Sure, you can always get Windows Update history from Windows 10 itself. Simply click Settings → Update & Security → Windows Update, then select “View update history” under that heading. But as is sometimes the case with built-in Windows tools, their output doesn’t always tells you everything you’d like to know about info on display. That’s why I jumped all over Nir Sofer’s lastest creation when I read about it today at ghacks.net. Learning that Nirsoft releases Windows Update History Viewer, of course I had to see it for myself. I was glad I did. In tabular form, for each update, it provides data under the following headings:
- Title: Name of the update (same as what shows up in the Microsoft Update Catalog, where applicable)
- Description: Text info from the KB article blurb describing the update
- Install date: Date and time the update hit your system
- Update operation: Usually install, this describes what operation WU ran using the update (uninstall is also an option and will be reported as such)
- Operation Result: One of Succeeded (green button at far left); Failed (red button at far left); or Aborted (yellow button at far left)
- Information URL: KB article URL
- Support URL: Support note for update, when available; otherwise, links to http://support. microsoft.com
- Uninstall notes: Instructions describing how to uninstall the update
- Client Application ID: Name of process that initiated the update, usually one of UpdateOrchestrator (WU), Update, Scan for Updates (manual update initiated by user), or Windows Defender (AV update)
- Service ID: GUID for service that handled the update process
- Update ID: GUID for update object applied
- Revision number: update revision number, where applicable
- Unmapped result code: result code reported if an update fails or aborts (10 digit numeric code)
- hResult: error code reported if an update fails or aborts (8 digit hex code, often of the form 0x8024dddd which maps into the class of Windows Update errors)
Alas, the tool is too big (it covers the width of almost 2 27″ monitors if I show all fields fully expanded. Here’s a screen cap that shows fields I believe to be most likely of interest expanded, and those not compresssed. It’s still pretty darn huge (click the image to see a full-sized — and intelligible — view, please).
Note the traffic light status indicators at left (RGY), name, date and status info. All good stuff!
[Click image for readable view.]
That’s a whole lot more than you get from the built-in Update History output which tells you:
- KB number
- Number of attempts (in parentheses)
- Installation status (Successfully installed or failed)
Because Nirsoft Releases Windows Update History Viewer, You Should Grab It NOW
I find Nirsoft tools to be pretty valuable in general. Invaluable even, in some cases. If you need to research updates you’ll find this useful in your admin toolbox. It doesn’t have to be installed, so you can carry it with you on a USB key or portable drive, or run it from cloud storage of some kind. Definitely helpful.