If you are a Windows operating system (OS) user, you must have noticed that your OS frequently shows notifications saying ‘latest updates are available, click to download’ or ‘install new updates’ etc. Windows like any other operating system or computing gadget too needs constant repair without which it becomes prone to virus/malware attacks or creates software conflict among other critical problems.

Although, with the introduction of Windows 10, the Microsoft’s requirement that all users install cumulative updates, with no control over which packages a system receives can be annoying sometimes.

It’s such a point of contention that a group of thousands of grumpy customers have petitioned company CEO Satya Nadella to change Windows 10 update practices.

Cumulative updates include all the updates Microsoft has released for the branch of Windows 10 a customer is using. Customers want more control over what’s added to their systems. They’re also concerned about what happens when they can’t avoid installing an update that breaks key functionality.

Microsoft thinks giving out cumulative updates is better than its previous model of allowing IT managers and users to decide which patches they want to install piecemeal, said Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president for the company’s Operating Systems Group, in an interview. He bases this view on conversations with IT pros about using cumulative updates.

On the other hand, many users think that Windows doesn’t require regular updates as these are irrelevant and time wasters. If you are one of those thinkers then the article is dedicated to you.

What Windows/Microsoft Updates Include

  • Security patches
  • Bug/flaw fixers
  • Device drivers
  • Add-ons
  • Critical updates
  • Service packs
  • Hotfixes
  • New features


Software- The updates allow Windows applications/programs such as Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player, or Internet Explorer to function smoothly and enhance their efficiency. Besides, these updates automatically rectify the technical errors and glitches that sometimes erupt in software or other programs.

Security – Windows is highly vulnerable to malware attacks as it has open port functionality that lets applications or programs interact with other devices or applications. These open ports function as an entry point for virus/malware developers. These ports have to be constantly secured by a strong security software such as anti-virus/anti-spyware along with a firewall. The Windows updates install latest patches and improved security definitions that monitor a PC’s online, offline activities and protect it from viruses, Trojans, spyware etc. Therefore, these updates enhance a PC’s defense system against malicious infections.

Flaws – Some internal technical glitches or OS flaws can make a PC malfunction, crash, freeze, or perform sluggish. The Windows updates regularly repair such small flaws and enhance the PC’s functionality and efficiency.

Performance – Since, updates frequently repair and improve internal OS components, they allow Windows to operate at higher efficiency by removing flaws and smoothening communication between software and hardware.

Additional Tidbits:

  • If your Windows has Automatic Update feature, it is well and good. If it does not have then you can manually download and install updates from Windows Update center
  • All the newer versions of Windows come with Windows Automatic Update feature
  • Virus infections are one of the several reasons that disable or block Windows from downloading latest updates and security patches