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Windows 7: Optional or Recommended (Critical) Updates

23 Oct 2012   #1

Optional or Recommended (Critical) Updates

I've noticed that when I put an "Optional" update (Win 7) into the Hidden "folder," it is then marked "Recommended." If I "restore" a Hidden Recommended update, it then changes to "Optional" when it is restored.
Does anyone know what I am trying to explain? A file says Optional when I look in the (Critical) Updates page and when I put it in the Hidden folder, it (the category) changes to Recommended.

Can anyone help solve this problem please?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello Alice and welcome to Seven Forums. Here's more information about Windows Updates than you probably wanted to know.

Updates are classified as Important, Recommended, Optional, and Featured. Here's what they mean:
  • Important updates offer significant benefits, such as improved security, privacy, and reliability. They should be installed as they become available, and can be installed automatically with Windows Update.
  • Recommended updates address non-critical problems or help enhance your computing experience. While these updates do not address fundamental issues with your computer or Windows software, they can offer meaningful improvements. These can be installed automatically.
  • Optional updates can include updates, drivers, or new software from Microsoft to enhance your computing experience. You can only install these manually.
Depending on the type of update, Windows Update can deliver the following:
  • Security updates. A broadly released fix for a product-specific security-related vulnerability. Security vulnerabilities are rated based on their severity, which is indicated in the Microsoft security bulletin as critical, important, moderate, or low.
  • Critical updates. A broadly released fix for a specific problem addressing a critical, non-security related bug.
  • Service Packs. A tested, cumulative set of hotfixes, security updates, critical updates, and updates, as well as additional fixes for problems found internally since the release of the product. Service Packs might also contain a limited number of customer-requested design changes or features.

I believe that Microsoft would like everyone to install every update they issue regardless of classification. Even the optional updates. So when an optional update is hidden, I believe Microsoft changes it to recommended just to make it a more "forceful" reminder that it really should be installed.

Of course, I could be totally wrong on this and perhaps one of our more knowledgeable experts will jump in to correct me. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Optional or Recommended (Critical) Updates

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