If you have refused Microsoft's Windows 10 updates for the past couple of years, it's now time to upgrade. Microsoft announced that it is no longer rolling out security and quality updates to Windows 10 version 1511, which was released nearly two years ago in November 2015.
What's a quality update?
There are two types of Microsoft updates: feature updates and quality updates. Feature updates add new features and functionality and are generally released twice a year. Quality updates provide security and reliability fixes and are released monthly -- typically on what is known as Patch Tuesday, the second Tuesday of every month. When Microsoft says that Windows 10 version 1511 will no longer receive security and quality updates, it's just being redundant; security fixes come by way of quality updates.
Does it matter if I'm running Windows 10 Home or Pro?
It does not. The end of service for Windows 10 version 1511 affects not only both Windows 10 Home and Pro editions but also Windows 10 Education and Enterprise editions.
How do I check which version of Window 10 I have?
In the search box on the taskbar, type winver and hit Enter. This opens the About Windows window that tells you which version of Windows 10 you are running. If it listed as Version 1511 (or, gasp!, earlier), then it's time to update.
How do I update?
Open the Settings app and choose Update & security. Next, choose Windows Update from the left column and then click the Check for updates button. Or, if an update is sitting there waiting for you, click the Restart now button to restart your PC and install the update. Alternatively, you could wait until next week and install Windows 10 Fall Creators Update when it's released on October 17.
And if I refuse?
Well, your computer will continue to work but you will no longer receive updates to patch up any holes that might leave you open to future security vulnerabilities. You will be operating, as they say, without a net.