Windows 10 20H1 adds ‘Optional updates’ settings

The ability to install optional updates manually will return to Windows 10 with the 20H1 update arriving in spring 2020.

Optional update settings on Windows 10 20H1

Windows 10 version 2004 (known as the May 2020 Update) will give users more control over optional updates. As part of the 20H1 development, starting with Windows 10 build 18980, the Windows Update settings page includes a new “View optional updates” link that opens a new page that allows you to view and decide which optional updates to install on your device manually.

Optional updates are those updates that are not essential to the operation of Windows 10. Typically, these will include updates for Microsoft and non-Microsoft products and third-party drivers (such as for printers, cameras, network adapters, etc.).

Once in the “Optional updates” settings page, you’ll see a listing of the available packages for your device. If you want to install a new driver, for example, you’ll have to check the package and then click the Download and install button.

Windows 10 Optional updates settings
Windows 10 Optional updates settings

The ability to install non-critical updates has been around for a long time, but on Windows 10, these updates also happened automatically, which in many cases led to more problems. To reduce the chances of running into issues using Windows Update, the next version will bring back the ability for users to download and install optional updates manually.

However, the new feature doesn’t mean that Windows 10 will stop detecting and installing driver updates automatically. Device drivers will continue to install automatically, but only those non-essential packages will be available in this section.