How do I update my computer?

The best way to update your computer is to turn on automatic updating in Control Panel.

You might already have automatic updating turned on

To find out if automatic updating is turned on:

Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. Type Windows Update in the search box, tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Windows Update.

Windows 7

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.
  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.
  3. Under Important updates, choose the option that you want.
  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click OK.  If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Manually update antivirus software

If you think your antivirus software isn’t updating automatically, and you feel comfortable with more advanced computer tasks, you can try manually updating it. If you have trouble installing other updates, see What do I do if my updates don’t install?

Looking for information about how to update Windows Phone? See Get automatic app updates.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous


  2. Anonymous

    my antivirus software keeps turning itself off

  3. Anonymous

    HI, I have lost or misplaced ATI that came installed on my computer. There is a box with some messages that I don't understand when I first open the computer. Also Windows Defender was also working until about 2 months ago, and it is gone. It shows to be there, but every time I try and start it, I get these error messages.Ox800705b4 and Ox800106ba . I cannot find the definitions anywhere. Have I done something wrong, or is it blocked by something?         The ATI is the Radeon  that was also installed when I got it. The Cat program I think. Thanks

  4. Anonymous

    Program has already been installed that I have not asked for

  5. Anonymous


  6. Anonymous

    I need to make. a back up disk of the drive on my Dell 64 bit computer. In the past

    the disk came with your order ,but not anymore and further more your not even asked if wish to purchase one which I believe most people would.

  7. Anonymous

    Very useful to know how to update it to prevent hacking and so on.  After all, everyone uses (or most anyway? ) Microsoft, so it's good to know how to keep it updated.

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