The Windows Update tool has two main purposes: firstly, some updates are used to improve the way your computer's operating system runs. Secondly, other updates protect your machine from malicious software from the Internet or portable storage devices. By keeping your copy of Windows updated, you can help to keep your computer safe and running smoothly. Microsoft recommends that you allow updates to be installed automatically, but they can also be installed manually.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Make sure you have an Internet connection. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or move the mouse cursor to the top right corner and choose "Search." Run a query for "Control Panel," and choose the "Control Panel" shortcut when it appears.
Select "System and Security" from the front page of Control Panel, then "Windows Update." Click or tap "Check for updates."
Click or tap the "important updates" link to download and install crucial updates for your operating system. Place a tick next to all of the updates you'd like to install, then click or tap "Install." A progress bar appears on screen showing how much of the process has been completed.
Tips and warnings
- Windows splits updates into two groups: important and optional. The important updates are essential for your PC's well-being and security. Optional updates are less urgent and usually relate to hardware peripherals and minor upgrades. Optional updates can be installed in the same way as important updates from the Windows Update utility.
- Avoid having to manually download and install Windows updates by switching on automatic updating, as recommended by Microsoft. From the System and Security page in Control Panel, choose "Turn automatic updating on or off," then select "Install updates automatically (recommended)" from the drop-down menu.
- Switching automatic updates off may put you at risk from malicious viruses and the performance of your computer may be compromised.
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