Fix: Windows Update Missing from Settings in Windows 10/11

If the Windows Update option (and the “Check for Updates” button) is missing in Settings, it may be due to a group policy or registry-based policy setting.

windows update missing in settings - settingspagevisibility

Despite this issue, you’re able to install updates manually by downloading the .msu package from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Cause

There is a group policy setting named “Settings Page Visibility” which allows administrators to hide specific settings in the Settings dialog. This policy also allows admins to show only specified settings. It’s possible that the setting is enabled on your computer via a registry-based policy.

This policy allows IT Admins to either:

  • Prevent specific pages in the System Settings app from being visible or accessible.
    (or)
  • To do so for all pages except the pages you enter.

This article tells you how to remove the policy setting in Windows 10 and 11.



Solution: Windows Update Missing in Settings

To show Windows Update (and the Check for Updates button) in Settings, follow these steps:

Method 1: Using Group Policy Editor (Pro and higher)

  1. Launch the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
  2. Go to the following branches one by one:
    Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Control Panel
    User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Control Panel
  3. In the above locations, double-click the “Settings Page Visibility” policy and set it to “Not configured”.
    (If it’s already set to “Not configured”, set it to “Disabled”, click Apply, and then set it to “Not configured”).
  4. Exit the Group Policy Editor.

Method 2: Using the Registry Editor

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following branch:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  3. Right-click “SettingsPageVisibility” (if the value exists) and choose Delete.
  4. Next, switch to the following branch (if it exists):
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  5. Right-click “SettingsPageVisibility” (if the value exists) and choose Delete.
  6. Exit the Registry Editor.

Using Command-line

To automate the above using command-line, open an admin Command Prompt and type these two commands:

reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer /v "SettingsPageVisibility" /f
reg delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer /v "SettingsPageVisibility" /f

Launch Settings now. The Windows Update option, the “Check for updates” button, Active hours, Windows Update Advanced options, Windows Update Optional updates, Windows Update Restart options, and the Windows Update “View update history” pages should now be visible.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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