Security patches and feature updates are not included in optional updates. A driver update or firmware update for your system manufacturer is an optional update, and they’re labeled as ‘Other’.
Optional Windows 10 updates
Microsoft may or may not provide an optional Windows 10 update. Driver updates, which are essentially from device manufacturers like Intel and are signed and approved by Microsoft for delivery through Windows Updates, are frequently included in optional updates.
Despite the fact that these updates are labeled as “optional,” some of them may be beneficial to install. At the very least, if you install an update through Windows Updates, you’ll always be able to roll it back if something goes wrong.
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Install Optional Updates on Windows 10
Follow these steps to check for and install optional updates on Windows 10.
- Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
- Go to Update and Security.
- Select the Windows Update tab.
- Click ‘View optional updates’.
- On the next screen, expand Driver Updates and Other Updates.
- Select the updates you want to download and install.
- Click the ‘Download and install’ button.
- The update will download and install. Your system may restart, depending on the update.
Missing ‘View optional updates
If the ‘View optional updates’ option is missing when you want to check for available optional updates, it means there are no optional updates to install.
Windows 10 checks for updates on a regular basis, and when it does, it looks for all types of updates. Additionally, when you manually check for updates by clicking the ‘Check for updates’ button, Windows performs another check for optional updates. The ‘View optional updates’ option may not appear at all if they are not available.
Optional updates aren’t applied to everyone in the same way. They are influenced by the hardware that is installed on a system. Some users of Windows 10 will receive an optional update, while others will not.
Optional Updates frequently include updates that are several years old. In some cases, you might even come across a 1970s update (see screenshot below).
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This isn’t a blunder. The majority of the updates are from more recent years, such as 2016 or 2013, but the Intel update is from 1970. This particular driver was never intended to be installed on modern systems. It’s backdated to avoid overwriting existing drivers with newer, more appropriate versions.
As a result, you shouldn’t install an outdated driver. It’s listed for the rare system that requires it, but it shouldn’t appear on yours. However, just because it appears now doesn’t mean you should install it.