Windows Update: Frequently Asked Questions


In Windows 10, you decide when and how to get the latest updates to keep your device running smoothly and safely. During the update, you will receive the latest security patches to help your device run efficiently and stay protected. In most cases, restarting the device completes the update. When you know the updates will be installed, make sure your device is connected.

If you just need information on updating Windows 10, many questions are answered here:

How do I get the Windows Update?

When the Windows 10 May 2020 Update is ready for your device, you can download and install it from the Windows Update page in Settings. Choose the most convenient update download time for you. You will then need to restart your device and complete the installation. After doing this, your device will be running Windows 10 version 2004.

To manually check for the latest recommended updates, press Start > SettingsUpdate and Security> Windows Update > Windows Update.

How to manually update a personal computer?

Some updates may not be available on all devices at the same time – we make sure your updates are ready and compatible.

To always have the latest updates, select Start > SettingsUpdate and Security> Windows Update > Windows Updateand then select Check for Updates .

If a feature update is available for your device, it will be displayed separately on the Windows Update page. To install it, select Download and Install Now .

I am having trouble installing updates or getting an error (e.g. 0x80073712). What can I do?

Here are some things you can try if you are having trouble installing an update:

  • Make sure your device is connected to the Internet. An internet connection is required to download updates.
  • If an Internet connection is available, try installing the updates manually. Select Start > SettingsUpdate and Security> Windows Update > Windows Updateand then check out the available updates.
  • Run the Windows Update troubleshooter. Select Start > SettingsUpdates and security Troubleshooting . Under  Restore Performance, select Windows Update .
  • If the troubleshooter doesn’t fix the problem, see Fix problems with Windows 10 update  or  Fix Windows Update errors .

How long does it take to download an update?

The time required to download an update depends primarily on the speed of your internet connection, network settings, and the size of the update. Make sure your device is connected to a power source and connected to the Internet to download updates faster.

How do I stop downloading and installing updates? Can I skip updates?

Updating cannot be completely turned off. Updates help keep your device running smoothly and securely, so eventually they will have to be downloaded and installed, regardless of your update settings. Here’s how you can temporarily pause the download and installation of updates. Note: Once the pause limit is reached, you will need to install the latest updates to be able to pause updates again.

In Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909) or later, or Windows version 1809 Pro or Enterprise, select Start > SettingsUpdates and security Windows Update. Then choose one of the following options:

  • Select Pause Updates for 7 Days .
  • Select Advanced Options . Then, in the Pause Updates section, select the drop-down menu and specify a date when the updates should resume.

How can I make sure my device will be restarted to install updates at a convenient time?

Your device must restart to finish installing the updates. Windows will try to restart the device when it is not in use. If it is unable to do so, you will be prompted to schedule a restart at a more convenient time. You can also set a schedule at any time by following these steps:

  1. Select Start > SettingsUpdate and Security> Windows Update > Windows Update.
  2. Select Schedule Restart and choose a time that suits you.

You can set Active Use Hours to make sure your device automatically restarts to update when you’re not using it.

What to do when I do not have enough disk space for the update?

Try deleting files you don’t need, uninstalling apps you don’t use, or moving files to another drive such as an external USB drive or OneDrive. For more tips on freeing up disk space, see Free up disk space in Windows 10 .

How do I make sure my updates don’t drain my battery?

We recommend that devices such as laptops and tablets be left plugged in when not in use. This way, if updates are installed outside of active hours, the devices will have enough energy for the entire installation process. Windows updates don’t drain your battery more than other common system processes.

How to check installed updates?

An update history is available so you can see what updates were installed and when they were installed. You can also remove specific updates using this list, however we do not recommend doing so unless necessary.

Select StartSettingsUpdate and Security> Windows Update > Windows UpdateView update history.

How to remove an installed update?

We do not recommend removing any installed updates. However, if you need to remove an update, you can do so in the update history.

  1. Select Start > Settings  >  Updates and security Windows Update  View update history Uninstall updates .
  2. Select the update you want to remove, and then select Uninstall .

What’s the difference between a feature update and a quality update?

Feature updates are typically released twice a year and include new features and capabilities as well as potential patches and security updates. Quality updates are more common and mostly include small fixes and security updates. Windows delivers both types of updates through Windows Update.

How can I make sure my device is up to date?  

To check that your device is up to date, go to Settings  >  Updates and security Windows Update  and check the update status and the availability of new updates.