Microsoft now pushes drivers as optional updates in Windows 10

Starting in Windows 10 Build 18980, which is Windows 10 version 2004 and May 2020 Update, you can quickly access the list of optional updates available for your device. Microsoft today announced that 'it is now easier for you to discover available Windows 10 feature updates, monthly non-security quality updates, and driver updates' using the optional updates feature of Windows 10.

Optional updates are updates aren’t required to run the operating system. The OS can work as expected without installing them. However, they may enhance some of its features, or add extra options to connected devices. Optional updates may include device drives, extra packages for Microsoft's software like Office, and hardware. One of the examples are printer drivers that are no longer part of the Windows 10 image. Starting in Windows version 2020, May 2020 Update, it is possible to install optional updates on demand.

Beginning with the August 2020 security update for Windows 10, when optional updates are detected by your device, they will be displayed on a new page under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional updates. That means you no longer need to utilize Device Manager to search for updated drivers for specific devices.

Windows 10 Optional Updates 1

Windows 10 Optional Updates 3

Windows Update will continue to automatically keep your drivers updated if you didn't disable this behavior, but installing optional drivers may help if you are experiencing an issue.

That's obviously adds a bit of convenience for an average user. Advanced users may prefer device vendor's web sites to download the actual device drivers.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft now pushes drivers as optional updates in Windows 10”


    The problem with these so-called driver releases is that they’re outdated and may introduce new problems or upgrade blocks.

    The best option to download and install compatible drivers is still the manufacturer’s tools or websites.

    (NB. I am just a web user. No affiliation to website.)

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