Windows 10 now lets you update drivers for more devices

Windows 10 optional updates page

In August, Microsoft enabled a new
Windows 7-like ‘Optional updates’ option within the Windows
Updates panel on Windows 10. Microsoft previously handled
the optional updates via Device Manager, but the company has
disabled the
automatic updates feature in Device Manager and urged
customers to use Windows Update instead.

The change is not just about the transition to the modern
interface. Microsoft has also altered the way Windows 10
drivers arrive for users via Windows Update. As part of the
change, you can now easily view all the available drivers for
your graphics card and other hardware components.

Microsoft is slowly adding more drivers to its ‘Optional
updates’ screen and a new batch of updates were published this
month.

Starting this month, Microsoft has now started pushing drivers
for more hardware components. Some users told us that they’re
now seeing updates for the audio components and we’ve also
observed this behaviour on one of our devices.

For example, drivers made by Realtek are now also available in
the Optional Updates screen of Windows 10, as you can see in
the screenshot below.

Optional updates screen

It’s worth noting that Windows 10 will still download and
install important driver updates automatically without your
permission. However, in Windows 10 version 2004 or 20H2, users
will only get the optional drivers when they search for them
using the View optional update screen.

Unfortunately, the new experience is still confusing as users
cannot decide which driver is appropriate for their device.

For the best experience, you should always download and install
drivers from the manufacturer’s site. If you’re unable to find
the driver on the manufacturer’s site and the device is not
working properly, you can then consider using Windows Update.

Sources told us that Microsoft is considering UI tweaks to the
‘Optional updates’ screen within the Windows Update page to
improve the experience for beginners.

In November, Microsoft has also
enabled a new “seek-and-install” experience for plug-and-play
devices, such as your mouse and keyboard. Windows 10
drivers classified as “manual” by the vendor will not install
automatically and these changes will be noticeable for those
that use Windows Update to handle drivers.

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