Beginning November 5th, 2020, you will see a clear distinction between automatic and manual updates in Windows Update, completing the transformation of driver servicing that we began earlier this year.
Back in August, we introduced an improved update experience on Windows 10 PCs to help you discover available Windows 10 feature updates, monthly non-security quality updates, and driver updates. Now, to give users more control, Microsoft is redefining the way manual drivers are serviced for machines running Windows 10, version 2004 and later.
In the past, when a user connected a peripheral device (a web camera, for example) to their machine for the first time, and that device had a manual driver (formally known as an optional driver) available on Windows Update, the manual driver was automatically installed on the user's machine. The user had no control over the decision.
Beginning November 5th, 2020:
Automatic driver updates will automatically be installed on your machine either when you plug-in a peripheral device for the first time, or when a device manufacturer publishes a driver to Windows Update. In other words, there will be no change to the plug-and-play scenario when an automatic driver is available on Windows Update.
Manual driver updates can be installed manually on your machine if you specifically request them by navigating to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional updates.
For IT professionals managing drivers on behalf of their organizations, there will be no change. The changes described above applies only to machines that are open to receive driver updates directly from Windows Update.