In two recent articles, I looked at why people should update their Windows software and how to update the Windows 7 operating system. In this article, I will be discussing two different methods for installing updates on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The first method can be used for updating both the Windows 8 and the Windows 8.1 operating systems. The second method is similar to how Windows 7 updates are installed although there are differences in how to access Windows Update.
The steps in the first method use a new method for installing updates. This method uses a different user interface than Windows 7 used. To update Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 computers using this method, please use the following steps.
1. Move the mouse cursor to the lower right corner of the display.
2. When the Charm bar opens, click on the icon for Settings. The icon looks like a gear and is the bottom icon.
3. Click on the link for Change PC Settings as shown in the image below.
4. In the PC Settings windows, click on Update and Recovery as shown in the image below.
From the Update and Recovery window, there are three options available in the left frame. These options are Windows Update, File History, and Recovery. The Windows Update image is shown below. There are some differences in how users select the options within Windows Update using this method.
My current settings for my Windows 8.1 virtual machine are to install important and recommended updates automatically. As such, when I started my Windows 8.1 VM, all new important and recommended updates installed. I had to restart the VM after the automatic updates installed. With those updates automatically installed, the only updates left to install currently are optional updates. The image above was taken after the automatic updates installed but prior to the optional updates being installed.
To view the details for any important, recommended, or optional updates, click on the View Details link. To select optional updates to install, users have to manually select the updates just like Windows 7 users need to do. The image below shows the available optional update for my Windows 8.1 VM.
To check for new updates, click on the Check now button. Viewing the update history can be done by clicking on the View your update history link. The Choose how updates get installed link opens the window shown below.
The options available for installing updates are the same ones available in Windows 7 but the appearance of the window has been updated to match the other Windows 8.1 windows in PC Settings.
The second method for accessing Windows Update is only available for computers that have been updated to Windows 8.1 as Microsoft added the context menu functionality for the Windows start button with the Windows 8.1 update. The first two steps when using the second method are the primary difference between this method and how to access Windows Update in Windows 7. Starting with step 3, the rest of the steps are identical to the steps used in updating Windows 7.
1. Right-click on the Windows flag icon in the bottom left corner.
2. Click on Control Panel in the context menu.
3. If the Control Panel is set to View by: Category, you will need to perform this step. If the View by: option is set to either Large icons or Small icons, please skip to the next step. If the View by: option is set to Category, click on the link for System and Security.
4. If the System and Security option was selected in the last step, users will see the next image. If the previous step was skipped because the View by: option was set to either Large icons or Small icons, users will see the second image below. Click on Windows Update as shown in the appropriate image.
5. The Windows Update option from either image will take users to the same location as shown in the image below.
One change in Windows 8.1 is the removal of the Updates: frequently asked questions link in the Windows Update window that allowed users to look at additional information regarding Windows Update. Other than this change, the rest of the functionality and the configuration used in Windows 7 is still used with this second method.
One comment I would like to make regarding the second method is that Windows 8.1 users also have another way they can open Windows Update as they can go to the Start Screen and type in Windows Update. Users can then click on the Windows Update option from the search results. I do not have the Windows 8 operating system available so I cannot confirm whether or not Windows Update is available using the Start Screen when using Windows 8.
I hope that this information about updating the operating system is useful for everyone using Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. It is important to keep the operating system up to date to make sure new security updates and other updates intended to improve performance are installed so that the computer works correctly. If there are any comments or questions, please feel free to comment below or email me at the link in my bio.