How to . . . Get the Windows Anniversary Update

The latest version of Windows is out now, but how do you – and should you – get it?

The latest version of Windows is out now, but how do you – and should you – get it?

The latest version of Windows is out now, but how do you – and should you – get it?


If you’ve updated your laptop to Windows 10, you may have noticed some talk about the Windows 10 anniversary update.

You might be suspicious, especially if you were burned by the whole Windows 8 thing. But the newest version of the software brings some good stuff with it, refining what was already there and adding some useful tools.

It includes a wider role for Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, a better and more useful Action Centre, and a Dark mode that will turn all Windows 10’s light menus black – handy for night working.

There is Windows Hello to sign into websites – Microsoft’s biometric authentication method – and Tablet mode has been improved. The anniversary update also brings the Universal Windows Store and integration with the Xbox. And if you’re a pen user, Windows Ink makes it an altogether more pleasant experience.

There are a couple of ways to get the anniversary update on your machine. The first is to turn on automatic updates and wait. Microsoft is pushing out the new software in waves to all Windows 10 machines that allow automatic updates, starting with newer machines first. You don’t have to do anything, it just arrives.

The second way, for those of us who have no patience or have decided not to allow Microsoft to plonk software on our machines at its whim, is to manually update your PC. It’s a simple process, but it can take a while, so be prepared to have your laptop or computer require an internet connection for a while.

First, make sure you have at least 5GB of hard drive space free on your machine. Once you’ve got that sorted – try the recycle bin, it’s usually stuffed with old stuff you forgot you deleted – go to All Settings>Update & Security> Windows Update.

You’ll see the last time your system was updated, and a button to check for any new system software. Click that button, and you should get the anniversary update delivered to your machine.

If you want updates to be installed automatically from now on, click on Advanced options on that screen, and choose Automatic from the drop down box.

One suggestion: to stop your PC from doing the very annoying random restarts to install updates when you are in the middle of some important work, you should think about customising your active hours. That means telling Windows 10 that you work between 9am and 6pm, for example, and you don’t want it bothering you with restarts during that time.

To do that, go to Settings>Windows Update and under Update settings, choose Change Active Hours.

That’s another change brought with the Anniversary update, and one of the most useful.