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How to Manage Updates on Windows: Complete Guide

To ensure the best experience on your computer, it is crucial to keep your operating system up to date. We are not just talking about drivers, but everything related to the Windows ecosystem. If you're wondering how updates are handled on Windows, you're in the right place. This article serves as a step-by-step guide to help you understand how updates work on various versions of Windows, including Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Index

  1. Windows 11 updates
  2. Adjust update settings
  3. Avoid forced system reboot
  4. Updates Windows 10 and previous versions
  5. Advanced options and troubleshooting

Windows 11 Updates: Here's How They Work

Let's start with the newest of Microsoft's operating systems, Windows 11. Here, we'll discuss how to find and install updates, as well as how to manage update settings.

Find and Install Windows 11 Updates

To check for updates on Windows 11, go to 'Settings' by clicking on the gear icon in the Start menu. Next, click on 'Windows Update', which you find at the top right, and then on the 'Check for updates' button. This will launch an automatic scan and, if available, begin downloading and installing updates.

Customize Settings Updates Windows 11

From this same screen, you can access the 'Update History' to check which updates have already been installed. If you're interested in trying out the latest features before they're officially released, you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program.

Avoid Forced System Reboot: Helpful Tips

Manage Restart Times

If you want to avoid your system automatically restarting during updates, go to 'Settings' > 'Windows Update' > 'Advanced options'. Here, you'll find options like 'Update me', which allows you to disable automatic restarts.

Use Consumption Connections

In 'Advanced options', you will also find the option 'Download updates with metered connections', useful if you have a metered connection and want to control your data usage.

Windows 10 Updates and Previous Versions: What You Need to Know

If you're using an older version of Windows, the update process is similar to Windows 11. Go to 'Settings', followed by 'Windows Update', and follow the on-screen instructions.

Advanced Options and Troubleshooting: Final Steps

Enable Local Group Policy Editor

If you are having problems with automatic restarts and are using Windows 11 Home, you can manually enable Local Group Policy Editor. Several online guides show you how to do this, using batch files or other methods.

In conclusion, keeping your operating system updated is crucial for a smooth and secure user experience. With this guide, we hope to have made clearer the various options and settings available for managing updates on Windows.

After clicking on the “File” button at the top left, select “Save”. At this point, enter “EditorCriteri.bat” in the “File name” field and click on “Save” at the bottom right. If everything went as expected, a gear icon on a white background will appear in the destination folder. Now, right-click on the .bat file you just created and choose “Run as administrator”, then confirm with “Yes”.

Depending on your computer's security settings, you may need to click “Allow” to proceed. A Command Prompt window will appear and launch the Local Group Policy Editor. When you see the message “Press any key to continue,” press “Enter” to close the session.

Windows

To check that everything went well, press Win+R and type “gpedit.msc” in the window that appears, then click “OK”. You should now see the Local Group Policy Editor. Go to the “Computer Configuration” tab and double-click “Administrative Templates,” then “Windows Components.” Finally, navigate to “Windows Update > Legacy Policies > Exclude automatic restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations with users not logged in” and enable this option.

Microsoft explains that once this option is enabled, automatic updates will not force the computer to restart if a user is logged in, but will send a restart request.

Please note

In newer versions of Windows, some options may be disabled by default, so this procedure may not be necessary.

If you have problems: Windows 11 updates blocked

Are you having problems with Windows 11 updates? First of all, check the update management options on your PC. For example, you may have accidentally enabled the “Pause updates” option. Go to “Settings > Windows Update” and check.

If you still can't resolve the issue, try the system's built-in troubleshooters. Navigate to “Settings > System > Troubleshoot” and follow the instructions. If all else fails, you may consider resetting Windows 11, but be careful, as this may result in data loss.

Windows 10 updates

Now that we've discussed Windows 11 updates in detail, it's only fair to take a moment to look at its “predecessor,” Windows 10. While it's not the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, it remains widely used and deserves a mention.

Management of updates on Windows 10 is very similar to that on Windows 11. The update service is accessed via the section Update and security located in System Settings. The options available for managing updates are, essentially, the same as those discussed for Windows 11, including items to pause updates and configure active hours.

To fix issues with stuck updates on Windows 10, you may want to use the Windows Update troubleshooter, accessible via Control Panel > Troubleshoot > Fix Windows Update problems.

Finally, you may be interested in avoiding automatic operating system reboots. In this case, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor, as described for Windows 11. The procedure is almost identical and should only be considered if you are using a Pro version of Windows, as the Home version may not offer this functionality.

Local Group Policy Editor Windows 10

If you want to edit the system registry, you can do so by opening the Run with the Win+R key combination and typing “regedit”. From there, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU, creates a new DWORD (32-bit) value called NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and set its value to 1. A system reboot may be required for the changes to take effect.

For more details, I refer you to my complete tutorial on how to update Windows 10.

Note: This information may vary between different versions of Windows 10, as the system is constantly evolving. But generally, by following these guidelines, you shouldn't have any difficulty.

Microsoft has announced that it will continue to provide support for at least one version of Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. If you want to keep up with the latest news, I suggest you check out my guide on how to download Windows 11.


Windows 8.x, 7 and Vista updates

If you are wondering about updates for Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 or even Windows Vista, please be advised that support for these operating systems has now ended. In short:

  • Windows 7: Support ended January 14, 2020
  • Windows 8: Support ended January 12, 2016
  • Windows 8.1: Support ended January 10, 2023
  • Windows Vista: Support ended April 11, 2017

That's why I recommend you upgrade to at least Windows 10 if possible to ensure the latest security and features.


Windows edition updates

Windows 11 edition updates

The major versions of Windows 11 are Home is Pro, each with its own characteristics. If you are a business user, it may be useful to switch from the Home version to the Pro version to access features such as Windows Information Protection.

Windows 11 Home Edition | Activation code for PC via email

Windows 11 Pro Edition | Activation code for PC via email

There is also the S mode, a more limited version of Windows that allows apps to be downloaded only from the Microsoft Store. If you wish to deactivate it, you can do so from Settings > System > Activation, following the instructions provided.

I hope this information is useful to you! If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to ask.

For example, there is an Update Assistant specifically for Windows 11. This tool is available directly from Microsoft's official website and offers a guided walkthrough of the update process.

For a more in-depth understanding of this option, I highly recommend you check out my dedicated guide on how to make the switch from Windows 10 to Windows 11. In that tutorial, I detailed each step and also provided information on how to check your PC for compatibility with the latest version of Microsoft's operating system.

In summary, if you're planning on making the big version leap, the presence of these assistance tools makes the process significantly easier and more manageable. However, it is always a good practice to read the detailed guides to avoid any complications that may arise based on the specifications of your system.

Furthermore, it is prudent to check whether your current hardware and software configuration is compatible with the new version of Windows to avoid unpleasant surprises.

It is worth noting that the change from one “big release” to another is not always a simple upgrade: in some cases it could involve significant changes in both functionality and system requirements. Therefore, adequate preparation and awareness are key to a successful transition.

If you have specific concerns or questions, a targeted Google search may provide you with immediate answers, or you can always consult official Microsoft resources for the most up-to-date information.

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