Should you upgrade to Windows 10 October 2018 Update?

Short answer: yes.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
3 min read
Matt Elliott/CNET

I get it. You are happy with the current version of Windows. It works. You know where things are located. You have no immediate need or desire for new features. And you feel that installing updates lies somewhere between inconvenient and laborious.

Microsoft is set to release Windows 10 October 2018 Update soon -- next month if its name is any indication -- and I recommend you install it. Not for the new features necessarily, although some look promising, such as using machine learning to make installing updates less annoying since we are on the topic. No, you should update because it will keep you and your PC more secure.

Watch this: Samsung intros 'unbreakable' screen; Windows 10 updates to be less painful

Stay up-to-date and secure

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 -- once in the spring and once in the fall. Windows 10 October 2018 Update is a feature update.
  • 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.

With each update, Microsoft patches known security vulnerabilities. If you don't stay current, then you are leaving yourself open to nefarious individuals exploiting flaws in Windows to access your PC and your data. I don't mean to sound alarmist, but hackers target Windows with greater frequency than other platforms for the simple fact that they get more bang for their buck. The number of systems running Windows dwarfs that of MacOS, Linux and Chrome OS combined.

Keeping current with Windows updates is one of the most effective ways in protecting yourself. And if you think installing Windows updates is a pain, it is certainly less painful than getting infected with malware or getting hacked.

How to check for updates

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates to keep your PC secure and updated, but you can manually, too. Open Settings, click Update & security. You should be staring at the Windows Update page (if not, click Windows Update from the left panel). If an update is  not already waiting to be installed, click the Check for updates button to check for yourself.

A good argument can be made for delaying an update for a few days or weeks to make sure Microsoft is able to iron out all the kinks. Learn how to delay installation of Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Come for the security, stay for the new features

Windows 10 October 2018 Update will introduce a number of new features. They include:

  • The Your Phone app for cross-Windows 10/Android communications.
  • Updates for Windows Mixed Reality, including support for more AR-like experiences and the ability to use a headset without a monitor.
  • Updates to Edge for managing autoplay audio and Windows Hello-based website logins.
  • The rollout of the SwiftKey keyboard for touch, laying the groundwork for dual-screen tablets .
  • Separation of font scaling settings from the rest of the interface's scaling, a useful tool for high-resolution displays that can make text both incredible crisp and insanely tiny.
  • A new and improved screenshot tool.
  • Game Bar enhancements including improved audio recording and system performance monitoring.
  • A notification telling you if an application is still using an external GPU when you try to detach it.

Like what you see and can't wait for the official release? You can install Windows 10 October 2018 Update right now.