Updating my Computer's Operating System
These are the security updates that Microsoft and Apple release when new threats are found. They are available through Windows Update or Software Update respectively. Below you will find instructions on how to enable automatic updating on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Macintosh OS X. Repeat the process until no more updates remain.
In addition to having an updated system, you must have an anti-virus (Mac), or an anti-virus and anti-spyware (PC). For more information on these, please consult Understanding Which Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware Software to Use.
***You might need to restart your PC to finish installing some updates. Save and close all your files and apps before you restart so you don't lose anything.***
For instructions, please click the tab of the operating system you are running.
- Go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com to download the latest updates for your computer.
***It is necessary to use Internet Explorer to access this site***
- Click Express, the site will check for updates.
- If any updates are necessary, they will be displayed in a list. Click Download.
- A dialog box will pop up with the progress displayed.
- Upon completion of the installation process, click Close.
- You will be taken back to your web browser, which will offer you a button to click in order to review the results of your installation. This will tell you which programs/patches have been installed on your machine.
- You can start the Windows Update process one of two ways:
- Going to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
- Or by navigating to Start > Control Panel > System Maintenance > Windows Update.
- You will be presented with a dialog box that tells you how many updates are available.
- Click Install Updates.
- Click the I accept the license terms radio button, and click Finish.
- The updates will then install on your machine.
- A final screen letting you know that your updates have been updated successfully will be displayed.
- Open Windows Update by navigating Start > All Programs > Windows Update.
- You will be presented with a dialog box that tells you how many updates are available, you can click on either important updates or optional updates to see a list of available updates.
- Select the updates to install, and click OK.
- Click Install updates.
- The successfully installed updates will be displayed after they have been installed.
- Open Windows Update in Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or, if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Windows Update in the search box, tapping or clicking Settings, and then tapping or clicking Install optional updates.
- In the left pane, tap or click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your PC.
- If updates are found, tap or click Install updates. Read and accept the license terms, and then tap or click Finish if the update requires it. You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.
- Click on the Apple menu in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
- Select Software Update from the drop down menu.
- The program will run and will automatically begin checking for software updates.
- If you have no updates available, a window will display that information.
- If you have updates available, they will appear in a list and you will have the option to install them now, or wait until later.
If a restart of your machine is required after installing the updates, Software Update will inform you.
- In order to set your Software Update preferences so that updates will download automatically:
- Click on the Apple menu in the upper left hand corner, and select System Preferences, then click Software Update on the System Panel.
- You will be asked how often you would like Software Update to run.
- Close this window once you are finished.