What is Windows Update and why should I run it?

The Windows Update (or Microsoft Update) utility is used to keep your Windows-based computer up-to-date with the latest patches. PCs connected to the UNC Network must be up-to-date on critical patches that have been available for 2 months or longer to connect to our network. These updates will close security holes in your computer and hopefully prevent you from being hacked or infected with viruses. This will also help protect other users on our network from any potential problems with your computer.

Windows 10

  1. Select the Start Windows logo Start button, and then go to Settings (The Gear-shaped Settings icon).
  2. Go to the Update & security section.
  3. Windows Update, and select Check for updates. If Windows Update says your device is up to date, you have all the updates that are currently available.

Windows 8 and 8.1

  1. Display the Start tile by moving the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  2. Right-click the Start tile and select Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Security.
  4. Click the Check for updates link under Windows Update.
  5. Click the Install Updates button if Windows 8 or 8.1 finds an update for your computer.

Windows Vista and 7

  1. Go to Start and type “Windows Update” and then select that item.
  2. Follow the instructions to install any Critical updates, plus any others that you choose.

Windows XP

  1. Open Internet Explorer (this will not work with other browsers).
  2. Visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com or go to Tools>Windows Update.
  3. Click on the Scan for updates link.
  4. After the scanning has completed click the “Review and install updates” link and then the Install Now button.

By default, this will only select the Critical Updates and Service Packs, which will fix any security holes or major programming errors. If you wish to install any additional updates, such as Windows Software Updates or Driver Updates, select those by clicking on the appropriate heading on the left and then choose Add.

Want to save some time? We recommend you configure your computer to automatically download and install any Critical updates. Instructions for this configuration can be found at Automatic Update Feature in Windows.