In Windows, you can track updates in two main locations: the Windows Update History and the Installed Updates section within Programs and Features.
Windows Update History: This is often the first port of call when checking which updates have been installed on your computer. It captures all updates delivered via Windows Update. This encompasses OS updates, drivers, and select Microsoft products like Office. However, there are a couple of things to note:
- The history here isn't permanent. Generally, it only retains a record of updates from the past few months.
- Running the "Disk Cleanup" utility and selecting "Windows Update Cleanup" will clear this history. Nonetheless, the actual updates will remain on your system.
Installed Updates in Programs and Features: This is a more comprehensive record, detailing both OS updates and those for individual applications installed via Programs and Features. This list can include updates for third-party software or specific Microsoft applications not covered by Windows Update. A key difference is its persistence: even after running the "Windows Update Cleanup", this record remains intact.
In Summary: Windows Update History offers a transient log of updates sourced from Windows Update. In contrast, the Installed Updates section in Programs and Features gives a more enduring and broad record, covering updates that may have been manually installed or sourced elsewhere.
Reasons why updates might appear in Installed Updates but not in Windows Update History include:
- The update wasn’t sourced from Windows Update.
- The update’s record in the Windows Update History has aged out.
- The "Disk Cleanup" utility's "Windows Update Cleanup" option was employed.