How to Check for and Install Windows Updates

What to Know

  • Checking for and installing Windows updates, like service packs or patches, is a necessary for running any Windows operating system.
  • The updates can solve specific problems with Windows, provide protection from malicious attacks, or even add new features.

This article includes instructions for installing updates for Windows 11 and other editions all the way back to Windows 98 .

How to Check for and Install Windows Updates

Windows updates are most well installed using the Windows Update serve. While you could surely download updates manually from Microsoft ‘s servers, updating via Windows Update is well easier to do .

The Windows Update avail has changed over the years as Microsoft released new versions of Windows. While Windows updates used to be installed by visiting the Windows Update web site, newer versions of Windows include a special built-in Windows Update feature with more options.

Below is the best way to check for, and install, Windows updates based on your interpretation of Windows. You ‘ll need to know which version of Windows you have to make certain you ‘re following the correct steps for your computer .

check for and Install Updates in Windows 11

Windows Update for Windows 11
In Windows 11, Windows Update is found in Settings .

Right-click the Start menu and choose Settings, or search for it from the search stripe. Once it opens, choice Windows Update from the left english .

To check for Windows 11 updates, choose Check for updates .

Windows 11 checks for updates to the OS after selecting that release, but will besides do so automatically. Depending on the options you have set up, your personal computer will reboot to apply some updates either while you ‘re using your calculator or sometime during an off time.

bridle for and Install Updates in Windows 10

Windows Update checking for updates in Windows 10
In Windows 10, Windows Update is found within Settings .

To get there, select the Start menu, followed by the gear/settings picture to the left. In there, choose Update & Security and then Windows Update on the leave .

Check for fresh Windows 10 updates by choosing Check for updates .

In Windows 10, downloading and installing updates is automatic pistol and will happen immediately after checking or, with some updates, at a time when you ‘re not using your computer .

check for and Install Updates in Windows 8, 7, and Vista

Windows 8 Windows Update utility
In Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, the best way to access Windows Update is via the Control Panel .

In these versions of Windows, Windows Update is included as an applet in Control Panel, accomplished with configuration options, update history, and lots more .

fair open Control Panel and then choose Windows Update.

Select Check for updates to check for raw, uninstalled updates. Installation sometimes happens mechanically or it might need to be done by you via the Install updates clitoris, depending on what interpretation of Windows you ‘re using and how you have Windows Update configured .

Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7, and as such, does n’t release raw updates. Any update available via Windows 7 ‘s Windows Update utility are ones that have not been installed since support ended on January 24, 2020. Microsoft no longer supports Windows Vista, and as such, does n’t release new updates. Any update available via Windows Vista ‘s Windows Update utility are ones that have not been installed since accompaniment ended on April 11, 2017 .

bridle for and Install Updates in Windows XP, 2000, ME, and 98

Windows XP Windows Update Utility
In Windows XP and former versions of Windows, Windows Update is available as a service hosted on Microsoft ‘s Windows Update web site .

exchangeable to the Control Panel applet and Windows Update creature in newer versions of Windows, available Windows updates are listed, alongside a few simple shape options .

Checking for, and install, uninstalled updates is arsenic easy as selecting those respective links and buttons on the Windows Update web site .

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, nor versions of Windows that preceded it. While there might be Windows updates available for your Windows XP calculator on the Windows Update web site, any you see will be updates released anterior to the end of subscribe date for Windows XP, which was on April 8, 2014 .

More on Installing Windows Updates

The Windows Update military service is n’t the entirely way to install Windows updates. As mentioned above, updates to Windows can besides be downloaded individually from Microsoft Download Center and then installed manually .

Another choice is to use a free software updater program. Those tools are normally built specifically for updating non-Microsoft programs but some include a feature for downloading Windows updates .

Most of the time, Windows updates are installed mechanically on Patch Tuesday, but lone if Windows is configured that way. See How to Change Windows Update Settings for more on this and how to change how updates are downloaded and installed .


  • How do I fix Windows update errors?

    To repair Windows update errors, run the Windows Update troubleshooter. You may need to turn on the Windows Update serve or disable your security software. If Windows wo n’t update, use the Update Assistant on Microsoft ‘s web site .

  • How do I turn off Windows updates?

    To disable Windows updates, go to Settings > Windows Update > Advanced Options > Pause updates. You can pause updates for up to 35 days. After that, automatic updates will resume.

  • How do I update drivers on Windows?

    To update Windows drivers, go to the Device Manager, right-click the target device, and blue-ribbon Update Driver. From there, you can automatically search or browse your computer for driver updates .

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Category : Tech FAQ

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