WINDOWS UPDATE: Configure Automatic Updates

Although you can manually obtain updates and patches, Windows Update also allows you to automate the update and patch process. For example, you can schedule Windows Update to automatically download and install updates on a regular basis, such as every day at 3:00 a.m.
Updates are downloaded in the background while you are online. Turning on automatic updating ensures that Windows will install the latest important and recommended updates for your computer; failing to update your computer may put it at risk.
If you prefer to have more control over these updates, then you can configure Windows Update to download the updates but not install them until you direct it to do so. This option offers the advantage of automatic updates and notification, as well as control over when Windows applies these updates.
1 Click Start.
2 Click All Programs.
3 Click Windows Update.
The Windows Update window opens.
4 To change the Automatic Update settings, click Change Settings.
The Change Settings window opens.
5 Click the Install Updates Automatically option button to select it.
6 Click the lists under Install New Updates to select an update interval, as well as what time the automatic update should occur.
7 If you want more control over the update process, click the Download Updates But Let Me Choose Whether to Install Them option button.
8 For still more control over the update process, click the Check for Updates But Let Me Choose Whether to Download and Install Them option button.
9 Click OK.



Updates for other programs might not occur automatically. Some programs provide links to check for updates; others can notify you when new updates become available. For updates for other Microsoft programs, visit the Microsoft Update Web site (


In the event an important update cannot be installed, Windows Update will notify you.


In order to finish the installation procedure for some updates, you must restart your computer. If you are away from your desk when the update installs, Windows automatically restarts.

Try This!

To see a list of updates, click the View Update History link in the main Windows Update window.

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