Steve August 22, 2020
the-windows-10-update-checklist:-5-things-to-do-after-major-updates

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 your personal settings and preferences get changed to whatever Microsoft wants. This is why you need a Windows 10 update checklist to guide 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 discover the brightness is different or your desktop icons are a different size? The good thing about display settings is you’ll likely notice something’s wrong immediately. You can usually fix them within two settings groups.

First, go to “Start -> Settings -> System -> Display.”

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Display

These settings relate mostly to brightness, resolution, and other displays. If you have a second display and it’s not being recognized or not working correctly, the update likely changed your driver. More on how to fix that here.

The other area to check is “Start -> Settings -> Personalization.”

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Personalization

From here, 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

Another thing to add to your Windows 10 update checklist is drivers. Take a moment to ensure all your hardware and peripherals still work correctly. While you may have already had the best driver, Microsoft sometimes thinks you need something different, even if it’s not compatible at all. The wrong driver can also cause overall system performance issues.

Before you think your device suddenly doesn’t work with the new update, check to see if the Windows update changed your driver. While there’s a more detailed guide already on checking updated drivers, you can see which drivers Windows installed by going to “Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.”

Select “View update history” in the right pane. Expand “Driver Updates.” This shows which drivers were updated and on what date.

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Update History

You can roll back the bad driver by right-clicking the Start menu and choosing “Device Manager.” Select your device, right-click it, and select “Properties.” Select the Driver tab and choose “Roll back driver.” You can also go to the manufacturer or developer’s website to download the latest driver.

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Drivers

For devices that Microsoft changes the driver for often, 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 safer by ensuring you always get the latest updates. This means any settings you’ve put in place to restrict updates may be erased after a major feature update. Typically, smaller security updates don’t 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. Ensure your pause interval still exists along with your active hours. Also, select “Advanced options” if you’ve changed any of these in the past, such as receiving other Microsoft product updates.

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Advanced

If you’ve set a metered connection to prevent updates until you’re ready for them, double-check that setting too. Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Wi-Fi.” Click “Manage known networks” in the right pane. Select your network(s) and choose Properties.

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Networks

You can also change whether your computer automatically connects and whether your PC is discoverable on a network on this screen.

4. Windows Apps Return

Apparently, Microsoft knows what apps and software users need more than users do. Of course, that applies to most any tech developer. But, as with most devices, you want the bloatware gone. For instance, many users don’t want XBox on their Windows 10 computers. While Microsoft makes it hard to remove it, it’s possible to remove almost all traces of it.

Check your installed apps to see if anything’s returned. If it’s something that’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 the Windows defaults to open certain files, a major Windows 10 update may revert you back to the original default. A quick check ensures you’re using the right app when you open a file.

Go to “Settings -> Apps -> Default Apps.” Click any category to change the current default.

The Windows 10 Update Checklist Default Apps

Customizing Your Windows 10 Update Checklist

As part of your Windows 10 update checklist, take the time to go through your personalized settings and list what you’ve changed. Then, when a new update arrives, you can use your personalized settings list to compare with the settings after a major update.

Always back up your files before major updates. While files aren’t supposed to be deleted, it does happen sometimes. Of course, an error during the update can also corrupt files. Also, don’t forget to check out the latest problems with Windows updates and how to fix them.

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Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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