windows automatic updates

windows automatic updates

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Windows Automatic Updates

 

An introduction to windows automatic updates

 

With Windows Automatic Updates, Windows routinely checks for updates that can help protect your computer against the latest viruses and other security threats. These high-priority updates are available through the Windows Update Web site and include security updates, critical updates, or service packs.

When you turn on Automatic Updates, you don't have to search for updates online or worry that critical fixes might be missing. Windows automatically downloads and installs them for you, using a schedule that you determine. If you prefer to download and install updates yourself, you can also set up Automatic Updates to notify you whenever any high-priority updates become available.

Why Use Scheduled Windows Automatic Updates?

If you have not turned on Windows Automatic Updates, your computer is more vulnerable to viruses and other security threats. When you turn on Automatic Updates, Windows routinely checks the Windows Update Web site for high-priority updates that can help protect your computer against attacks. High-priority updates include security updates, critical updates, and service packs.

Scheduled updates offer:

Convenience

You don't have to remember to visit the Windows Update Web site or other online security sites to get updates. And you don't have to choose which updates are most important for protecting your computer—Automatic Updates looks for security updates, critical updates, and service packs, and installs them on the schedule that you set.

Reliability

Updates are downloaded behind the scenes whenever you're connected to the Internet. The downloading process doesn't interfere with other downloads or interrupt you while you work. If you disconnect from the Internet before updates are fully downloaded, the download process will continue the next time you connect to the Internet. Don't forget, however, that updates must be installed to take effect. When you schedule updates, Windows automatically installs them for you, unless you choose to be notified and then install them yourself.

Up-to-date software

You set the schedule for Windows to install new updates. This means that Windows is routinely checking for and installing any important updates that your computer needs. Even if you choose to be notified and install updates yourself, you still learn about important updates as they are released. By scheduling updates, you can quickly and easily keep your computer up to date—without thinking about it.

How Do Windows Automatic Updates Work?

When you turn on Windows Automatic Updates, Windows routinely checks the Windows Update Web site for high-priority updates that can help protect your computer from the latest viruses and other security threats. These updates can include security updates, critical updates, and service packs. Depending on the setting you choose, Windows automatically downloads and installs any high-priority updates that your computer needs, or notifies you as these updates become available.

When you connect to the Internet, Windows sends data to the Windows Update Web site about the way your computer is set up so the service can determine which updates your computer needs. (Windows does not use your name, address, e-mail address, or any information that can be used to identify you or contact you!)

It makes no difference whether you use a dial-up or broadband connection; important updates are downloaded behind the scenes and do not interfere with other downloads. If you disconnect from the Internet before updates are fully downloaded, nothing is lost. The download process will continue the next time you connect to the Internet.

Installation:

You do not have to be connected to the Internet for Windows to install new updates. But updates must be installed, not just downloaded, before they can help protect your computer. If you use the Automatic (recommended) setting, new updates are installed at 3 A.M. However, you can change the time or frequency of scheduled updates to best suit your needs.

If your computer is turned off during a scheduled update, updates are installed the next time you start your computer. You can also choose to have Windows notify you when new updates are available, and then install them yourself.

You might be asked to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA) before certain updates can be installed. Other updates might require you to restart your computer before the installation process can be completed. If you are an administrator for your computer, you can delay the restart. Otherwise, Windows notifies you and then restarts your computer for you so the updates can begin to help protect your computer. It is always a good idea to save your work frequently, and to remind other users of your computer to save their work, especially before scheduled installation times.

Options for setting up Windows Automatic Updates on your computer...

To choose when and how updates will be delivered to your computer, you have four options:

Windows XP Automatic Updates

Windows XP SP2/3 Automatic Updates

1) Automatic - Recommended Option

When you are connected to the Internet, Windows finds and downloads updates in the background—you are not notified or interrupted during this process and the updates do not interfere with other downloads. If you do not change the default schedule, updates that have been downloaded to your computer will be installed at 3 A.M.

If your computer is turned off during a scheduled update, Windows will install the updates the next time you start your computer. If you need to help complete the installation process, Windows will notify you. For example, you might need to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA) before some updates can be installed. If you need to restart your computer for an update to take effect, Windows will notify you and will restart your computer at the scheduled time.


2) Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them

To receive alerts, you must be a member of the Administrators group for your computer. When you are connected to the Internet, Windows finds and downloads updates in the background - you are not notified or interrupted during this process and the updates do not interfere with other downloads.

After downloading is complete, the Windows Update icon appears in the notification area (bottom right of screen) and an alert pops up, letting you know that the updates are ready to be installed. To review and install available updates, click the icon or the alert. You can install all or some of the available updates.


3) Notify me but don't automatically download or install updates

To manually download and install updates, you must be a member of the Administrators group for your computer. Windows checks for important updates and notifies you if any are available; updates are not delivered or installed on your computer until you choose to do so. When Windows finds updates for your computer, the Windows Update icon appears in the notification area and an alert pops up, letting you know that updates are ready to be downloaded. After you click the icon or the alert, you can select some or all of the updates to download.

Windows downloads the updates in the background—you are not notified or interrupted during this process and the updates do not interfere with other downloads. When downloading is complete, the Windows Update icon appears in the notification area again, this time to let you know that the updates are ready to be installed. You can choose to install all or some of the available updates.


4) Turn off Automatic Updates

You will never be notified when important updates are available for your computer, and you will never be asked to download or install them. This means that your computer can be vulnerable to security threats and harmful viruses that can damage your computer or your files. Viruses can also spread over the Internet to other people with whom you exchange e-mail, share files, or work with on a network.

New viruses and security threats are continually developed by attackers, so helping protect your computer is an ongoing process. If you do not turn on Automatic Updates, I recommend that you regularly install updates from the Windows Update Web site.


How To Check Your Windows Automatic Update Settings...

NB - These instructions assume you have Windows Service Pack 2 or 3 installed.

To do this:

Step One: Click the START menu.

Step Two: Click the CONTROL PANEL icon.

Step Three: Click the SECURITY CENTER option.

Step Four: Click the AUTOMATIC UPDATES option.

Step Five: Manage your Window Updates in the window that pops up (see the screenshot above.)

 

Enjoy!

Kind Regards

Marc Liron

Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)
www.marcliron.com
www.twitter.com/marcliron
http://blog.marcliron.com

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