The Best Way to Update Windows 10 and All Your Apps
Windows: Updating your computer and the applications on it is one of the simplest maintenance operations anyone should know how to do. And while your operating system should make it easier for you by performing most updates on your behalf, there is no reason to let it have all the fun. Control your destiny: Install your own updates and get access to the latest features (and security fixes) before your operating system decides you should.
We’ll start with your OS and then move on to all of your applications. Yes, all of them.
How to update Windows 10
To start updating your operating system, click the Start menu, type Update and select Check for Updates. The screen that appears will look something like this (obviously different if you’re using Windows 10 Light or Dark Mode ):
Click the Check for Updates button. Depending on what Windows 10 detects, any updates may start downloading and installing automatically. You may also need to manually start the download and installation if this is a major or major update.
This is the main way to update Windows 10. But there is one more thing you can do! Let’s continue.
Consider pausing Windows updates when (or before) giant updates are launched
So Microsoft doesn’t have the best track record with major Windows updates. If one of them appears on your list to install – and you recognize it by its name, which is usually a “feature upgrade” to Windows 10 followed by a new version number – you might want to think about it. “Pause updates for 7 days” button. When you do, updates won’t download or automatically install for a week, giving you a bit of time to see if there are any catastrophic bugs that you need to be aware of in said update. If not, let it break; you really won’t have a choice this weekend as you will be prompted to install the latest updates before you can pause again:
Make sure Windows doesn’t restart your computer when you need it.
You will definitely want to click on “Change Activity Hours”, which will allow you to determine the times at which you usually use your computer. This way, Windows won’t install updates and automatically reboots your system to complete the process in those precious hours. While Windows can detect your “active hours” on its own, I prefer the harsh approach of not updating my computer when I’m awake.
To protect yourself from an unexpected restart, click Advanced Options in the main Windows Update window. You will see this screen:
I recommend enabling Update Notifications, which will alert you when your system needs to be restarted to complete the update. Until you are here, enable “Get updates for other Microsoft products when Windows updates”. Why is not set to “yes” by default, I will never know. Feature and security updates are good.
How to update apps on Windows 10 PC
You usually have three options for updating different Windows 10 apps.
For Windows 10 apps purchased from the Microsoft Store
Just launch the Microsoft Store app, click the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner, and select Downloads and Updates. To do this, click the blue “Get Updates” button.
For apps you’ve downloaded from somewhere else
If you’re lucky, your app – like Google Chrome – will have a method to automatically check for updates and install them whenever they appear. You may need to perform this check manually, but if such a possibility exists, it is most likely hidden somewhere in the application settings, perhaps even in the Help or About menu.
If your app does not have the ability to update, you will have to search for the app developer manually from time to time to see if there are any new versions. You can also automate this process with a very useful program likePatch My PC that can do this check and installation for you.
I run this app about once a month to make sure everything I use is up to date as much as possible. And it couldn’t be easier to use; I set it up to check for any potential updates as soon as I run it and to automatically install any updates. I don’t need to click any confirmations or anything. I just wait and all my eligible apps – a fairly comprehensive list – will receive all the updates they need without any additional action on my part.
Application update: advanced mode
If you want to get really cool, you can install all of your third-party apps using a package manager like Chocolately , which then makes it easy to update them with a single, easy-to-manage user interface.
Package managers aren’t for everyone, but apps like Chocolatey GUI make it much easier than messing around with the command line if that’s none of your business.