Don’t forget to update all software

If you’re signed up for automatic updating (and we hope that you are), you’ll get all the security updates for your operating system and other Microsoft software such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Excel, and more.

Note: If you have a Windows Phone, you can adjust the settings to get automatic updates.

What about non-Microsoft software?

To help keep your computer secure and running smoothly, you’ll need to update not just your Microsoft software, but all of your other software too. That includes software that came with your computer, as well as apps, programs, and other software that you downloaded yourself.

Most  software should:

  • Update itself automatically, or
  • Notify you when an update is available so that you can decide whether you want to install it.

It’s a good idea to go through all your software and look for a “Check for updates” option in one of the menus. For example, you can update Adobe Reader by going to Help > Check for updates.

Learn more about how to get security updates automatically and find out what to do if your updates don’t install.

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

    i can't sign in to my account i wish they leave me alone

  2. Anonymous


    First, you make it too hard to communicate with support by text or email.

    Secondly, I had a problem with Office for Mac.  During two calls at night on 6/23 and 6/24, no rep could assist.  Tonight, a rep in the Philippines transferred me to Rajesh (sp?) in India (i believe in Bangalore).  The dude was epic — within minutes, he identified the conflict between Mac, Norton, and Office.  He directed me to reboot in safe mode and update Office without Norton running.  Fixed the problem pronto versus the hours I spent yesterday and earlier tonight.  The kid is a genius, a bro and should be recognized for his sweet customer support and wicked knowledge.  I recommend bringing the dude to the States to offer additional training and a leadership position managing other service reps.  He is an example for others to emulate…. take care of this guy and he will be an everlasting asset for MS.  I am totally serious…  Bill Gates would be very proud of this cat. Rajesh rules.  My name is Rich Weede.  let me know if you need more on info on Rajesh.

  3. Anonymous

    Nope. WIndows 8.1 does not automatic updated. It stopped getting updates a few weeks ago. I tried to updated but it tells me I need 8GB file. Not sure how to get file to updated Windows 8.1 to WIndows 8.1. It should be the same version. I am confused. I should have returned this junk once I saw that there was no start menu.

    Will MS store take this junk off my hands and at least give me some money back?  

  4. Anonymous

    Something is wrong with this phone i cant access internet explorer face book and any thing that has to do with login on it keeps on saying the certificate issued is not supported what pops usually attack this kind of phones

  5. Anonymous

    Why are these phones so stupid you cant trace the problem you cant even download antivirus as it seems to be prone to attack how best can you protect this foni from crushing it needs constant updates what are your thoughts or suggestions

  6. Anonymous

    I spent a frustrating few days.  When update from 8.0 to 8.1 was done, I lost my wireless connection.  Called Lenovo after an hour or more, they said it was software which isn't supported and I could pay $199.xx for year of support.  I said NO WAY; they then had an offer of 1 week for 1 item to fix the software.  Felt had to do.  After 2 1/2 hours, many things on system may have been cleaned up and we did have intermittent internet connection BUT it wasn't reliable.

    THE SOLUTION to a wireless problem (found 4 references to this as solution when I spent several hours that evening researching) was to go to DEVICE MANAGER, under Network adapters, highlight my Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter and right click, BROWSE my computer, let me pick from a list of deice drivers on my computer.  Now select the Network Adapter (Broadcom); DO NOT select Microsoft's as this is the problem!!!  

    I hope others find it equally helpful as I have more years of computer experience than I will state and for such a simple fix, it more than frustrated me.  We had resolved to just use our Ethernet hard wire connection.  Have now been wirelessly connected for several hours with no problems.

  7. Anonymous

    I updated my security on my outlook express. I have a Nook and it says it can not open my e-mail on the Nook . I don't know how to correct that.

  8. Anonymous

    help please my administrator account is blocked so I don't have any permission to change my settings o to install software

  9. Anonymous

    Problem at present : Not able to find the button to close out my computer for the night.. I was trying to do something I didn't know anything about. Is there anyone who can explain how I find the button I've been using.? I don't understand what I did to erase the program which open and closes it down. I would appreciate help at this time. I can't stay up all night waiting for a reply. thanking you in advance. Betty Greene

  10. Anonymous

    I'm not looking for a miracle, just help me at this time. Even if you must close it down for only tonight. I have someone to help me tomorrow. If there is no help available tonight. Thank you in advance. Betty Greene

  11. Anonymous

    I can´t to install Photoinstrument in Winows 8.1; I had OK in Windoes 8.0. What can I do for to have Photoinstrument?

  12. Anonymous

    To Betty Greene,

    Press Ctrl, then Alt, then Delete button, holding down each button

    Click on Start Task Manager

    Click on each program and click on End Task

    Press Ctrl, then Alt, then Delete again and Log Off

  13. Anonymous

    Seriously, this represents the best that Microsoft offers in terms of security advice for keeping your software updated?  A significant percentage of my software does not update automatically nor does it inform me when an update is available.  That's why I rely on Secunia Personal Software Inspector PSI) and FileHippo Update Checker.  There was mention of these useful programs in this useless article.

  14. Anonymous

    There are far to many hurdles to jump now with long passwords and recommended different password for each site that cause confusion.  Because of Sciatica, lower back pain, I cannot sit at the computer too long and sometimes it seems to take forever to get started!.   Mobile phones have far too much clutter.  Everything seems to be linked to America.  I would prefer to remain on dot co dot uk only for most of the time.  

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