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Get security updates automatically

Get security updates automatically

Turn on automatic updating in Control Panel

Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.

  2. Type Windows Update in the search box, tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Turn automatic updating on or off.

  3. In Windows Update, choose the settings that you want.

Windows 7

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.

  3. Under Important updates, choose the option that you want.

  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click OK. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

After you set up automatic updating, all the latest security and performance improvements will be installed on your PC quickly and reliably.

Pay attention to Windows Update warnings

When you turn on automatic updating, most updates will download and install on their own. Sometimes Windows Update will need your input during an installation. In this case, you'll see an alert in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar—be sure to click it.

Other steps you can take to help protect your computer

End of support for Windows XP

On April 8, 2014, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP. To stay protected after support ends, you have two options:

Upgrade your current PC

Very few older computers will be able to run Windows 8.1, which is the latest version of Windows. We recommend that you download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to check whether your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8.1, and then follow the steps in the tutorial to upgrade if your PC is compatible. For more detailed information, read the FAQ.

Get a new PC

If your current PC can't run Windows 8.1, it might be time to consider shopping for a new one. Be sure to explore the great selection of new PCs. They're more powerful, lightweight, and stylish than ever before—and the average price is considerably less than it cost to buy a PC 10 years ago.

Find your perfect PC

Technical information about security updates

If you are an IT professional or a system administrator, or if you’d like additional information about security updates, go to Security TechCenter or read the Microsoft Security Response Center Blog.