Thursday, July 13, 2017

Controlling How Windows 10 Updates are Implemented

There are often vast differences in the settings between versions of Windows operating systems. One of the big changes in Windows 10 was the amount of control over Windows updates. For example, in Windows 7 users were able to control:
  • When updates were downloaded and installed
    • Updates could be downloaded and installed automatically OR
    • Downloaded but manually installed OR
    • Update checks are made but downloads and installs are manual
    • Updates were never checked for
  • If recommended updates were installed at the same time as Windows updates
  • If Microsoft product updates were downloaded and installed at the same time
When Windows 10 was first released, there were very few update settings and automatic updates could not be disabled. Now, after the release of the Anniversary Update, there are some settings you should be aware of so you can customize them to fit your needs.

Controlling How Windows 10 Updates are Implemented

The Anniversary Update brought new controls to users. These additional settings are helpful for business computers, computers that are always on, for people who leave programs open and running, or anyone who just wanted more finite control over updates.

To access Windows update settings, type "updates" in search and select "Windows Update settings" from the results.

  • From the Windows updates page, click the "Advanced Options" link.
  • The following are options available in the Advanced menu that should be considered:
    • At the very top, decide whether you want all Microsoft products to update when Windows updates.

    • Next consider how quickly updates should be installed. Under the "Choose when updates are installed" heading, there are two options:
      • Current Branch - this option installs updates determined to be compatible for most users as soon as they are released.
      • Current Branch for Business - this option installs updates once they have been tested further and determined to be compatible enough for business deployment
      • The Current Branch for Business option is the more stable option, but the Current Branch version provides newly created options and features more quickly.

    • Also under the "Choose when updates are installed" menu are two settings for delaying updates.
      • The first setting allows new features and improvements to be deferred for up to 365 days.
      • The second setting allows security improvements to be deferred, but only for 30 days.
    • Also, all updates can be delayed for 35 days using the quick toggle located under the "Pause Updates" heading. Once this setting is disabled or the time runs out, the update service will resume.

  • At the bottom of the Advanced Options page, click the "Choose how updates are delivered" link.
    • Based on preference, decide whether to update the computer from more than one location. This option means updates can be shared across computers on the same network or across the Internet. 
    • If enabled, choose whether to update from the local network only or both the local network and computers on the Internet.
    • Disabling this setting provides a greater level of security.
  • Exit Settings.
Whenever you prefer to have Windows updates installed, regaining control once available is a nice addition to the Windows 10 anniversary update. There are times, whether the devices belong to a business or a standard user, that updates conflict with existing settings or software applications. These disruptions can interrupt workflows, strain IT resources, and overwhelm everyday users. Rather than letting Windows run updates when and from where it wants to, use the Advanced settings to customize the device so it works for you when you most need it.

As always, having access to controls that let you customize according to your unique schedule and situation is important to user satisfaction!

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