Windows 11 gets policy to manage optional updates

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  • Microsoft released a new policy to manage optional update previews for Windows 11.
  • The new policy is known as “Enable Optional Updates.”
  • The policy allows admins to decide how computers receive monthly non-security update previews.

Microsoft has introduced a new policy to control optional updates for Windows 11, but these new settings are meant for network administrators, not regular users. As part of the maintenance process, the company releases non-security updates as previews before the update rolls out to everyone with security fixes, and the new policy gives administrators a way to manage the rollout of these previews.

The new “Enable Optional Updates” policy is available for Windows 11 22H2 and higher releases through the Group Policy on Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered from Windows Update, and it offers three options, including “Automatically receive optional updates (including CFRs),” “Automatically receive optional updates,” and “Users can select what optional updates to receive.”

The policy is available through the Configuration Service Provider (CSP) Policy on Policy > Config > Update > AllowOptionalContent.

If you select the “Automatically receive optional updates (including CFRs)” option, devices will receive the latest optional non-security updates, including gradual feature rollouts.

The “Automatically receive optional updates” option allows devices only to get the latest optional non-security updates, but they won’t automatically download gradual feature rollouts.

Finally, the “Users can select what optional updates to receive” option allows users to choose whether they want to receive optional updates. In the “Windows Update” settings, users can also enable the toggle “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” to automatically receive optional updates and gradual feature rollouts. Alternatively, the user can also choose the update through Settings > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Optional updates.

You don’t need to configure this policy if you have a device not connected to Active Directory. You can always manually choose to receive optional update previews from the Windows Update settings with the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” option.

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