Windows update FAQ

Why do I need to install Windows updates?

Every version of Windows has a lifecycle, and Microsoft will not support your computer if you are using a product that is past its “End of service” date. Visit Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet webpage for more information.

An unsupported computer is vulnerable to ransomware and malware (malicious software) attacks, and one of the best ways to protect your computer and data is to update your Windows software and restart your computer. Refer to the How do I update my Windows software section for instructions.

How do I update my Windows software?

IT Solutions releases Windows Feature updates and Monthly security updates through Software Center, so you can decide when to initiate the update process and restart your computer. See the Install Windows updates webpage for detailed instructions about performing updates when you are using the College’s wired network or when you are using a wireless or other network connection.

Feature updates

Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, known as a Feature Update, twice a year. You can install these updates using Software Center and the instructions provided in the Windows 10 feature update Help Resources page.

Feature updates typically contain a large amount of data. Although you can continue using your computer throughout the update process, restarting your computer afterwards may take 35‑40 minutes.

NOTE: If your version of Windows reaches its “End of service” date (visit Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle fact sheet webpage for more information), IT Solutions will force the Feature update to install onto your computer, and you will not have any control over when the process occurs.

Monthly security updates

Microsoft releases security updates twice a month. These updates typically involve improvements to your computer’s security and antivirus software and are the best method for keeping your computer safe from vulnerabilities such as viruses, ransomware, and malware.

IT Solutions receives the monthly updates from Microsoft on the first and second Tuesday of every month and makes them available in Software Center the following Thursday. You can visit Software Center to immediately install these updates or wait seven days from the date that IT Solutions releases the update and it will install automatically the next time you restart your computer.

How can I minimize work disruptions during an update?

Being familiar with Feature updates, Monthly security updates, and Windows lifecycle fact sheet schedules will help you choose when to initiate the update process and restart your computer.

One tip for minimizing the disruption to your regular activities is to start the update early in the day, continue working as usual, and then restart your computer before you leave at the end of the day. This way, Windows will complete the installation process while you are away from your desk, and you can log on the following morning without interruption.

NOTE: If you are an instructor returning from break, ensure that you perform all your updates before the first day of class. Turning on your computer after an extended period of inactivity could cause your computer to be sluggish and unresponsive while updates are installing, and you may have to restart once the update process is complete.

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