75% of Windows Central readers agree on when to install Windows 10 updates

Surface Go 2
Surface Go 2 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Windows Central readers recently answered a poll regarding when they install Windows 10 updates.
  • Just under 75% of polled readers install Windows 10 updates right away.
  • Roughly 25% of those that answered the poll wait to install Windows 10 updates.

Over the weekend, we ran a poll asking, "Do you update Windows 10 right away or wait?" The votes are in, and polled Windows Central readers seem to agree that immediately installing updates is the way to go. As of the time of this writing, just under 75% of those that voted said they install updates right away, leaving approximately 25% waiting to see if any issues arise.

The poll was inspired by the Windows 10 May 2021 Update rolling out last week. As is normally the case when feature updates roll out to Windows 10, our readers checked out our guides on how to get the Windows 10 May 2021 Update and how to stop automatic updates on Windows 10. We wanted to know which way the majority of people leaned.

Reader "ArcadeDayDream" falls in the camp of installing updates right away:

I always install right away. I know I often post criticism of Windows 10, but I've never personally run into any technical problems with their 6 month upgrade cycle. In fact, the one time where it would have been bad if I did upgrade (PCIe SSD storage on system drive had a nasty bug at 20H2's release), MS blocked it until the bug was fixed.

While the majority of people polled update right away, reader "Jmgbooks" explained waiting:

I wait because there always seem to be "known" and some unknown issues plaguing every update. So I pause updates for at least two weeks after each Patch Tuesday while I monitor various messageboards, Reddit, blogs and websites to see what problems people are reporting, is Microsoft aware of the issues and if they are offering any guidance or formulating a fix. If the issue(s) being reported are not germane to me (last Patch Tuesday the problems affected gamers, which I'm not), I unpause updates and go ahead.

We'll keep the poll open, so you can check back in and see if the results change as more people weigh in.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • We've also learned technically minded people, possibly men, are reckless by nature :). Wait a month. What's the rush chap.
  • Typically, the updates fix security holes. So if you are good with leaving known vulnerabilities unpatched for a month, that's your choice.
  • By the time of release, they've already gone through extensive testing. We're not talking about Insider builds.
  • YOLO, FOMO. This is an enthusiast site. People here are going to skew towards doing it right away. Regular people don't even know there is an update until the system offers it.
  • I always install updates when they become available, but I always make a Macrium image of the system drive before updating. If anything goes wrong it's a 5-minute repair job.
  • Complex systems are complex. Polling users, delaying patches, or voting on what's best changes nothing. Make your system safe - ensure good practices for backup/recovery and apply those patches. The passing of time doesn't change complexity. If you need to experiment/test/learn on your own against things that you can control, then do so through the insider program.
  • I generally update right away unless it's in the Dev Channel only, in which case I look at the known issues and fixes before updating.
  • I install cumulative updates right away, but I presume the poll is about feature updates. For those, I'll wait a few months.
  • Whatever the update, I just wait for my laptop to auto install it. Don't think i've clicked the 'check now/install update' button in settings in the last 2-3 years tbh