As I’ve mentioned in numerous “security” related articles here on DiscoverSkills, Windows Updates are an important part of keeping yourself safe from the “nasty stuff” that’s out there on the Internet.

And because of the importance of making sure your updates are happening, I routinely get asked… “how do I check for updates” and “can I manually do an update check“.

Great Questions!

The thing is, for most of you, Windows Updates are set to automatically happen, since Microsoft makes this the “default” (factory) setting when Windows is installed on a computer.

Still, it’s nice to know how to check and make sure the updates are really happening, and even do a “manual update check” now and then.

Making Sure Automatic Windows Updates are set to happen

  1. Go to the Start Menu and choose CONTROL PANEL
    1. Windows 8 users, RIGHT click the lower left corner of the Start Screen, and choose CONTROL PANEL
  2. In the Control Panel window, go to the upper corner and click the VIEW BY drop-down menu, and change to Large Icons (so you can see all the Control Panel options.
  3. Click on the WINDOWS UPDATE icon
  4. When the Windows Update window appears, click CHANGE SETTINGS on the left menu.
  5. You should see the option that says “Install updates automatically (recommended)” already chosen (see the screenshot below). If you don’t see this option chosen, you can click on the drop-down menu and choose it.Windows-Update-Settings01

 

Manually Checking for Updates

Even if you have automatic updates set to happen, you can always “manually check” for updates, just to make sure nothing was missed.

  1. Go to the Start Menu and choose CONTROL PANEL
    1. Windows 8 users, RIGHT click the lower left corner of the Start Screen, and choose CONTROL PANEL
  2. In the Control Panel window, go to the upper corner and click the VIEW BY drop-down menu, and change to Large Icons (so you can see all the Control Panel options.
  3. Click on the WINDOWS UPDATE icon
  4. On the main screen, notice if it says if any “important updates are available“. If not, skip to step 7.
    Here is what it will look like if an update is available…Windows 7 - Windows Update available
  5. Click the “important updates are available” link to choose which updates you want to do.  Here is an example of where I had two important updates available. Sometimes when you visit this screen you’ll see a much longer list of available updates, including Windows updates, Internet Explorer updates, and even Microsoft Office updates (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).Windows 7 - Windows Update available02
  6. Checkmark any “important” update that’s listed, and then click the OK button to do the update.
  7. When the update is done, come back into the Windows Update screen so you can check to see that it’s been done.
  8. From the main Windows Update screen, on the left choose VIEW UPDATE HISTORY.
  9. Here is what it looked like on my computer…

Windows 7 - Windows Update available05

 

As always, I would love to hear your comments about the subject. You can leave them below!!!

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