How to Update Apps on Windows 11

Automatically or manually, here's how to do it

Updating apps isn't just for the benefit of new features. Software bugs and security vulnerabilities are addressed in updates, too, which improve the overall usability and security of your apps, and ultimately other files and personal information.

There are two major categories of apps installed in Windows 11: Microsoft Store apps and third-party apps. We'll go over how to update both below.

The instructions in this article apply to Windows 11. If the screenshots or steps don't match what you see on your computer, you might be using an older build version.

How to Update Apps on Windows 11

There are two ways to update apps installed through the Microsoft Store: manually and automatically.

Manual App Updates

Update an app manually if you know a newer version is available but Windows hasn't given it to you yet. This isn't the ideal way to keep your apps updated, which is why auto-updating is enabled by default, but you can still force Windows 11 apps to update manually.

  1. Open Microsoft Store from the taskbar or by searching for it.

  2. Choose Library from the bottom-left side.

  3. Select Get updates to check for and then bulk install all app updates.

    Microsoft Store library list of apps with Get Updates highlighted

Another way to manually update a Windows 11 app is to re-download it. This will force your computer to get the latest version that's available. To do so, search for the app on your computer and choose Uninstall. Then, revisit its download page in the store to get it again.

Automatic App Updates

Keeping your apps up to date all the time is important. Microsoft encourages this by enabling automatic updates by default. If apps aren't updating on their on when necessary, check that this setting is toggled on.

Select your profile image at the top of the Microsoft Store to find App settings, and then ensure that App updates is turned on.

Microsoft Store app settings with App Updates and the App Updates toggle highlighted

How to Update Other Apps on Your PC

Lots of software is available outside the Microsoft Store. For example, all the programs you download through your web browser are maintained separately from Microsoft Store apps, which means updating them is a bit different.

Most apps include an option in the Help menu or within the settings to check for updates or to turn on automatic updates. You can sometimes manually trigger the update from there, too, otherwise, you're simply told to visit the company's website to find the latest version. To do that, simply visit the site in question, find and download the program that needs the update, and install it like you did the first time you put it on your computer.

Google Chrome update in progress
Google Chrome update in progress.

Another way to update non-Microsoft Store apps is with a software updater tool. These are programs, too, but they function more like Microsoft Store since they can scan for outdated software and sometimes even provide easy-to-use 'install' buttons to bulk update all your apps.

Windows Updates Are Different

Windows 11 also includes a tool called Windows Update. Although it might, at first look, appear to be a source for app updates, such as those available through Microsoft Store, it's actually completely different.

Windows Update history

Windows Update is where you go to update Windows 11 (i.e., the entire operating system). When you download and install updates with Windows Update, you won't find new versions of your everyday apps like Netflix, Spotify, etc., but instead new features and security improvements for the whole OS.

Keeping Windows 11 up to date is just as, if not more, important than maintaining fresh versions of all your apps.

  • How do I update apps on Windows 10?

    To update Windows 10 apps, make sure Windows 10's automatic update feature is turned on. Go to the Microsoft Store app, select Settings, and ensure Update apps automatically is toggled on. To update Windows 10 apps manually, open the Store app, select the three-dot icon, and click Downloads and updates > Get Updates.

  • How do I update apps on Windows 8?

    If you're using a Windows 8 PC, navigate to Store > Settings, and select App Updates. Ensure that Automatically update my apps is set to Yes. To update apps manually, go to Store > Settings > App Updates and select Check for Updates.

  • How do I uninstall apps on Windows 11?

    Press Windows key + i, then select Apps from the menu on the left. Select Apps & features, then find the app you want to uninstall and click the three-dot icon to its right. Select Uninstall, then follow the prompts to uninstall the app.

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