At some point you may find you need to change your Windows Update Options.  If you have never even heard of such nonsense and you’ve had your Windows pc for quite some time now, you may want to pay special attention.  Note: This applies to Windows 7 and Windows Vista users.

Why Bother?

Everyone makes mistakes.  This includes those at Microsoft developing their latest operating systems.  Even while you sit here, reading this article, employees at Microsoft are hard at work analyzing current, commonly-used systems.  They are constantly finding mistakes and errors that need to be fixed.  This does not mean that these systems are bad; all this indicates is that there is always room for improvement.  Fortunately for you, you don’t have to pay for these fixes.  They are included free of charge with your purchase of your computer and its installed Windows operating system

Because of the way the modern world has advanced, applying updates to your computer can be done very easily.   What’s better is that you don’t have to box up your computer and take it somewhere to get it “updated.”  You can do it right from your machine within a few minutes.

What You Need to Do

To start with, you need to click your start menu, and then select control panel.  In the dialog box that opens click the System and Security setting.  On the next screen there will be an option for Windows Update.  Click this and you will be shown the Windows Update configuration screen:

Windows Update Main Screen

On the left, you want to select Change settings. You are finally here. 

Windows Update Settings

As you might have already noticed, there are various checkboxes and a drop down menu that offers various options.  The drop down menu is probably the most significant to the basic user.  From here you have a few different options:

Automatically downloading updates is recommended.  If you select this, you will basically never have to worry about whether or not your computer is keeping updated.  For those who never want to have to see the Windows Update screen again, select this option.

The next two options are somewhat similar.  One checks for and automatically downloads the updates, but allow you to select which to install.  The second notifies you when updates are available, but must have your permission to download and install them.

Choose What Suits You

I cannot tell you which option is the best for your situation.   Personally, I recommend keeping it set to full-automatic.  The only downfall to this is that sometimes you may want to quickly shut your computer down and then suddenly you’ve got to wait on some awful long number of updates.   With this scenario, one of the other options may be better.

Warning:  I strongly advise against not downloading updates.  This only sets you up for intermittent and unexplainable errors later on down the road.