SPY HILL Research Spy-Hill.net


Poughkeepsie, New York [DIR] [UP]

Keep Your Windows Software Up To Date!


Regularly updating your computer system software will keep you safer from hackers, viruses, worms, bugs, and other bad things. Follow these simple instructions to keep your PC up-to-date. (Don't forget to update your virus software too.)
Last updated: 23 September 2011

One of the most important things you can do to protect your computer and the data on it is to keep your system software up to date. Microsoft Corporation has made it relatively easy for you to do this, especially for newer versions of Windows.

Note: you should also update your virus detection software, but this is different from updating your system software. Both are important!

One easy way you can update your software is to use the Internet Explorer browser and go to the Windows Update web site at:

http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Follow the directions given and they will lead you through the steps required to get the latest updates. You should do this often (at least once a week).
Do not install updates you receive via e-mail. You cannot trust the source of any e-mail, and Microsoft Corporation will never send you updates via e-mail.

You also need to check separately for updates for application software. Click on "Office Update" on the Windows Update pages to check for updates to Microsoft Office and related products.

More detailed directions for different versions of Windows follow below:

[Windows XP] [Windows 2000] [Windows NT] [Windows ME] [Windows 98] [Windows 95]

Windows XP

Windows XP has a tool for automatically notifying you that there are new software updates available. You will see an icon for Windows Update in the "tray" of icons at the lower right right corner of your desktop. If it is blinking then there are new updates available for your computer. Click your mouse on the icon to start the update process, and follow the directions.
You may need to turn on the automatic update tool, and you should in any case configure it to check for updates often. To do so, Go to the Control Panel and select "System". Under the tab labeled "Automatic Updates" you should be sure that the box is checked next to "keep my computer up to date". Then select the update policy you feel the most comfortable with.
You also need to check separately for updates for application software. Click on "Office Update on the Windows Update web pages pages to check for updates to Microsoft Office and related products.

Windows 2000

An automatic update tool for Windows 2000 appears to have been added in Service Pack 4. If you have Service Pack 4 installed then you can use this tool by opening the Control Panel and selecting "Automatic Updates".

If you do not yet have SP4 installed then you need to check for updates yourself. You should do this at least once a month or more often, or whenever you hear of a new problem that affects Windows.

You may get an automatic notification if you are logged in on an account with Administrator privileges, but you should only do that when you are installing or updating software, not when you are doing normal, every day work.

Only the Administrator account can install updates, but you can easily run the Windows Update tool as the Administrator without logging off your normal account. To do so, go to the Start menu, right click on the "Windows Update" item, and select "Run As...". Run the Update tool as the 'Administrator' (you will need the Administrator password).

If you do not see the "Run As..." option in the menu when you right-click then go down to the "Properties" item. Under the "Shortcut" tab you should check the box labeled "Run as different user". Then right-click again on the "Windows Update" item in the Start menu.
You also need to check separately for updates for application software. Click on "Office Update on the Windows Update web pages pages to check for updates to Microsoft Office and related products.

Windows NT

There is no automatic software update tool. You need to log in as the "Administrator", launch the Internet Explorer browser, and go to the web site:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Follow the directions to select and install the relevant updates.
If you are running Windows NT you should seriously consider upgrading to Windows XP.
You also need to check separately for updates for application software. Click on "Office Update on the Windows Update pages to check for updates to Microsoft Office and related products.

Windows ME

You can still get updates for Windows ME, but there is no automatic software update tool. You need to launch the Internet Explorer browser and go to the web site:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Follow the directions to select and install the relevant updates.
If you are running Windows ME, 98, or 95, you should seriously consider upgrading to Windows XP.
You also need to check separately for updates for application software. Click on "Office Update on the Windows Update pages to check for updates to Microsoft Office and related products.

Windows 95 and 98

Windows 95 and Windows 98 are no longer supported by Microsoft Corporation. You should seriously consider upgrading to Windows XP.


Last modified: 23 September 2011 Copyright © 2011 by Spy Hill Research http://www.spy-hill.net /~myers/help/windows/Updates.html