Author Topic: About Windows Updates  (Read 241 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline DR M

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
  • Keep on keeping on.
    • View Profile
About Windows Updates
« on: March 07, 2020, 08:49:47 AM »
I'm a bit confused about this:

Are the Windows updates set to be done automatically by default or not?

I noticed that sometimes, my computer downloads and installs updates, but most of the times I accidentally see about an update when Corrine writes about it, and go and check for updates. The Windows Update service is set to automatic.

Having in mind that there are many people with computers still in older versions, I wonder what is the best advice about Windows updates. Often check for updates is enough?

Is there an option to make Windows updates automatically and vice versa?

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night.. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh..."

Offline Digerati

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
    • View Profile
Re: About Windows Updates
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2020, 12:21:00 PM »
By default, they are set to automatically update.

What you are experiencing is the intentional delay imposed by Microsoft which causes these updates to "roll out" over time. And that is certainly the responsible way to do it.

There are ~900 million Windows 10 users out there. Can you imagine the impact on the internet's networks (ISPs, corporations, school, even homes and small offices that have several computers) if these updates, some of which are pretty big, were push out to each of those ~900 million computers all at once? It would certainly bog down (or worse) many.

So Microsoft has wisely chosen to "roll out" the updates over a period of several days, or even longer so the distribution has a minimum impact on network resources everywhere.

Microsoft announces the updates as soon as they are ready for distribution. Corrine is constantly on the lookout for such announcements for us. And then she reports on them before you see them because they have yet to be rolled out to you.

You have the option of waiting, or you can manually hurry up the process by manually checking for updates. If you use the computer regularly everyday, I see no reason not to just wait and let the process happen automatically. If the computer is left off for long periods of time, I typically check manually to make sure it is all caught up.


BTW, if you have several computers in your home, you can help by allowing you your computer to received downloads from other computers on your network. Under Settings > Update & Security > Delivery Optimization > Allow downloads from other PCs, set to On. This is setting also good if you have a slow or unreliable Internet connection, or you have a metered connection. Note this sharing will only occur between your own computers on your own network - a good thing.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018

Offline Corrine

  • The Mystical Rose
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19971
  • "Stronger than the past, united in our goal."
    • View Profile
    • Security Garden
Re: About Windows Updates
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2020, 12:56:57 PM »
Adding to what Bill said, if we don't intentionally check for updates, the security updates are automatically downloaded and await a restart to install.  Unless disabled, Windows Update now displays an icon in the notification area when you have to reboot your PC for updates.  (Although not recent, see Windows 10’s System Tray Gets a Restart Icon for Updates.)

There is also a difference between Patch Tuesday (B week, meaning the 2nd Tuesday of the month) security updates and C or D week updates, which are "quality" updates generally released on the 3rd or 4th Thursday of the month.  They are generally a cumulative update that fixes any bugs or includes improvements.  See Windows monthly security and quality updates overview | Windows Experience Blog.

Then there are the "feature updates" which are released twice/year. . .


Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.

Offline DR M

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
  • Keep on keeping on.
    • View Profile
Re: About Windows Updates
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2020, 05:21:02 PM »
Thank you both, Corrine and Digerati.

But my question is:

If the security updates are automatically downloaded at some time, then, why there are so many computers without recent updates?

And another question:

The feature updates, twice/year are automatically downloaded at some time too?
"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night.. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh..."

Offline Corrine

  • The Mystical Rose
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19971
  • "Stronger than the past, united in our goal."
    • View Profile
    • Security Garden
Re: About Windows Updates
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2020, 06:01:50 PM »
The process for Windows Updates has changed with Windows 10.  Windows updates can be paused:  Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options.  The normal pause time is 7 days but using Advanced Settings can be paused for a longer period of time but still limited.  Updates can also be disabled via a regedit or Group Policy settings.  There is also changing settings to metered (see How to Prevent Windows 10 From Automatically Downloading Updates). 

As to the feature updates, no, they are not automatically downloaded at the same time.  From Update Compliance - Feature Update Status report - Windows Deployment | Microsoft Docs:

Quote
Compatibility holds

Microsoft uses diagnostic data to determine whether devices that use Windows Update are ready for a feature update in order to ensure a smooth experience. When Microsoft determines a device is not ready to update due to a known issue, a compatibility hold is generated to delay the device’s upgrade and safeguard the end-user experience. Holds are released over time as diagnostic data is analyzed and fixes are addressed. Details are provided on some, but not all compatibility holds on the Windows 10 release information page for any given release.



Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.

Offline DR M

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1714
  • Keep on keeping on.
    • View Profile
Re: About Windows Updates
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2020, 01:57:10 PM »
Thanks again for all the info.

If someone has an out of date OS (either this concerns a featured or other security/quality update) what is the best advice to him? Check for updates in Settings or going to Microsoft page and update the computer from there? Perhaps the latter is better when he/she has to update to a more recent featured update? (e.g. from 1809 to 1909)
"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night.. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh..."

Offline Digerati

  • LzD Friends
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
    • View Profile
Re: About Windows Updates
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2020, 02:17:08 PM »

Quote
If the security updates are automatically downloaded at some time, then, why there are so many computers without recent updates?


I don't know what you mean by "so many". If folks leave the defaults alone, their computers will be updated on a timely bases. But sadly, there are many who think they are smarter than Microsoft so they dink with the settings. As noted before, there are ~900 million W10 users out there. If just 1% disable Windows Update, that's 9 million! And yes that's a big number but 99% represents a much bigger number.


Another problem, however may be how some folks shut down their computers. If they use a power strip or switched wall outlet to completely power off their computers, then that surely would delay updates.


It is really best to just let our computers go to sleep, or at least use the Windows Start Menu Shutdown function. This puts the computer in standby where it can update itself in the middle of the night.

Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018