Steve Flannery

Steve Flannery

Are You One of the Millions of People Who Don’t Know About Windows 10 Update Features?

Most people look forward to a good night’s sleep, or sometimes a 20-minute power nap during the day. Both are healthy and give the body time “to refresh its batteries.” Well, from time to time computers also need to fresh their systems. This is where updates come in. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people who do not know about them. In fact, there are literally millions of Windows 10 users who don’t know or care about the update features this operating system offers. They are missing out on so much!

So what does Windows 10 offer? Here are just a few major benefits:

  • Update features
  • Malware protection
  • Defense against possible security exploits
  • Increases the functionality of your computer
  • Additional features to the components of your windows

If you own a smartphone or an iPhone, you would know that ever so often notifications of updates and security notices would constantly ring on our phones. Letting you know that the company cares and that you have to keep u with what is required for your phone.

Unfortunately, not everyone who uses windows knows that such features exist. You can actually make your computer act like a smartphone. You can turn on notifications for windows update so that you can be informed of the latest trends going on regarding windows updates.

How To Configure Your Windows 10 Update Features

Don’t worry if you are not a technical person. We will make this easy with a step by step guide. In fact, most people wouldn’t even bother learning super technical stuff so that’s why we made everything for you super easy.

First, you need to open your Windows 10 update features area. Click Start (the Windows icon at the bottom of your desktop), then Settings (it’s a gear icon), and then choose the last item, Update & Security.

The following is a gif guide to help you understand the steps just mentioned.

windows 10 update features

Here’s important information you might want to remember.

Microsoft releases updates every second Tuesday of every month. This simply means you don’t have to upgrade your Windows 10 system every day manually. You only need to turn on auto-updates, and you are set.

You can also see more settings in Advance options found within the Update & Security feature just mentioned.

Advance options will provide you with several choices. You can see update options, which when turned on, will give you notices about Microsoft product updates.

There is also the option to automatically download updates over metered connections and of course charges may apply so make sure you know what you are doing.

Some of the choices that Advanced options provide are:

  • When you turn on Microsoft updates, you will receive updates for other new Microsoft products.
  • You can choose to receive a notification when your PC requires a restart after installing updates.
  • You can pause updates or schedule a download time.

The Change Active Hours feature

Like Advanced Options, Change Active Hours is found within Windows Update. This feature shows the number of hours you normally use your computer. It also protects you from unexpected reboots (restarting of your computer) when your Windows 10 updates.

To put it simply, you are telling your computer what hours of the day you are most active using your computer. Remember, when an update is installed it requires your computer to perform a reboot – a restart.

Imagine yourself working on an important project and suddenly your computer restarts because it updated itself. If you saved your work, well good for you. Most often than not, you lose your work!

That is why advance options like changing active hours are helpful for configuring your windows update settings.

View Update History

This feature is also found within Windows Update. Its purpose is to monitor updates, telling you what upgrades were installed and when they were installed.

There are instances when some upgrades will conflict with existing software on your computer. Identifying such a conflict can help you resolve the issue. Checking your Update History is the right place to start troubleshooting.

Think of it this way. You installed a certain update because you want to upgrade your computer’s security. After installing the update, you noticed that some of your apps are not working well, or your screen may be having glitches.

Things can happen when a certain update is not compatible. Knowing what update you installed can help you diagnose the problem and helps you easily revert back to a time when your computer didn’t install that update.

Group Policies and Windows 10 Updates

Group Policies is a feature of Microsoft Windows Active Directory that provides users with additional control over their computer accounts and updates.

It acts as a centralized operating system telling your computer what to do. In effect, you set guidelines that your operating system must follow.

It is vital because it adds another level of security so that your data is safe from malicious infiltration.

Managing Windows 10 Update Features Through Group Policies

To set-up (or change) policies, first, click on the search bar next to the Start icon at the bottom of your desktop page. Type gpedit and then when the page opens, click on Edit Group Policy.

For a visual guide, follow the steps in this gif.

Now your Windows 10 Update Features Policies would look something like this.

In this area, you can place restrictions on various windows components like Windows Updates. You can also establish what your users are allowed, or not allowed, to do while they are on the computer.

To accomplish this, in Local Computer Policy (that opens after you’ve opened Edit Group Policy), click on Computer Configurations, then Administrative Templates, then Windows Components. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and choose Windows Update.

Now you are presented with various configuration options. It is up to you which options if any, you want to change.

Each user is different and may configure the settings according to his/her preferences.

