As you know, Windows provides free updates to their software through the Windows Update site. It's always a good idea to download and install all critical (or important) updates. The rest are optional.
When there have been significant changes affecting the operating system, Microsoft release them in the form of a Service Pack. For Vista users, SP2 is the latest service pack. For Windows XP users, SP3 is the latest service pack.
To get SP2 (Vista users), follow the steps below:
- Click START button and then CONTROL PANEL
- Double left-click the WINDOWS UPDATE icon to open it
In the main window, you may see a button that reads, INSTALL UPDATES (if there are any). Under that button (if it's present), you'll see a link that reads, "VIEW AVAILABLE UPDATES". If you click this link, it will show you all the updates that Microsoft has made available for your computer. If an item is checked, it will be installed on your computer when you click the "Install Updates" button. If it's not checked, it won't be installed.
It's all pretty simple in Vista. If you're not sure what Service Pack you're running and would like to check, follow the steps below.
- Click the START button and then RIGHT-CLICK on COMPUTER.
Please note that after you install a service pack on your computer, you'll have to reboot it. During the reboot process, the updates will be installed - which can take a while (about 20 minutes or so).