Windows 10 OS could get back the much-needed ‘Optional Update’ listings in the next major feature update. In other words, Microsoft appears to be finally separating Drivers Update from Feature, Critical and Security Updates that the company sends across to Windows 10 OS. Currently, the updates are mandatory and can only be paused for a short while before Windows 10 auto-downloads and install them.
Microsoft Windows 10 OS has been getting into some trouble with weird issues and bugs. The most recent update to Windows 10 1903 Version has users complaining about several hardware and services not working optimally. Perhaps taking cognizance of the same. Microsoft appears to be bringing back an important feature that would segregate Standard Updates from Driver Updates. The latter would be part of the ‘Optional Updates’ sub-section in main Updates Section within Windows Updates.
Windows 10 OS To Get Back The ‘Optional Update’ Settings In Windows Update:
Incidentally, the Optional Update listings was never a part of Windows 10 Home, the most widely used variant. However, it was a prominent feature within the previous version of the operating system. Windows 7 Updates had two separate sections. The first one was critical and security updates, while the other one was marked ‘Optional’. Users had the freedom to either select and install the optional updates or simply ignore them. Microsoft usually did not insist that users should install updates that were present within this section.
However, for reasons yet unknown, Microsoft removed the practical optional update listings. Interestingly, there was a brief time period during which Windows 10 OS had a Troubleshooter to display optional updates but the feature appears to have been eliminated. There are a few third-party software tools that offer the missing feature.
Imagine that! The Optional Updates Feature in Build 18980’s Windows Update, lets you view, select and install them at your discretion. #Windows10 #sysadmin #WindowsInsiders pic.twitter.com/DAyP40vkMy
— Ed Tittel (@EdTittel) September 18, 2019
Needless to mention, in the absence of a choice to install quite a few updates, there have been several issues that have cropped up within Windows 10. Most of the issues appear to be caused by automatic driver installations supplied via Windows Update. Windows Professional and Enterprise users do have the ability or option to disable driver installations via Windows Update. They can do so using Group Policy or Registry changes. However, Windows 10 Home users do not have such a facility, leaving them exposed to potentially bad updates and drivers.
Hardware Drivers can and should be updated manually. This is always a better option as it gives administrators control over the feature. This allows Windows 10 users the ability to play to it safe, and ensure their hardware remains reliably functional. In the recent past, several hardware components stopped working abruptly or misbehaved owing to Windows Update. Microsoft has acknowledged quite a few weird issues that have appeared within Windows 10 and has promised to develop a permanent solution for most of them. Needless to say, the Optional Update feature may prove immensely helpful simply because several users wouldn’t grant permission to update drivers of hardware that works reliably.
Optional Updates Makes Debut In Windows 10 version 20H1:
Optional update listings have made their debut in Windows 10. The most recent build of the upcoming Windows 10 20H1 version includes a new “view optional updates” link on the Windows Update settings page that leads directly to the available optional updates. The optional updates are further divided into sub-groups. However, only driver updates are currently available or visible. Still, updates available for a particular hardware configuration are grouped together and listed under Driver Updates.
Each Driver Update listed in the Optional Updates within Windows 10 Updates Settings page contains manufacturer name, classification, and name. However, Microsoft isn’t offering critical additional information like the version of the driver or the release date. Although most drivers that Windows 10 suggests should be new or updated, it is still confusing to users. In the past, several new and updated drivers have caused weird issues and erratic behavior. Reverting back to an old driver has been known as a working solution.
Interestingly, Driver Updates present within Optional Updates does not mean that drivers won’t be installed automatically anymore by Windows Updates. Microsoft makes this amply clear with a single sentence:
“If you have a specific problem, one of these drivers might help. Otherwise, automatic updates will keep your drivers up to date.”
Despite the limited resources, options and information to make an informed decision, the return of the Optional updates listing is still a relief to many Windows 10 OS users. Moreover, it is quite likely that Microsoft may eventually include other optional and non-critical updates within the Optional Updates settings to ensure the OS installation works reliably.