Install Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Applies to: Windows Vista

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) includes all of the updates that have been released since SP1. 

How to get SP2

The recommended (and easiest) way to get SP2 is to turn on automatic updating in Windows Update in Control Panel, and wait for Windows Vista to notify you that SP2 is ready to install. You just need a few clicks to begin the installation and the rest of the process is automatic.

In order to install SP2, you must first have Windows Vista Service Pack 1 installed.

To learn if SP2 is already installed

Click the Start button
The Start button
, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

If Service Pack 2 is listed in the Windows edition section, SP2 is already installed on your computer and you don't need to follow the instructions below.

Before you begin

Before you install SP2, we recommend you do the following:

  • Log on to your computer using an administrator account, make sure all other users are logged off of the computer, and close all open programs.
  • Back up your important files to an external location, such as an external hard disk, DVD or CD, or USB flash drive.
  • If you're using a laptop computer, connect it to an AC electrical outlet and don't unplug or restart the computer during installation.
  • Update any device drivers as necessary. You can do this by using Windows Update or by going to the device manufacturer's website.
  • If you have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to your computer, disconnect the connecting serial cable before installing SP2. The installation automatically attempts to detect devices connected to serial ports, and UPS equipment can cause problems with the detection process. It's fine to leave your computer connected to a UPS for power.
  • Some antivirus software might prevent SP2 from installing, or might slow down the installation. You can try temporarily disabling your antivirus software. If you do so, be sure that you're aware of the risks involved, and be sure to enable it after the service pack is installed.
  • Make sure you have enough free disk space to install SP2 (even though much of that space will be reclaimed after the installation). 
Installation methodApproximate free disk space required
Windows Update
  • x86-based: 684 MB
  • x64-based: 863 MB
Downloading SP2 from the Microsoft website
  • x86-based: 1.8 GB to 3 GB
  • x64-based: 3.2 GB to 5 GB
Integrated installation for enterprise and IT professionals
  • x86-based: 10 GB
  • x64-based: 13 GB