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HomeTechnologyInstall updates manually on Windows 11 (six ways)

Install updates manually on Windows 11 (six ways)


  • To install updates manually on Windows 11, open Settings > Windows Update and click “Check for updates.”
  • You can also download and install updates manually from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.
  • To install updates manually with commands, you can use PowerShell and Command Prompt.

On Windows 11, a cumulative update (or quality update) is a service patch that Microsoft rolls out proactively to fix bugs, enhance security, and improve system performance. Although updates download automatically through Windows Update, sometimes it may still be necessary to install a specific patch manually.

For example, after a new installation of Windows 11 or if the computer hasn’t been connected to the internet for some time. If Windows Update isn’t working, it might be necessary to install an update manually to fix the problem. Or a specific driver needs an update, or you want to upgrade to a newer version of Windows.

Whatever the reason, Windows 11 has at least four ways to update the system using the Windows Update settings, manual download, Command Prompt, and PowerShell.

Microsoft offers three main types of updates (quality, optional, and feature updates). “Quality updates” are available monthly and include security and non-security fixes, improvements, and features (occasionally). “Optional updates” are not critical but necessary, such as drivers and product updates. Finally, “feature updates” are meant to upgrade the device to a newer version (for example, Windows 11 24H2).

In this guide, I will teach you six ways to install updates on Windows 11 manually.

Install updates manually on Windows 11

To install Windows 11 updates manually, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. (Optional) Check the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” toggle switch to download updates before they roll out automatically to everyone.

  4. Click the Check for updates button.

    Windows 11 check and install updates

  5. (Optional) Click the “Download and install” option to apply a preview of an upcoming update of Windows 11.

    Quick note: Optional updates usually include non-security changes that Microsoft plans to release in the next Patch Tuesday rollout.

  6. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, if an update is available, it will download and install automatically on Windows 11.

Install updates manually from Microsoft Update Catalog on Windows 11

To download and install an update manually on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Update Catalog website.

  2. Search for the knowledge base number of the update – for example, KB5039239.

    Quick tip: You can check the update history tracker if you do not know the latest update reference number.

  3. Click the Download button for the update to install manually on Windows 11.

    Microsoft Update Catalog download

    Quick note: The page usually lists two versions, including ARM64 and x64. Unless you have an ARM-based device, you must download the x64 version of the cumulative update.

  4. Click the link to download the .msu package to your computer.

  5. Click the Close button.

  6. Double-click the “.msu” file to launch the installer.

  7. Click the Yes button to install the update.

  8. Click the Restart now button.

After you complete the steps, the cumulative update will apply to Windows 11.

Install updates manually from Command Prompt on Windows 11

Windows 11 doesn’t have a Command Prompt tool to check and download updates. However, you can use commands to install update packages manually.

To install Windows 11 updates with Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Update Catalog website.

  2. Search for the knowledge base number of the update – for example, KB5039239.

  3. Click the Download button to save the cumulative update package on your computer.

    Microsoft Update Catalog download

  4. Click the link to download the “.msu” package.

  5. Click the Close button.

  6. Open Start.

  7. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  8. Type the following command to install a new update on Windows 11 and press Enter:

    wusa c:\PATH\TO\UPDATE.msu /quiet /norestart

    In the command, update the path with the location and name of the .msu package. This example installs the KB5039239 update:

    wusa c:\Users\USERACCOUNT\Downloads\windows10.0-kb5039239-x64.msu /quiet /norestart

    Command Prompt install Windows 11 update

  9. Type the following command to confirm the update was installed correctly and press Enter:

    wmic qfe list brief /format:pagele
  10. Type the following command to restart the device and press Enter:

    shutdown /r /t 00

After you complete the steps, the quality update will install quietly, and the computer will continue to finish applying the changes on Windows 11.

Install updates manually from PowerShell on Windows 11

Alternatively, you can install a PowerShell module to download and update updates manually on Windows 11.

To install updates manually with PowerShell commands, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to install the PowerShell module to update Windows 11 and press Enter:

    Install-Module PSWindowsUpdate

    PowerShell install PSWindowUpdate

  4. Type “Y” to accept and press Enter.

  5. Type “A” to install the module and press Enter.

  6. Type the following command to allow scripts to run on PowerShell and press Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
    Quick tip: If you’re getting a PowerShell error about a policy being defined at a more specific scope, then use the Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope CurrentUser command. You can learn more about the steps to change the execution policy to run scripts on PowerShell here.
  7. Type the following command to import the installed module and press Enter:

    Import-Module PSWindowsUpdate

    PowerShell import module

  8. Type the following command to check for Windows 11 updates with PowerShell and press Enter:

    Get-WindowsUpdate
  9. Type the following command to select, download, and install a specific update and press Enter:

    Install-WindowsUpdate -KBArticleID KBNUMBER

    In the command, replace “KBNUMBER” with the Windows update number you want to install. This example downloads and applies the KB5039239 update for Microsoft Defender:

    Install-WindowsUpdate -KBArticleID KB5039239 

    PowerShell install Windows 11 updates

  10. Type “A” to confirm the installation and press Enter.

  11. (Optional) Type the following command to download and install all available updates and press Enter:

    Install-WindowsUpdate

    Quick note: When using this command, you will be applying system updates and optional updates that may include driver updates.

  12. Type “A” to confirm the installation and press Enter.

  13. Type “Y” to confirm the restart and press Enter (if applicable).

  14. (Optional) Type the following command to view a list of previously installed updates and press Enter:

    Get-WUHistory

Once you complete the steps, the Windows 11 updates will download and install on your device.

Install optional updates on Windows 11

On Windows 11, optional updates are not critical but may be necessary for other functionalities. Typically, these updates are available for Microsoft and other products, feature updates, and third-party drivers (such as printers, cameras, network adapters, graphics cards, and Bluetooth peripherals).

To install optional updates manually on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. Click the Advanced options page.

  4. Click the Optional updates setting under the “Additional options” section.

    Optional updates

  5. Click the category to reveal the available optional updates. For example, Driver updates.

  6. Check the optional updates you want to install on Windows 11.

    Windows 11 install optional updates

  7. Click the “Download and install” button.

After you complete the steps, Windows Update will install the packages on your computer.

Install feature updates on Windows 11

Feature updates refer to new versions of Windows 11. These updates are optional, and you can install them manually. However, if the current release of Windows 11 is reaching the end of service, the update will install automatically.

To install a feature update manually on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. Click the “Check for updates” button (if applicable).

  4. Click the “Download and Install now” button.

    Windows 11 install feature update

  5. Click the Restart now button.

In addition to Windows Update, you can install feature updates using the Installation Assistant or the official ISO file to perform an in-place upgrade. You can use a clean installation, which sometimes is the better option since upgrading with a fresh install can help fix existing issues and improve performance.

Update June 19, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and reflect changes to the process.



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