How to update a Windows computer manually, or pause automatic updates so your PC won't restart

  • You can update Windows through the “Update & Security” section of your computer’s Settings app.
  • By default Windows 10 downloads and installs updates automatically, but you can check for updates manually as well.
  • If you want to stop Windows from updating, you can pause updates for about a month at a time.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

In Windows’ earlier days, keeping your computer updated was a chore. This made it easy for viruses to spread, and it sometimes seemed like no two computers ran Windows in the same way.

Luckily, Windows 10 makes updates almost effortless. By default, Windows 10 should be downloading and offering updates automatically (although you may need to restart the computer on your own).

If you think there might be an update you haven’t received yet, you can check for Windows 10 updates manually, and make sure Windows is set up to install updates the way you prefer.

How to update Windows manually

Windows 10 is designed to automatically install updates in the background, without any input from you. Even so, you can check for updates and make Windows install them right away.

This can come in handy if you need a new feature that’s in an optional update, or if you’re troubleshooting a problem with Windows and the latest update might resolve the issue.

1. Click Start (or press the Windows key) and then click “Settings.”

2. In the Settings window, click “Update & Security.”

3. To check for an update, click “Check for updates.”

4. If there ‘s an update ready to install, it should appear under the “Check for updates” button. Click “Download and install.”

How to update Windows 1Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can manually check for Windows updates in the Updates & Security page of the Settings app.

You’ll need to restart your computer to install any update, so make sure all your work is saved before installing.

How to stop Windows from updating

Windows updates are turned on by default, and it’s not possible to “permanently” disable Windows updates in Windows 10 without disabling important system settings.

But it is possible to disable automatic updates temporarily, for up to about a month at a time, if you need to prevent updates from happening for some reason.

1. Click Start (or press the Windows key) and then click “Settings.”

2. In the Settings window, click “Update & Security.”

3. Click “Advanced options.”

4. Scroll down to the Pause updates section. Click “Select date” and choose the date you want to resume automatic updates.

How to update Windows 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderUse the ‘Select date’ drop-down to choose how long to pause automatic updates — though you can only disable updates for about a month at a time.
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