How to install optional updates on Windows 10

Do you need to download and install optional updates? Here's the answer to complete this task on Windows 10.

Optional updates settings on Windows 10
Optional updates settings on Windows 10

On Windows 10, optional updates are those updates that are not critical to use the operating system, but they may be necessary for other functionalities. Usually, these updates can include packages for Microsoft and non-Microsoft products, feature updates, and third-party drivers (such as for printers, cameras, and network adapters).

In earlier releases, optional updates happen automatically, but starting with version 2004, May 2020 Update, the Settings app is getting a new section that allows you to view and decide which updates to install manually.

In this guide, you’ll learn the step to download and install optional updates on Windows 10.

Install optional updates using Settings

To download and install optional updates, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Update.

  4. Click the View optional updates option (if available).

    Windows Update settings with Optional updates link
    Windows Update settings with Optional updates link
  5. Expand the update category. For example, Driver updates.

  6. Check the optional update you want to download.

  7. Click the Download and install button.

    Windows 10 Optional updates settings
    Windows 10 Optional updates settings

Once you complete the steps, the package you selected will download and install on your device.

The “View optional updates” option is only available if the system detects an update is available. Otherwise, the option will not appear in the Settings app. Also, starting with update KB4566782, Device Manager no longer includes the option to download driver updates. If you have problems with a piece of hardware, you can now have to check for updates in the “Optional updates” page.

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 15 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 21 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].