Windows - Using Windows Update

This document explains how to use Windows Update to install critical updates.

Select your Operating System:

NOTE: If you would like Microsoft Office updates to be included in the Windows updates you must follow the steps here.

Windows 10

  1. Go to the Start Screen screen and type windows update. Select Check for updates.
  2. windows 10 check for update

  3. If Windows Update says that your PC is up to date, then your computer has all updates currently available for your computer. Otherwise click on the Check for Updates button. Windows will now check for and install all updates.
  4. win10_check_for_updates

    Note: To install optional updates click Install Now after checking for updates.

    windows 10 install updates

Windows 8

  1. Go to the Start Screen screen and type windows update. Select Settings on the right, and then select Windows Update on the left.
  2. Windows 8 search

  3. You can select "Check for updates now" to check for new updates. If your updates are not set to automatically install, click on the purple text above that lists the number of updates and you will be able to manually install them.
  4. Windows 8 PC Settings - Updates

Windows Vista/7

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
  2. Click on All Programs.

    Vista Start Menu

  3. Click on Windows Update.

    Vista All Programs

  4. When the window comes up, click Get updates for more products. Afterwards, click on Check for updates in the top left corner of the window. Note: If you forget step 1, you will only update Windows and not any of the office products.

    Vista check for updates

  5. Once it finishes checking for updates, click Install updates to install any new updates.

    Vista install updates

    Note: If Install Updates does not appear, it means that there are no new updates available for your computer

Windows XP

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
  2. Click on All Programs.

    XP start menu

  3. Click on Windows Update.

    XP All Programs

  4. You will be presented with two updating options:

    • Express: This is the recommended option to find all needed high-priority updates.
    • Custom: This option will scan for high-priority updates and optional updates, such as drivers or software updates.

    Unless you have a specific reason for selecting Custom, it's recommended to click on Express.

    XP Express or Custom

  5. You will then be presented with a list of updates.

    • If you chose Express, click Install Updates.

      XP Install Updates

    • If you chose Custom, you will be presented with a list of high-priority update options. Check the updates that you would like to install. On the left-hand side, you will have an option to review software and hardware updates. Select any desired updates from these categories. Once you have selected all desired updates, click Review and Install Updates. You will now be presented with a list of your chosen updates, verify it is correct and choose Install Updates.
  6. A dialog box will open to display the download and installation progress. If you are prompted for any license agreements, you will need to accept them.

    XP License Agreement

  7. Wait for the updates to download and install. When they are done you will be prompted to restart your computer.

  8. It is a good idea to repeat the process until you are sure there aren't any more critical updates. Often, installing a major update like a Service Pack makes a whole new set of important updates available.

  9. After completing the entire update procedure it's important to stay current. Windows has a built-in feature that allows users to set their machines to auto update. For instructions on how to do this please see the following:

If you have any questions, come by the Help Desk at Hardman & Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center Room 105, call 646-1840, or email us at

Keywords:windows update help download install 10 8 vista 7 xp   Doc ID:81378
Owner:John B.Group:New Mexico State University
Created:2018-04-04 08:31 MDTUpdated:2018-06-06 10:57 MDT
Sites:New Mexico State University
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