How to find and install Windows updates

Check for Windows updates in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XPWindows updates

Updating the software on your ltop is a simple and effective way to ensure that your system is running smoothly. When you update Windows 10, your PC has the latest features, bug fixes, and (major) security patches.

How to find and install Windows updatesWindows updates

Windows updates are the easiest with. Installed the Windows Update service. While you could certainly download updates manually from Microsoft’s servers, updating through Windows Update is a lot easier.

What you should know

  • Finding and installing Windows updates such as service packs or patches is required for any Windows operating system to run.
  • The updates can solve certain problems with Windows, provide protection against malicious attacks, or even add new features.

This article provides instructions on how to install updates for Windows 10 and other editions up to Windows 98.

The Windows Update service has changed over the years as Microsoft released new versions of Windows. While Windows updates used to be installed from the Windows Update website, 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 version of Windows. You need to know what version of Windows you need to make sure you are taking the correct steps for your computer.

Find and install updates in Windows 10Windows updates

In Windows 10, Windows Update is in settings.

To get there, select the Start menu followed by the gear / settings icon on the left. Select there Update & security and then Windows Update on the left.

Check for new Windows 10 updates by selecting Check for updates.

In Windows 10, updates are downloaded and installed automatically and will happen immediately after they are checked or, for some updates, when you are not using your computer.

Find and install updates in Windows 8, 7, and Vista

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

These versions of Windows include Windows Update as part of the Control Panel, complete with configuration options, update history, and more.

Just open the Control Panel and then select Windows Update.

Choose Check for updates to check for new, uninstalled updates. The installation is sometimes automatic or you may need to use the Install updates Button, depending on which version of Windows you are using and how you have configured Windows Update.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 and therefore does not release any new updates. All updates available through Windows 7’s Windows Update utility have not been installed since support ended on January 24, 2020.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows Vista and is therefore not releasing any new updates. All updates available through the Windows Vista Windows Update utility have not been installed since the end of support on Ril 11, 2017.

Find and install updates in Windows XP, 2000, ME, and 98

In Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, Windows Update is available as a service hosted on Microsoft’s Windows Update website.

Similar to the Control Panel and Windows Update Tool in newer versions of Windows, available Windows updates are listed alongside some simple configuration options.

Finding and installing uninstalled updates is as easy as selecting the appropriate links and buttons on the Windows Update website.

Microsoft does not support Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows. Windows updates for your Windows XP computer may be available on the Windows Update website, but all you see will be released before the end of the Windows XP support date, which was Ril 8, 2014.

More about installing Windows updates

The Windows Update service isn’t the only way to install Windows updates. As already mentioned, updates for Windows can also be downloaded individually from the Microsoft Download Center and then installed manually.

Another option is to use a free software updater program. These tools are usually designed specifically for updating non-Microsoft programs, but some include a feature to download Windows updates.

Most of the time, Windows updates are automatically installed on Patch Tuesday, but only if Windows is configured to do so.

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