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Microsoft regularly dispatches updates to Windows. These updates fill any exposed security holes in OS, provide stability to OS, and also protect your system from malwares. Given the critical importance of such updates, there is a separate Control Panel applet to manage Windows updates.

How to Launch It

  • Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
  • Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
  • Select “System and Security” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
  • Select “Windows Update”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.

The opening page of the applet gives you information like your default settings for updates, the last recent update check, the last update installation and what type of updates you receive.

The applet provides following functions.

Check for Updates

You can manually check for updates in this section. Click on “Check for Updates” link located on the left pane of the main page of the applet.

Windows immediately checks for any updates, and if any found, prompts you to install them.

Change Update Settings

You can determine how Windows checks for updates. There are 4 choices for that.

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  • By default, Windows checks for updates daily, and if any found, downloads and installs them automatically, without asking you.
  • The second option is to let Windows check for updates daily and download them for you. But, it won’t install them automatically. That decision remains in your hand.
  • If the second option doesn’t make too much sense, then you can configure Windows Update to check for updates daily, but prompt you to download and install them.
  • The fourth option (not really an option!) is not to check for updates at all. This is not recommended as you will miss all the critical security and stability patches.

Update History

This section lists all the updates that have been attempted by this applet till date.

Each entry in the list contains the following details.

  • Update name
  • Status – it was successfully installed, if it failed to download, or if it failed to install, etc.
  • Importance – how critical the update is to the system. “Important” updates should always be installed as they are critical to the stability and security of the system.
  • Installation date

To view further details of an update, right click on it and select “View details”. It will launch a window that provides all the details of the update.

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About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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