Speaking of running smoothly, however, these updates don't always do that.
In recent versions of Windows Microsoft has tried to make the process as pain-free as possible, but with so many hardware and software configurations out there, there's always the chance that some unexpected problem will crop up.
But if it does, don't panic – we've got you covered.
Read on to learn how to fix common problems with Windows updates.
The link should be available in Windows 7 and 8 too, but if not you can get at it on the web as well.
That said, if you haven't yet upgraded to Microsoft's latest and greatest operating system then it's probably still worth your while, as it's more than likely to solve your update problems at the same time.
System Restore has been helpful for solving Windows problems for many a year now, but it happens to be quite well hidden in Windows 10.
Go to Control Panel, System, System Protection and then click System Restore.
If Windows' own troubleshooter doesn't work (see step 4) then you can try and carry out the same process yourself manually: stopping the Windows Update service, deleting the temporary files it's created, then starting Windows Update again.
Safe Mode is like a restart with extras – only the very basic apps and code that Windows needs to run are loaded into memory, so there's even less chance of a rogue, damaged file interfering with the update.
In Windows 10, hold down the Shift key then choose Power and Restart from the Windows sign-in screen.
If you've got the time, and the patience, we'd recommend waiting a couple of hours, especially with slower machines – go and cut the grass or watch a movie.
It may seem extreme, but you don't want to start meddling with these fundamental processes unless you really have to.