Sunday, November 23, 2008

Running Windows Update in Vista

Running Windows Updates is an important part of regular computer maintenance. These free updates are software patches designed to fix problems and vulnerabilities in Windows. By making sure your computer is up to date, you're helping to protect your computer from viruses, hackers, and other malicious programs.

Microsoft has different categories of updates, but "critical" updates are the most important ones and should always be installed. You can configure your computer to download and install these updates automatically.

Microsoft also releases "recommended" updates. Some are worth installing, some aren't. In WinXP and earlier versions, recommended updates were not installed automatically. You had to review each update and make the choice to install. However, in Vista, you can configure Windows Update to automatically install recommended updates.

Running Windows Updates works a little differently differently in Vista than it did in WinXP and earlier versions. In Vista, there is an icon in the control panel now called, "Windows Updates". This is the tool used for running windows updates in Vista (as opposed to using Internet Explorer to go to the Windows Updates web site).

To turn on automatic updates in Vista, follow these steps:
  1. Click the START button and open the CONTROL PANEL
  2. Open the WINDOWS UPDATE icon (a new window opens)
  3. On the left pane, click the link that reads, CHANGE SETTINGS
  4. Make sure the option to "install updates automatically" is checked
  5. You can change the default time of 3 am if you like (updates will not be downloaded if the computer is off)
  6. Make sure the last two options (recommended updates and use Windows Update service) are checked.
  7. Click OK when finished.

To run Windows Updates manually in Vista, follow these steps:
  1. Click the START button and open the CONTROL PANEL
  2. Click the INSTALL UPDATES button in the main window (on right side)

Even if you have automatic updates turned on, it's a good idea to run Windows Updates manually once in a while to make sure all updates are installed.

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