How to Update Software in Windows 10

Illustration of a man wearing a t-shirt with a Windows logo and a cog icon over his head.

An important part of keeping your computer safe and secure is ensuring that software on the computer is up to date. The most important software on your device is the operating system. Microsoft releases frequent Windows 10 updates with new features and important security patches. Automatic updates are the default setting in Windows 10 but you can customize how and when these updates happen.

As for all other apps on your computer, they also receive important updates from time to time. It is up to you to decide whether you want to update them manually or set the operating system to update them automatically. If you choose manual updates, you should check for and install updates at least once a month.

Please note that in order to make these changes, you should be signed in on your device with an administrator account.

Customize automatic Windows 10 updates

To see pending Windows 10 updates and customize how and when automatic updates happen, select the Start button and go to Settings.

Accessing Windows Settings on Windows 10

Then navigate to Update & Security and, in the menu on the left, select Windows Update.

Windows Settings Update & Security

Windows Update under Update & Security

Here you can see all the pending updates. To customize automatic Windows 10 updates, navigate to the bottom of the screen and go to Advanced options.

You may be prevented from making changes here. If this happens, the most likely reason is that your computer is part of a “Windows domain”. Most often it means that your computer is controlled by the company you work for.

Windows Update Advanced options

Under Advanced options, set Show a notification when your PC requires a restart to finish updating to On. This ensures that you will be notified every time your computer needs to reboot after an important update.

Windows Settings Update notifications switch

Also, make sure that no date is set in the drop-down Select date menu under Pause updates. Specifying a date in this field postpones updates until the chosen date.

Windows Settings Pause updates

Other apps: enable automatic updates or install updates manually

You can set most other apps to update automatically through the Microsoft Store on Windows 10. To do so, select the Start button and go to Microsoft Store.

Accessing Microsoft Store on Windows 10

In Microsoft Store, at the upper right, press the three dots (···) to navigate to the account menu and then select Settings in the drop-down menu.

Microsoft Store account menu

Microsoft Store account settings

In the Settings menu, you can set automatic updates for all apps on your computer (other than the operating system). To do so, set Update apps automatically to On under App updates at the top of the window.

Microsoft Store App updates switch

If you do not want apps on your computer to update automatically, you can check for all the available updates and install them manually. To do so, go to Microsoft Store and press the three dots (···) at the upper right to navigate to the account menu. Select Downloads and updates in the drop-down menu.

Microsoft Store Downloads and updates

Here you can see all the updates available for apps on your computer (other than the operating system). To install the updates, click Get updates.

Remember that if you choose to update software on your computer manually, you should do so frequently. We recommend that you check for and install updates at least once a month.

Microsoft Store Get updates button