Windows receives a constant stream of updates. We’ve all seen the “Do not turn off your computer” screen. And it needs these updates.
Windows needs them because nothing stands still. The Internet, and what you can do on the ‘net is constantly evolving. The programs you might run on your PC require the use of new technologies. And the ever-present threat of viruses & malware all mean that Windows has to move forward.
What was OK yesterday, just won’t cut it today. And although Windows 10 is pretty good at keeping itself updated, you should check occasionally that you’ve got all the latest updates available to your computer.
Opening Windows Update.
You can easily check that you’ve got all the latest Windows updates. It only takes a few minutes.
To get started, left-click the START button, then click on the SETTINGS icon (the gear wheel)
On the Settings page, click UPDATE & SECURITY.
Note, you may have to scroll down the page to find it.
When you open Windows Update, what you’ll see will be dependant on where exactly your computer is on the update cycle.
You could be bang up to date or a year behind. Because of that, what you’ll actually see on the Windows Update page can vary.
Generally, there are 4 possibilities or 4 screens that you might be looking at.
We’ll go through each screen in turn below.
1. Windows Update – You’re Up To Date.
Firstly, on the Windows Update page, you might be greeted with the message that you’re up to date.
Don’t believe it.
Click the CHECK FOR UPDATES button.
After Windows has done a check, if it still says you’re up to date, you’re done. You can close Windows Update, there’s nothing else to do.
If it finds some updates, then they’ll be downloaded and installed. Bear in mind that some of the updates may require a restart.
2. Windows Update – Waiting To Download.
Secondly, you might be presented with a list of updates.
Check the STATUS of the Updates. Are they Downloading, Pending Install, Installing or Pending Download.
If they’re all Pending Download, scroll to the bottom of the list and click the DOWNLOAD button.
If you’re not seeing a Download button, then one or more updates are already either downloading or installing.
After clicking the Download button, all the updates listed will download and install automatically onto your PC.
You can see the progress as a percentage.
Again, you’ll probably need to do a restart once the updates have finished.
3. Feature Update.
Thirdly, although Windows claims to be up to date, just below you can see a Feature Update to Windows.
Feature updates are generally large updates and could take some time to install, so be prepared.
Click DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL.
Although you could continue to use your computer when updating Windows, I prefer not to. This is especially true of feature updates. Just give the machine time and space to do its work.
Feature updates will almost always require a restart.
After restarting a couple of times, you’ll finally get back to your Desktop.
If you see a Welcome Back screen.
You can explore the “Exciting new features” by clicking the SEE OPTIONS button, or just close the window by clicking the X in the top right corner.
4. Optional Updates.
This is the final screen that you might see when running Windows Update. The computer reports it’s up to date, but below you can see a link to Optional Updates.
To see what optional updates are available, click the link VIEW OPTIONAL UPDATES.
On the Optional Updates page, you’ll be able to see what else is available.
Normally, it’ll be driver updates.
To see which drivers, click the small arrowhead.
Normally I wouldn’t take Driver Updates.
Windows has a history of wrongly identifying the drivers you need.
So if your computer is working fine, I’d leave these alone.
But if you decide to take the update, put a tick in the box next to the driver you want, then click the DOWNLOAD & INSTALL button.
Occasionally Windows will install the wrong driver, and that can cause problems.
Further down the page, I’ll show you how to resolve the wrong driver problem.
Let’s Finish Setting Up Your Device.
After doing certain updates, particularly Feature Updates, after the restart, you’ll be greeted with this screen. Microsoft is simply trying to get you to sign in to your account.
Now that will suit some people, but not everyone.
There are three scenarios –
- You’ve already got an MS account and want to use it on this computer.
- You’d like an MS account and to use it on this computer.
- No. You don’t have an account, you don’t want an account, or you don’t want to use your account on this PC.
Regardless, the way forward is to click the CONTINUE button.
For more about Windows accounts click Windows User Accounts
After clicking the Continue button, you can either sign in with an existing account or create a brand new account.
If you do either of the above, you’ll need to sign in to your computer each time you start it up.
If you don’t want to be signing into your computer, or don’t want a Microsoft account, or maybe, you want a local account on this computer, click the CANCEL button.
If you’re unsure, I’d click the cancel button. You won’t be doing any harm, or committing yourself to anything, and you can always switch to a Microsoft account later if you want to.
Windows Update Installed The Wrong Driver.
Sometimes Windows will install a driver that is incompatible with your computer. Most often, it’ll be the wireless driver. Which leaves you unable to connect to the Internet. And this is particularly true with laptops. For some reason, Windows really doesn’t seem to like laptop WiFi’s.
Now obviously there are many reasons why you might not be able to get onto the Internet, and this issue is only one of them. But if you’ve suddenly lost your Internet connection after doing an Update, then this could be the problem.
Windows knows it makes mistakes with drivers, so when it installs a new one, it keeps the old one backed up. Just in case.
Right-click on the START button. You’ll get a very different looking menu open.
On the menu, left-click DEVICE MANAGER.
Device Manager opens.
What you’ll see is a list of all the components plugged into your computer.
Roughly in the middle of the list, you’ll see NETWORK ADAPTERS.
Click the small arrowhead, just to the left of Network Adapters.
The Network Adapters section opens to reveal a long list.
The one you’re after will probably be different to mine, but it will say something like –
WiFi adapter, Wireless card, Wlan, something like that.
When you’ve found it, right-click on it, then left-click PROPERTIES on the menu that opens.
In the Properties box, click the DRIVER tab.
If the ROLL BACK DRIVER button is greyed out, then you can’t go back to a previous driver.
If it’s greyed out then most likely, a new driver wasn’t installed, and so won’t be the cause of your problems.
But if the ROLL BACK DRIVER button is bold, then you can go back to the previous driver by clicking the button.
If you’ve lost connection to the Internet after an update, then this is often the cause, particularly with wireless connections on laptops.
You can use this method to roll back any driver that’s been installed or updated, not just the wireless driver.
More Guides From At Home Computer
Getting It Done, One Guide At A Time