Manage Learn to apply best practices and optimize your operations.

Win10 Alternate Update History Sources

Because yesterday was “Patch Tuesday” I went to check Update history that morning. After clicking Start → Settings → Update & Security → Windows Update → View update history, I got nothing. Zip, zilch, nada, in other words. Some quick online research showed me that this happens sometimes with 1809. And that’s what set me haring off after Win10 alternate update history sources. Luckily, I found two pretty good ones without too much effort: one through the command line, another in Control Panel. But first, here’s what I saw (or rather, didn’t see) in Settings, etc.:

Win10 Alternate Update History Sources.noinfo

I had to draw a border around the image so you could see “a whole lotta nothin’!”

Two Good Win10 Alternate Update History Sources, Revealed

Source one comes from the command line, and works with equal facility in PowerShell or cmd.exe. Simply type the string wmic qfe list and you’ll see a list of all updates applied on the host PC. For the incurably curious, wmic is the Windows Management Instrumentation Class, and qfe provides the data related to quickfix engineering. Here’s what that looks like in PowerShell:

Win10 Alternate Update History Sources.wmic

This command string shows you all currently installed updates including an info URL, host PC name, description, KB number, install date, and more. Helpful, but cryptic.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

Control Panel, Programs & Features is another place to find this kind of info. In that window click the item that reads “View installed updates” at the upper left, and you’ll see a windows that shows all currently installed updates on the target PC. Here’s what that looks like:

Win10 Alternate Update History Sources.inst-upd

This widget shows you more than WMIC, because it includes security updates (Adobe Player), Silverlight stuff, Visual C++ redistributables, and even Office updates (if you’ve installed Office standalone, this PC has a 365 E3 subscription).

The moral of the story is that if Windows 10 won’t tell you something one way, there’s almost always another way to get the information you want or need. All you have to do is figure out how to get it. Fortunately, that turned out to be pretty darn easy … this time.

Virtual Desktop