Windows automatic updating: Frequently asked questions
Here are answers to some common questions about updating Windows automatically.
With automatic updating, you don't have to search for updates online or worry that critical fixes for Windows might be missing from your PC. Windows Update automatically installs important and recommended updates as they become available. Optional updates, which include updates for other Microsoft products, aren't installed automatically. Windows Update won't add any apps to your PC without asking for your permission or take away anything you already have.
You won't need to check for important updates at all. Windows Update will check for these updates and install them when they're ready.
To manually check for updates
In the left pane, tap or click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your PC.
If updates are found, tap or click Install updates.
Read and accept the license terms, and then tap or click Finish if the update requires it.
You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.
You can also check for updates in PC settings. To open PC settings, swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen), tapping or clicking Settings, and then tapping or clicking Change PC settings. Under PC settings, tap or click
, and then tap or click Check for updates.
Windows Update is free. However, depending on how you're billed for your Internet connection, standard local and long distance phone charges, Internet service charges, metered data plan charges, or mobile data charges might apply for the time required to download an update.
We keep an update history in Windows Update so that you can check which updates were installed and when.
To view your update history
In the left pane, tap or click View update history.
We’ll let you know if you need to restart your PC to finish installing updates. You’ll see a notification on the lock screen for three days, and then Windows will automatically restart your PC. If you’re away from your PC for an extended period of time, Windows will notify you about an automatic restart the next time you sign in and give you fifteen minutes to save your work before your PC restarts.
Yes. Windows Update provides very important updates for performance and security, so we'll let you know if an update can't be installed.