How to manage Windows updates on managed desktops

Feature Update: Windows 10 version 21H2

A feature update to Windows 10 version 21H2 is available to all managed desktops as of 18th April 2023.

Staff can elect to install this at a convenient time as described in check for and install updates below.

From 1st May 2023 PCs that have not received this update will automatically download it and prompt staff to reboot in order to complete the installation.

We recommend that staff proactively start this update at a planned and convenient time (such as at the end of the day), rather than waiting for the automatic installation.


Windows updates are essential to desktop security, can fix functional or reliability problems, and maintain compatibility with other systems. You will be prompted when updates are available, and can configure "active hours" during which your PC will not restart to complete update installation.

Most updates will install in the background with very little impact on performance.

Feature updates are more significant and can take a few hours to install, will impact performance, and require one or more restarts to complete.

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A notification titled Software changes are required will pop up on your desktop when updates are available. You can click on the notification and follow the prompts to install updates.

The following steps can be used at any time to check for and apply outstanding updates:

  1. Start Software Centre (press Windows  , type software centre and press Enter)
  2. Select Updates and wait a few seconds while your PC checks for updates
  3. Click Install on individual entries, or Install All to apply updates
  4. Your PC will prompt you to reboot if necessary, and will reboot automatically outside of active hours
  5. When updates are required or a reboot is pending the system power options will change to Update and Shutdown and Update and Restart

Feature updates are effectively upgraded versions of Windows 10. You can check which version you are using at any time as follows:

  1. Press Windows  , type about and press Enter to open the Settings > About window
  2. Scroll down to the Windows specifications section
  3. The Version field confirms which feature update you are running

If you need to check which hotfix updates have been installed since the most recent feature release you can use this procedure.

  1. Select Start  , type cmd, press Enter
  2. In the command prompt window that opens, type wmic qfe get hotfixid | sort and press Enter

You can specify "active hours" during which Windows will not restart to complete update installation:

  1. Start Software Centre (press Windows  , type software centre and press Enter)
  2. Select Options
  3. Under Work information, specify the times and days during which your PC should not restart
  4. Close Software Centre

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