Automatic Updates is the part for Windows XP and Vista that can automatically check for important updates from Microsoft. Each Windows update is marked by Microsoft as Important, Recommended, or Optional. Most updates fix security holes identified in its operating systems and other software.
Since Automatic Updates can automatically find and install important fixes for your computer without your interaction, it's very easy to use. All you have to do is turn it on.
To enable these:
- In Classic View: Click Start Menu, Control Panel, Automatic Updates. Then click on the desired setting (explained below).
- In Category View: Click Start Menu, Control Panel, Security Center. Under the section “Manage security settings for”, click Automatic Updates. Then click on the desired setting (explained below).
- Automatic – if you are a novice or intermediate Windows user, select this. Windows will be automatically updated and you will not have to think about it.
- Download Updates for me, but let me choose when to install them – Windows downloads all updates, but waits until you want to install them before this action happens. If you're concerned about the safety of using Automatic Updates, I suggest setting it to download updates but check with you before installing them. You can ensure only updates you want are installed, and you can check to see if the update has caused any problems with Windows.
- Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them – You will get a message saying updates are available. You can choose to download and install all, part or none of them. You can ensure only updates you want are installed, and you can check to see if the update has caused any problems with Windows.
- Turn off Automatic Updates – I do not recommend using this setting. You will get no messages about updates and will have to do this manually on Microsoft’s Update Web Site.