Instead of releasing a new operating system every few years, Windows now releases major feature updates once or twice a year. However, these updates often mean that your personal settings and preferences are changed according to Microsoft’s wishes. That’s why you need a Windows 10 update checklist to walk you through some of the most common settings Windows updates tend to change.
1. Display settings
Have you recently installed a major feature update only to find out that the brightness is different or the icons on your desktop are a different size? The good thing about display settings is that you will probably notice something wrong immediately. You can usually fix them in two groups of settings.
First, go to “Start -> Settings -> System -> Display”.
These settings mainly relate to brightness, resolution and other displays. If you have a second screen and it isn’t recognized or isn’t working properly, the update has probably changed your driver. More information on how to resolve this issue here.
The other area to check is “Start -> Settings -> Personalization”.
From there, you can change your background (which Windows updates change every time for me), font sizes, lock screen settings, and more. This is also where you’ll make changes to your Start menu, which Microsoft likes to readjust during major updates.
2. Driver issues
Drivers are another thing to add to your Windows 10 update checklist. Take a moment to make sure all of your hardware and peripherals are still functioning properly. Although you’ve had the best driver before, sometimes Microsoft thinks you need something different, even if it’s not compatible at all. An incorrect driver can also cause overall system performance issues.
Before you think your device suddenly doesn’t work with the new update, check if the Windows update has changed your driver. Although there is already a more detailed guide on checking for updated drivers, you can see which drivers Windows installed by going to “Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update”.
Select “Show update history” in the right pane. Expand “Driver Updates”. This shows which drivers were updated and on what date.
You can restore the faulty driver by right clicking on the Start menu and choosing “Device Manager”. Select your device, right click on it and select “Properties”. Select the Driver tab and choose “Restore Driver”. You can also go to the manufacturer’s or developer’s website to download the latest driver.
For devices for which Microsoft often changes the driver, you can use the Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor (Windows 10 Home users) to prevent it.
3. Network and update settings
Microsoft wants to keep your computer safe by making sure you always have the latest updates. This means that any settings you put in place to restrict updates can be erased after a major feature update. Generally, small security updates do not affect this.
The first step is to check your update settings. Go to “Start -> Settings -> Update & Security”. Go to “Windows Update and Scroll” until you see the option to pause updates. Make sure your break interval still exists with your active hours. Also select “Advanced options” if you have changed any of these items in the past, for example by receiving other updates for Microsoft products.
If you’ve set up a limited connection to prevent updates until you’re ready, check this setting as well. Go to “Settings -> Network and Internet -> Wi-Fi”. Click “Manage Known Networks” in the right pane. Select your network (s) and choose Properties.
You can also change whether your computer automatically connects and whether your PC is discoverable over a network on this screen.
4. Return of Windows applications
Apparently, Microsoft knows what app and software users need more than users. Of course, this applies to most technology developers. But, like with most devices, you want the bloatware to go away. For example, many users do not want XBox on their Windows 10 computers. Although Microsoft makes it difficult to remove it, almost all traces of it can be removed.
Check your installed apps to see if anything has returned. If it’s not as easy as selecting Uninstall, use this bloatware removal guide for Windows 10 instead.
5. Default apps
If you prefer an app other than Windows defaults to open certain files, a major Windows 10 update can revert you back to the original default. A quick check ensures you’re using the right app when opening a file.
Go to “Settings -> Applications -> Default applications”. Click any category to change the current default.
Customizing Your Windows 10 Update Checklist
As part of your Windows 10 update checklist, take the time to go through your custom settings and list what you’ve changed. Then when a new update arrives, you can use your custom settings list to compare with the settings after a major update.
Always back up your files before major updates. Although files are not meant to be deleted, sometimes it does. Of course, an error during the update can also corrupt files. Also, don’t forget to check out the latest issues with Windows Updates and how to fix them.
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