Earlier versions of Windows had something that Windows 10 has so far lacked. However, Build 18980 gains the ability to see pending optional updates through Windows Update. That’s why I called this post “Latest Insider Preview Gets View Optional Updates Feature.” The new feature looks like the following screencap. (It comes straight from my Fast Ring test machine, a Lenovo X220 Tablet.)
The blue text at the bottom of this snippet reads “View Optional Updates.” Click on it to produce a list of updates. Windows 10 hasn’t installed them, but could if you wanted it to.
Working with Latest Insider Preview Gets View Optional Updates Feature
Here’s what shows up on the Lenovo X220 Tablet when I click the link and expand the listing under “Driver Updates.” Windows Update installs drivers when you tick their associated checkboxes, then click the “Download and install” button underneath that list. So far, I’ve checked only devices that I use on my two Fast Ring test machine. I didn’t install one driver on the other machine — a Realtek GbE Ethernet NIC/chipset. That’s because that NIC is broken (not working). The rest of the drivers all installed properly and both systems are working fine. Here’s the X220 Tablet list with all selections checked:
Of the 7 items shown, the printer driver failed to install properly. The rest are working just fine — so far.
[Click image for full-size view.]
Drivers Can Be Problematic, Though . . .
My group policy settings on local Win10 machines — a single Enterprise PC, and 8 or 9 Pro models — all forbid Windows Update to download and install drivers automatically. In a production environment, drivers only get updated once they’re tested and proven to work (and only when they’re needed). This is a good policy to maintain for such environments. This feature is handy for those who, run test machines to prepare for planned maintenance.
[Note: if you take advantage of this capability, be sure to run DriverStore Explorer (aka RAPR.exe) to clean out the old drivers from your PC. Of course, you must check to see if the new drivers work properly before doing so. Otherwise, you can roll back to previous versions, and remove the new and problematic drivers instead.]