I’ll be the first to admit that updates are no fun most of the time. Or, at least, they’re a distraction, if not a downright disruption. You might get a few cool new features, but they sometimes come at the cost of a lot of aggravation.
However, at the same time, I realize that it’s the un-cool parts, like beefed-up performance and security, that are the unsung heroes of updates. And these are the updates that are super-important for traders like us, who depend upon our trading computers for our very livelihood.
As Windows has evolved, Microsoft has taken our resistance to change into account in designing how updates happen. (Resistance is futile!)
Rather than just being a passive and (possibly) unwilling participant, it’s a good idea to understand exactly how upgrades happen so you can at least be mentally prepared. Let’s take a look.
Understanding the New Rules of Updates
Windows 10 has taken away update control from the users. In the past, administrators (i.e., computer owners) could decide to take an update or not. This is no longer the case.
In addition, in Windows 10, the operating system behaves as a service. So there isn’t a way to cherry-pick what updates you want to install.
Why did this happen? Due to market fragmentation, it was difficult for Microsoft to maintain security and features. There are just too many versions of Windows and too many security threats appearing almost daily for Microsoft to provide support and keep us safe.
The new update process ensures that everyone is on the same page, and everyone has the best protection available.
Understanding Update Types
As a Windows 10 user, you’ll notice these two types of updates:
- Feature Updates: These are major updates. Microsoft plans to release at least two of this type of update each year. They will add new features (essentially, new apps) to your computer. Installation of feature updates will be time-consuming. The downloads can be many gigabytes, and the restart can take a long time.
- Quality Updates: These updates are mainly for security issues and bug fixes. Consider them minor updates. But ‘minor’ doesn’t mean unimportant, especially for security reasons. Hackers and cybercriminals depend on finding vulnerabilities in your computer. So these updates help protect you against the latest intrusion schemes.
There are other critical updates packaged with both of the above two types. Hardware drivers and firmware updates can be part of feature updates. Some service package updates might be delivered as separate packages, or they might come as part of a quality update.
Receiving Windows Updates
Windows Update is the service that delivers updates to your trading computer. Specifically, the service level called Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) is the default level for new non-enterprise Windows 10 computers. This channel is what distributes the features updates you receive.
Because Microsoft distributes updates to a large number of computers, it doesn’t push Feature Updates to everyone at the same time. So from the time you hear about a release, it might take a few weeks for your trading computer to get a Feature Update.
Quality Updates are smaller and more time-sensitive, so they are delivered more quickly. Generally, Microsoft delivers Quality Updates on the second Tuesday of the month.
Updates are cumulative. So even if you miss a batch of updates, you don’t have to worry. On your next update, you will get everything necessary from the previous ones. (And, unfortunately, that means trying to skip one is futile.)
Determining the Status of Your Updates
Check what updates have been downloaded to your Windows 10 trading computer using the following steps:
- Go to the Start Menu and click on the Settings icon (a gear icon)
- On the Settings window, click on Update & Security
Right away you’ll be able to see if your trading computer is up to date and when Windows last checked for update availability.
While you’re here, you can check your update history if you want to see, for example, if you’ve gotten the latest Feature Update. If you want to know what those latest features are, click ‘See what’s new in this update.’
All of those options are available from the Update & Security window.
Managing Your Updates and Installations
For Windows 10 Home edition, you do still have a few options for updates, such as changing active hours and controlling restart notifications. Microsoft will only download updates outside of active hours (but otherwise, it will update automatically – sorry).
Users with an Education, Enterprise or Pro license have the option to delay updates. If you don’t want a Feature Update, you can delay it for 16 months. For Quality Updates, you can delay for 30 days. But eventually, you too will be forced to update.
Of course, Microsoft recommends you don’t delay the Feature or Quality Updates unless you have a specific reason to do so. And for security reasons, especially, I tend to agree.
Have you been freaking out about Windows 10 updates? Updates are not always pleasant, but understanding what’s going to happen (and when) at least makes it less of a shock when an update arrives on your trading computer. Here are 2 things to do to help you cope:
- Try to at least keep an open mind, if not downright excitement, about new features. Lots of the new features really are cool. Schedule in a few minutes to at least glance over them when they arrive.
- Remind yourself of the importance of maintaining peak security levels. Your trading computer and your data demand all the protection they can get.
These strategies for thinking about and preparing for changes will make the mandated updates easier to accept. And if you own an EZ Trading Computer, we’re always here to help with any issues you might encounter after a Windows update. Just give us a call.
We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer How-To’s I’ve created on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250