It is best to install Windows updates as they come along, as they include new features and security patches to keep your computer safe from external threats. However, as you may have already noticed, sometimes Windows updates are installed automatically, and sometimes they need to be installed manually.
The updates that need to be manually installed often have the word “Preview” in them. This means that the features and improvements included in the update are not yet finalized and may still contain some glitches. So, why is it being offered to the public?
Table of contents
- Types of Windows Updates
- Pros of Installing Optional Preview Updates
- Cons of Installing Optional Preview Updates
- How to Install Windows Optional Preview Update
- How to Uninstall Windows Optional Preview Update
- Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Windows Updates
Before we dive deeper into whether an optional preview update should be explicitly installed, let us discuss the different types of Windows updates, so they are easier to differentiate.
Microsoft makes 3 types of flights for the Windows operating system: Type B, Type C, and Type D. There is no Type A release.
We may have heard of a thing called “Patch Tuesday,” where Microsoft releases an update for the supported Windows operating systems every second Tuesday of the month. These are Type B updates, which also include security patches for the OS.
Then later that month, Microsoft (may or may not) releases optional preview updates in the 3rd and 4th weeks of the month. These are called Type C and Type D updates, respectively. However, these updates do not include any security patches.
Since there is no release for Windows OS in the first week of every month, there is no Type A update.
Pros of Installing Optional Preview Updates
Optional preview updates include fixes for the operating system. These mostly address existing issues, such as memory leaks, UI glitches, functionality issues, etc. Therefore, it could be a good reason to install the update and fix the problems included in the flight.
Sometimes they also include changes to the operating system, which a user may like (or dislike). This is something you can check out beforehand by reading the release notes for the update.
Another benefit of installing an optional update is that it gives time to developers and other IT administrators to test out the new changes before these are implemented on every computer in the following Patch Tuesday update.
Cons of Installing Optional Preview Updates
As already mentioned, a user may dislike the changes introduced in the optional update. Therefore, there is also a con to install the update.
Another major reason for not installing the update is that it may bring along problems of its own. An update can also have some “known issues” that Microsoft is already aware of, or problems that are not even discovered yet. In which case, installing an update with more issues than it resolves would be a bad decision.
These are the advantages and disadvantages of installing an optional update on a Windows machine.
How to Install Windows Optional Preview Update
Follow these steps to allow an optional Windows preview update to install:
Navigate to the following location:
On Windows 11:
Settings app >> Windows Update
On Windows 10:
Settings app >> Update & Security >> Windows Update
Here, click Check for updates if an optional update is not already showing.
When an update appears, click Download and install below it to allow the update to be installed.
Once installed, restart the computer to finalize the installation.
Once the computer reboots, the update would have been successfully installed.
However, if you find a problem with the update or want to remove it for any reason, it can be uninstalled.
How to Uninstall Windows Optional Preview Update
Since the optional preview updates are also cumulative updates, they can be uninstalled using the same methods.
You can always roll back to the previous build of the OS within 10 days after installing the update. To roll back after 10 days, you will need to apply this trick.
However, an easier method to remove the update is to simply uninstall it. There are 3 ways to uninstall a Windows preview update.
Preview updates are initially tested through the Windows Insider Program – a program that lets you test out new updates and features before they are released to the public. Thus, it is safe to assume that the Type C and D optional updates have been thoroughly vetted by the Insiders and most of the major bugs have already been addressed.
Thus, in our opinion, we think that it is safe and worth installing the optional preview updates.
That being said, features and improvements to the optional update will be implemented in the next Patch Tuesday release. So why delay it? Even if there is an issue in the update, it will be addressed in the following update.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to install Windows optional preview updates?
Yes, the preview updates are safe and have already been vetted through the Insider program.
What is a Windows preview update?
Microsoft releases updates in the 3rd and 4th week of the month known as Type C and Type D updates, respectively. There are preview updates wince they allow a user to test out the new changes before they are released publically in the following month’s Patch Tuesday updates.
Should we install Windows preview updates?
Although it is up to the user to install Windows preview updates, since they include fixes and improvements, but may also include some problems of their own. However, since the updates are already vetted by the Insiders, we believe it is okay to install these updates.