For example, you may choose to automate upgrades, or not. You may schedule a certain time for downloading new upgrades. You will see that you have many options and that’s what make this feature so great.

How To Get Updated With The Next Windows Operating System Before It’s Publicly Released?

Yes, you read that right. There is a feature inside your Windows Operating system that lets you opt-in for testing the newest Windows Operating System before it’s released to the public.

To access this feature, called Windows Insider Program, click Start, then Settings or the gear icon, and then Update & Security. You will see the program in the gray box on the left, the last item.

The Windows Insider Program

This feature built into the Windows Operating System lets you join and be a part of the first group of people to try out new releases from Microsoft.

You can also provide feedback on these releases after you have given them a test run.

How can you be part of the Windows Insider Program? Just follow these steps:

  • Click on “Get Started”
  • Link a Microsoft Account
  • Choose the kind of content you want to receive.
  • Choose preview builds
  • Confirm your participation.

There a few things to consider before joining the Windows Insider Program. First and very importantly, you have to understand and agree to test products that are still in their beta form. This means that elements of the program may not be completely stable, and you may experience bugs, added or removed features, and other things out of the normal.

The good thing about trying these new features is that you get a first-hand experience of what’s to come next from Microsoft.

The Importance of Managing Windows Update History

Not every upgrade is suitable for your computer. There are instances when the new upgrades have caused a computer to slow down, become unstable, or even crash.

So what do you do if this happens?

Here are a couple of options to address this issue.

System Restore

System Restore is a Windows Operating System feature that allows the user to set the computer to a particular state-in-time-restore point.

To be able to do this, you first need to enable System Restore on your computer. 

  • Go to Start
  • Type Create A Restore Point
  • Find the Protection Settings section, choose the main System drive, and click the Configure button
  • Then check Turn On System Protection

If you want to learn more, check out the in-depth tutorial on setting up System Restore.

The problem with performing a system restore is that it does not prevent your computer from installing future updates. You may go through the same issue again. To help prevent this from happening, you have another option, uninstalling and hiding the update.

Uninstall and Hide the Update Using Windows Update History Manager

This approach is a recommended approach since you have more freedom on how to deal with your upgrades.

To begin, do the following:

  • Click Start
  • Click Settings or Gear Icon
  • Go to Updates & Security
  • Under the Windows Update section, choose View Update History.

Once you are in your Update History panel, click on Uninstall Updates, and you will be brought to a view much like this.

Here, you can choose what updates you no longer want. Just select the update and click uninstall.

You are not done yet. Even though you have uninstalled the update, it will still reinstall in the future, so the next thing to do is to hide the update.

Previously, if you wanted to hide an update, you would do it via the control panel – Not anymore.

Show or Hide Updates Tool

Microsoft created this separate tool, but first, you need to download it in order to use it.

You can download the Show or Hide Updates tool here.

Once you have downloaded it, you need to install it manually.

After you have installed it, click next and it will automatically search for update problems.

Once the problem update has been found, it will ask you to either show or hide it. Normally, you would want to hide it.

Benefits of Keeping Your Windows Operating System Up To Date

If you made it this far, then obviously you are interested in keeping your computer healthy and working at its fullest capacity. Knowing your operating system is up to date can provide you with an added sense of security while you enjoy and benefit from its new, updated features.

Keep Your Computer Secure

Many of the upgrades made available by Microsoft for your Operating System are security-related. Having these ensures that your computer environment is protected from possible hacks or breaches that might endanger your data.

If you are running a business, you need protection or security for all of your essential files. Having your computer install such upgrades will give them another layer of protection.

Enjoy New Features

Microsoft often updates the essential features of your computer, like .Net Frameworks. This particular upgrade is necessary to run third-party software that you need to install on your computer.

Antivirus and Security Software Programs Recommend It

If you have an antivirus program installed on your computer, most likely you will receive a notification that you need to install the latest Windows updates.

It only makes sense that if these companies that specialize in security are recommending that you install Windows updates, then it must mean that these updates are critical.

Conclusion

For most people who own a computer and are using a Windows Operating System, much of what we have covered is not known to them.

However, being aware that these features are embedded inside one’s operating system boosts that person’s knowledge of not only general, computer functions, but also specific, practical applications that may be used when needed.

Besides, engineers who designed such features know that these updates work for very important reasons and they are not there for display.

Having enough knowledge about such features will help you go the distance and maximize the use of your computer.

Share this article with your friends so that they too will know that these excellent applications are within their reach, right in front of them inside their computers.

Are you aware of other features regarding Windows Update that I may have missed in this article? Let me know.

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