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How to Update Windows 10

Updating the software on your laptop is an easy and effective way to make sure your system runs smoothly. When you update Windows 10, your PC will have the latest features, bug fixes, and, most important, security patches.

Fortunately, Windows will periodically check for the latest system updates and install them automatically. All you need to do is restart your computer to ensure the updates finish installing (to pause updates for up to 35 days, check out this guide). As convenient as automatic updates are, there are times when you'll want to manually check for updates, like when an important security patch is rolling out or if you've encountered a major bug.

If you're currently running Windows 7, then read our guide to prepare for when the operating system reaches its end of life phase. Once your laptop is updated, make sure to properly set it up and beginners can read our guide on how to use Windows 10

Here are a few simple steps to manually check for Windows 10 updates.

How to Manually Update Windows 10

1. Select the Start (Windows) button from the bottom-left corner.

2. Go to settings (gear icon).

3. Select the Update and Security icon

4. Choose Windows Update tab in the sidebar (Circular arrows)

5. Select Check for updates. If there is an available update, it will begin downloading automatically. 

If you don't see an update, don't worry, this page will tell you if your hardware is currently incompatible. You may see this message: "The Windows 10 May 2019 Update is on its way. We’re offering this update to compatible devices, but your device isn’t ready for it. Once your device is ready, you’ll see the update available on this page. There’s nothing you need to do at this time."

If there's a more convenient time to restart your laptop, Windows 10 will let you reschedule. Doing so is pretty straightforward — just follow these simple instructions. (Note, your system will not have the latest updates until it's been restarted.)

How to Schedule a Windows 10 Update

1. From the Windows Update settings page (Step 4 from above), select "Schedule the restart" found next to "Restart now."

2. You will then be taken to a scheduling page. From there, move the Schedule a Time slider to the right (the on position).

3. The grayed-out Pick a time and Pick a day options will then be available to select. Use the time ticker and the date drop-down to choose when to restart your laptop.

Credit: Microsoft

Phillip Tracy is a senior writer at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he reviews laptops and covers the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News and NewBay Media. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, listening to indie music or watching soccer.