On Windows 11, optional updates are those that are not required by the operating system but may be needed for other features. Most of the time, optional updates include a variety of drivers for the components on your computer, as well as package updates for third-party software.

Further, these updates include packages for both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products, feature updates, and third-party drivers, among other things (such as for printers, cameras, and network adapters).

Optional updates were previously installed automatically, but starting with the version 2004, May 2020 Update, a new section has been added to the Settings app that allows you to view and choose which updates to install manually.

Steps to Download and Install Optional Updates in Windows 11

The majority of the time, optional updates aren’t required for your system. However, if any hardware becomes unresponsive or fails to function correctly, you can install these optional updates to resolve the issue.

Follow these simple steps to download and install optional updates in Windows 11:

  1. Open Settings by either pressing Win + I or clicking on the Start button and launching the settings app directly.windows 11 settings
  2. In the main Settings window, click on Windows Update at the bottom left corner.
  3. Next, click on Advanced Options. How to Download and Install Optional Updates in Windows 11
  4. Now, on the right side, under Additional Options, click on Optional Updates. dditional Options, click on Optional Updates
  5. Click on the down arrow to list the number of available optional updates. How to Download and Install Optional Updates in Windows 11
  6. Select the one you think is needed for your computer to work correctly from the list of available updates. For instance, we are selecting the ELAN mouse driver, which is our touchpad driver in our case. ELAN mouse driver
  7. Put a tick mark on the left side of the update and click on Download & Install.

The Bottom Line

Well, that’s all we have here about downloading and installing optional updates in Windows 11. Although these updates are not mandatory, they help in the smooth functioning of the operating system. However, it is up to you if your system is operating smoothly. There’s no such need to download these.

On the other hand, some updates may require a restart, depending upon the nature of the update. Therefore, we recommend saving your work before you click on the Restart button. We hope this guide helped you and now you have a clear idea of what you are doing.

If someone’s having trouble doing this on their own, you can help them using the Remote desktop feature. We recommend checking out our guide on enabling the Remote Desktop on Windows 11. Moreover, you would be elated to know that the Windows 11 context menu is getting a new design.