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Running Windows Updates

Windows Update is a utility that is built into Windows that allows users to upgrade critical components of their system over the internet. From time to time, Microsoft will identify a risk or threat in their software, and will release an update designed to remedy the problem via Windows Update. Most Windows XP computers are configured to automatically download and install these updates using a process called Automatic Update. However, if your computer is regularly turned off at night or not always connected to the internet, it is possible for it to become out of date with regard to the security updates Microsoft has released. In order to ensure your system is fully updated, we recommend running Windows Update periodically to confirm that no critical system updates have been missed or overlooked.


  • 1.
    Make sure that you have an internet connection, preferably broadband, as Windows Updates are generally demanding on internet connections.
  • 2.
    Double click the "Windows Update" shortcut in your maintenance folder.
  • 3.
    Internet Explorer should launch and automatically point/navigate to the Windows Update website. In the main window, there will be two buttons, "Express" and "Custom" (you may have to scroll down a bit to see them both). Click on "Custom," as shown below.
  • 4.
    After selecting "Custom," the website will automatically check your system for necessary updates. It then lists the updates in three categories: "High Priority,” “Optional, Software,” and “Optional, Hardware." We want to run all of the updates in the first two categories. By default, it assumes you are running all of the "High Priority" updates, so use the left hand menu to select "Optional, Software" as seen below.
  • 5.
    Then scroll down the list and make sure that all of the updates are selected, with the exception of Internet Explorer 8. This update is NOT one that we are suggesting you download/install at this point.
  • 6.
    After selecting all of the downloads, from the menu on the left click on "Install Updates" as seen below.
  • 7.
    Then to confirm that you want to install those updates you need to go back to the main window and click on "Install Updates" again.
  • 8.
    Sometimes EULA's or "End User License Agreements" appear, and you'll want to click on "I Accept" for the installation to continue. An example of which is provided here.
  • 9.
    After that, a progress bar will appear informing you its progress.
  • 10.
    Eventually the process will complete, and you will probably be prompted to restart your machine, which you want to do, so that the updates can take effect and protect your computer.

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