that your PC is up to date, it means that you have all the updates that are currently available for your system. –>

If you are looking for details on the latest updates, click on the Details link. More details about the updates will then be shown to you.

How to check for windows updates
If you need more information about the updates, click on the Learn more link. Every update comes with a KB number. Here you can see update KB3103688 being offered. You could search on your favorite search engine using this KB number. Relevant results about the update are sure to be offered.

While on the subject of Windows Updates, these links are sure to interest you:

In Windows 10, Windows Update can be found in Settings –> Update & Security –> Windows Update. Normally Windows Update keeps on running in the background and will install new updates automatically.

You can also run Windows Update manually to check for new updates at any time. Here are three ways to check for new Windows updates.

Check for Windows updates using Windows Settings

To check for new updates and configure Windows Update settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Windows Settings (Windows key + i).
  2. Choose Update & Security.
  3. Choose Windows Update from the left hand menu.
  4. Press the Check for updates button in the right hand pane.

How to check for windows updatesCheck for updates

Run Windows Update from PowerShell (Command-line)

There is a PowerShell module for Windows Update. You can install and run the module to check for new updates. There are three steps for running Windows Update through PowerShell. Run the following commands step by step:

  1. Install-Module PSWindowsUpdate Install Module PSWindowsUpdate

This will install the Windows Update module in PowerShell.
Get-WindowsUpdateHow to check for windows updatesGet WindowsUpdate

This command will check for updates.
Install-WindowsUpdateHow to check for windows updatesInstall WindowsUpdate

This command will install the available updates (which were listed in step 2)

Run Windows Update from Command Prompt (Command-line)

Windows Update can also be run through legacy CMD. The only limitation running Windows Update through command prompt is that it won’t show any progress. Only results are shown. Let’s see how to run it:

  • Go to Run –> cmd
  • Run the following command to check for new updates:
    wuauclt /detectnow
  • Run the following command to install new updates
    wuauclt /updatenow

Since the command prompt does not show any progress, a better approach would be to check and install updates at the same time. Here’s the command for this:

wuauclt /detectnow /updatenow

The above mentioned command will work in all versions of Windows including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. But if you are using Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, you can use UsoClient command which has more options than wuauclt. You can run UsoClient with the following switches:

StartScan – Start checking for updates

StartDownload – Start downloading updates

StartInstall – Start installing downloaded updates

RestartDevice – Restart Windows after updates are installed

ScanInstallWait – Check for updates, download available updates and install them

Hopefully this will be useful in situations where you want to automate certain Windows functions. What other purposes do you want to use command line options for running Windows Update?

Here’s how you can install all blocked Windows 10 updates!

Well, if you have been using Windows 10 for a while, then you might be well aware of the problematic Windows updates. Windows 10 updates often cause a wide range of issues, both large and small for users. While investigating the problems, sometimes Microsoft puts a block on specific updates for system configuration known to run into troubles in few Windows 10 versions.

This thing is done to avoid compatibility issues. While it’s a great idea, many users want to control what they can and can’t install on their computer. So, if you believe that your computer can run the blocked updates without raising any software or hardware issues, then you can force Windows 10 to install those blocked updates.

In this article, we will share a detailed guide on how to force Windows 10 to install blocked updates in 2020. Let’s check out.

How to Force Windows 10 to Install Blocked Updates

Note: Microsoft blocks the update installation for some good reasons. If you don’t have any technical knowledge, it’s better to stick with what Microsoft thinks to be suitable for your PC. Installing blocked updates might corrupt your system files and can invite more troubles.

Step 1. First of all, press Windows Key + R to open the Run Dialog box.

How to check for windows updates

Step 2. On the RUN dialog box, enter ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit Enter.

How to check for windows updates

Step 3. Now head to the given path on the Local Group Policy Editor –

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business

How to check for windows updates

Step 4. Double click on the option ‘Disable safeguards for Feature updates.’

How to check for windows updates

Step 5. Double click on it and select ‘Enabled.’ Once enabled, click on the ‘Apply’ button and then on ‘Ok.’

How to check for windows updates

Step 6. Once done, make sure to restart your Windows 10 computer.

That’s it! You are done. Now Microsoft will install all available updates regardless of the block.

So, this is how you can force Windows 10 to install blocked updates. I hope this article helped you! Please share it with your friends also. If you have any doubts related to this, let us know in the comment box below.