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How to keep your Windows computer up-to-date
Article ID: 311047 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q311047
Install high priority updatesMicrosoft Update is the online extension of Windows that helps you keep your computer up-to-date. Microsoft Update includes updates from Windows Update and from Office Update, in addition to updates for other Microsoft products and for third-party device drivers. Use Microsoft Update to install updates for your computer’s operating system, software, and hardware.
New content is added to the site regularly so that you can obtain recent updates and fixes to help protect your computer and to keep it running smoothly. To use the Microsoft Update site to install all critical updates for your computer, follow these steps:
Automatic Updates featureYou can also use the Automatic Updates feature to install updates. By using Automatic Updates, you do not have to visit the Microsoft Update Web site to scan for updates. Instead, Windows automatically delivers them to your computer.
Automatic Updates recognizes when you are online, and searches for updates from the Windows Update Web site. An icon appears in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar every time that new updates are available. You can specify how and when you want Windows to update your computer. For example, you can configure Windows to automatically download and to install updates on a schedule that you specify. Or you can have Windows notify you when it finds updates that are available for your computer, and then download the updates in the background. This enables you to continue to work uninterrupted. After the download is completed, an icon appears in the notification area with a message that the updates are ready to be installed. When you click the icon or the message, you can install the new updates in a few steps. For more information about the Automatic Updates feature, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294871/ )Description of the Automatic Updates feature in Windows
Download Windows updatesAdministrators can download updates from the Microsoft Download Center or the Windows Update Catalog to deploy to multiple computers. If you want to obtain updates to install later on one or more than one computer, use either the following Web sites.
Windows Update Catalog
http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Home.aspxFor more information about how to download updates from 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
Microsoft Download Center
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.aspx?displaylang=enFor more information about how to download files from the Microsoft Download Center, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/119591/ )How to obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Install and run Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)You can use Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) to centrally scan Windows-based computers for common security misconfigurations and to generate individual security reports for each computer that it scans.
For more information about how to obtain and use MBSA, visit the following Web site:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296861/ )How to install Multiple Windows updates or hotfixes with only one reboot
For more information about security tools and checklists, visit the following Microsoft Web site: