Windows 7 Tutorial

Show and restore hidden Windows Updates in Windows 7

The previous tutorial explained how to disable and hide a particular Windows Update; this process can only be done manually, and applies to either "important updates" (formerly known as "critical updates"), or "optional updates" Windows 7 will suggest, like additional software from Microsoft (Windows Live Essentials) or third-party vendors, like drivers for your processor, video card, etc. This tutorial shows you how to restore and show updates you chose to hide earlier on. To repeat something we said then: unless you have a very good reason to do so, you should never hide patches and upgrades to your machine that Windows Update deemed "important" - these typically affect both stability of the operating system and its security (vital to keep up-to-date if your PC connects to the internet).


Unhide an update in Windows 7

If needed, start by launch Windows Updates in the Control Panel: click on the start menu, type "update" in the search field, and select "Windows Update" in the results.

And you are done! Remember that you only un-hid these patches: you will now need to install them. Depending on your current settings, "important" updates should automatically be downloaded and installed. Optional ones will need to be manually selected (click on the "X optional updates are available" link, check the ones you want, and click "OK").

Note: if, after restoring a particular update, Windows Updates doesn't show it alongside the current important or optional updates, it simply means that since you hid that item, a newer patch addressed that functionality or security hole, and that your computer no longer needs that item. Likewise, if you no longer use a piece of hardware for which that patch was relevant, Windows 7 may no longer display it after you choose to restore it.

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