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Windows Update


Screenshot of Windows Update in Windows 8.1

Windows Update in Windows 8.1

What is Windows Update?

Windows Update is a Microsoft service that's used to provide updates like service packs and patches for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft software.

Windows Update can also be used to update drivers for popular hardware devices.

What is Windows Update Used For?

Windows Update is used to keep Microsoft Windows and several other Microsoft programs updated.

Updates often include feature enhancements and security updates to protect Windows from malware and malicious attacks.

How To Access Windows Update

How you access Windows Update depends on which Windows operating system you're using:

Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista: Windows update is integrated as a Control Panel applet and is accessible from within Control Panel.

Windows Update can also be accessed in those versions of Windows by executing the control /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate command.

Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98: Windows Update is accessible via the Windows Update website.

How To Use Windows Update

Open the Windows Update Control Panel applet (or navigate to the Windows Update website in older versions of Windows). A list of available updates, customized to your specific computer, is shown.

Select the updates you wish to install and follow any instructions given to download and install the updates.

See How Do I Change Windows Update Settings? for help customizing how Windows Update downloads and installs updates on your computer.

Note: The option to install the most important updates automatically is available in Windows Update beginning in Windows ME.

Windows Update Availability

All Windows operating systems since Windows 98 are able to use Windows Update. This includes the popular Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

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