We will periodically publish an article that contains helpful information for you and your computer. All articles will be explained in the simplest terminology possible. For more information or if you would like to suggest a topic please contact us.
One of the most important articles on our site – learn what Windows updates are and how to apply them. It’s easier than you think.
Windows Updates are software patches (little programs) that are released from Microsoft on an (almost) monthly basis. New releases typically come out the second Tuesday of every month.
These patches fix problems with Windows, make your computer more stable, but most commonly address security issues.
When a security hole is found in Microsoft Windows, malicious people can sometimes exploit the vulnerability. It can be done in person, via email or over the Internet.
This means someone could retrieve information from your computer, install software or take control of your computer (depending on the severity of the security hole).
To help prevent this, you should regularly install the Windows patches released from Microsoft.
Fortunately, this process is very easy to do. Simply visit Microsoft’s Windows Update at least once a month or click on Automatic Updates or Windows Update within your control panel.
When visiting this website, you may be prompted to install additional software to continue. Verify that the software has Microsoft as the publisher, then proceed with the installation. You also may get a message stating that you must download and install newer software.
Eventually you will have 2 buttons – “Express” and “Custom”. Press the “Express”. You will get a progress bar that says “Checking for the latest updates for your computer…” This progress bar may take a while.
Eventually the web page will return another button called “Install Updates”. Choose this button then follow the instructions on completing the installation.
This process will take some time depending on the amount of updates as well as the speed of your computer and Internet connection.
When the updates are finished, you may be asked to restart. Do so, then return to Microsoft’s Windows Update and continue this process until the web page says there are no more critical updates.
You should automate this process so you don’t miss any updates. To see if automatic updates are possible and enabled: Click on Start, then “Control Panel.” (Some versions of Windows would require you to click on Start, then “Settings”, then “Control Panel”.
Double-click on “Automatic Updates”. This will open the Automatic Updates window. Make the sure first selection is chosen, “Automatic (recommended)”. We recommend “Every day” and “3:00 AM”. Click OK to close the Automatic Updates window and close the Control Panel. Your computer is now set to automatically update itself. Keep in mind that the computer must be powered on to install updates.
Automatic updates and reporting for your business
If your business has multiple computers, Microsoft has a free product available called WSUS.
It is software you install onto your server that allows you to run your own Windows Update Server in-house. This reduces the amount of bandwidth used by updates, but mainly gives you great control over updates well as good reporting. Contact us for more information on setting up WSUS.