How to install optional updates on Windows 11

If you need to install driver updates or upcoming fixes on Windows 11, you can use the Optional updates settings, and here's how.

Windows 11 optional update
Windows 11 optional update

Windows 11 includes an option to download and install “optional updates,” which are those updates that are not required (but necessary) to operate the computer properly. Usually, these are packages for Microsoft and third-party products, feature updates, optional monthly updates (release C and D), and device drivers (printers, cameras, network adapters, etc.).

Optional updates are not new to Windows 11. The idea of giving you the choice of whether to install specific updates has been available since Windows 10. Also, in the past, you were able to install or update drivers from within Device Manager. However, the option has been removed, and now, they are only available from the “Optional updates” settings page (if applicable).

In this guide, you will learn the steps to install optional updates on Windows 11.

Install optional updates on Windows 11

To install optional updates (including drivers) on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. Click the Advanced options on the right side.

  4. Under the “Additional updates” section, click the Optional updates setting.

    Advanced options

  5. Select the optional update or driver for Windows 11.

    Download optional updates and drivers

  6. Click the “Download & install” button.

Once you complete the steps, the packages will download and install automatically on Windows 11. Also, depending on the update, you may need to restart the computer for the changes to apply.

You will see updates for drivers only when they are available for your computer configuration. Otherwise, they will not show up on the page. If you must update specific hardware, it’s best to check your manufacturer’s support website to download and install the latest drivers.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].