Keep your PC in good working order, part four: Windows Update
The main thing you need to know about Windows Update and Microsoft Update is that updates are frequently being made for the important programes on your computer.
Things like the Windows Operating System and your Internet Explorer web browser. I also mean applications that you may use everyday, like Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
These changes, sometimes called ‘patches’ are made for various reasons but it’s often because a fault or vulnerabilty has been identified in the application, so it’s well worth you running the update.
Windows Update and Microsoft Update can be switched on automatically on your computer. This is a good idea, but don’t assume it’s happening – check. Like this:
- Click ‘Start’, usually at the bottom left-hand side of your screen
- Click ‘Control panel’, usually in the list on the right hand side
- A long list comes up; look for ‘Windows Update’; it’s usually towards the end. Click on it
- Here’s what mine looked like when I did this today:
Now it’s just a simple matter of clicking ‘Install updates’. It should begin to whirr away, downloading the updates for you.
If this is the first time you’ve run Windows Update or you haven’t run it for a while, it it might be a good idea to do it whilst you’re away from your desk, maybe while you’re in a meeting or having lunch, or even overnight. There are three good reasons for this:
- It may take some while to complete
- It can use up quite a lot of processing power which can slow down your computer
- When the update process has finished, it’s very likely that you’ll need to restart your computer – a message will come up and tell you this. This can be a bit annoying if you’re in the middle of a big document or have lots of different things open on your computer, and the restart can take a while if there are lots of updates to install.
Got any questions? Get in touch or let us know in the comments below.