Article ID: 306525 - View products that this article applies to.
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 327850
For a Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition version of this article, see 268331
This article describes how to configure the Automatic Updates features in Windows to notify you when important updates are available for your computer. You can also specify the schedule that Windows follows to install updates on your computer.
Note Advanced users and IT Professionals can configure Automatic Updates by using Group Policy in an Active Directory environment, or by using registry settings in a non-Active Directory environment. For more information about how to configure Automatic Updates by using these methods, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328010/ )How to configure automatic updates by using Group Policy or registry settings
Use the latest version of Automatic Updates featureThis article assumes that you are using the latest Automatic Updates feature. The latest Automatic Updates feature is included with Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later, with Windows Vista, with Windows 7, with Windows 8, and with Windows 8.1. For more information about the Automatic Update feature of Windows 8 and 8.1, see the following Microsoft webpage:
Windows Update: Frequently asked questionsIf you are using Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, and Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, install Windows XP SP2 or Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to obtain the latest Automatic Updates feature. If you are using Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, and Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, install Windows XP SP2 or Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to obtain the latest Automatic Updates feature. For more information about how to obtain SP2, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389Note You must have either Windows XP SP1a or Windows XP SP2 installed in order to install Windows XP SP3.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/ )How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack
Log on as computer administratorIn Windows XP Home Edition, you must be logged on as a computer administrator to install components or modify Automatic Updates settings. In Windows XP Professional, you must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group.
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/adminIn Windows Vista or in Windows 7, you will be prompted for an administrator password or confirmation.
Note If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from completing the procedures in this article. Contact the network administrator if you do not have permission to complete these procedures.
Turn on and use Automatic UpdatesTurn on Automatic Updates. To have us turn on Automatic Updates for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you would rather turn on Automatic Updates yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.
Fix it for meTo fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Note This wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD, and then you can run it on the computer that has the problem.
Let me fix it myself
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:
Windows Vista and Windows 7To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:
Windows XPTo turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/327838/ )How to schedule automatic updates in Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003
Have Windows remind you about pending updatesWhen you configure Automatic Updates to notify you before you download or install updates, Windows notifies you by displaying an icon and message in the notification area of your taskbar.
If you do not want to download or install the update immediately, click the Automatic Updates icon or message in the notification area of your taskbar, and then click Remind Me Later in the Automatic Updates dialog box. In the Reminder dialog box, you can specify the time that Windows should wait before reminding you.
If the reminder is for downloading, Windows reminds you only when you are connected to the Internet. If the reminder is for installing, Windows reminds you according to the schedule that you specify.
Pause or resume downloadingAfter the download process has started, you can pause or resume downloading at any time. If you close your Internet connection or restart your computer after pausing a download process, Windows automatically resumes the download process the next time that you are connected to the Internet.
To pause or resume downloading:
Restore declined updatesIf you decide not to download a specific update, you can prompt Automatic Updates to offer that update again. To restore declined updates:
Turn off Automatic UpdatesIf you want to turn off the automatic updates, follow these steps:
If these steps did not work for you, you can use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions to your problem. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web sites provide include the following:
Update your files by using Windows Update or by using Microsoft UpdateIf you decide not to use Automatic Updates, you can still install specific updates from the Windows Update Web site or from the Microsoft Update Web site. Windows Update and Microsoft Update are catalogs of items such as drivers, security fixes, important updates, current Help files, and Internet products that you can download to keep your computer up to date.
To update the system files with the latest important updates by using the Windows Update Web site or by using the Microsoft Update Web site, follow these steps:
Note We recommend that only advanced users and administrators download updates from the Windows Update Catalog or from the Microsoft Update Catalog. For more information about how to use the Windows Update Catalog, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323166/ )How to download updates that include drivers and hotfixes from the Windows Update Catalog