In my previous article discussing updating Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, I looked at why people should update the Windows operating systems on their computers and what the different settings in Windows Updates are used for. In this article, I will be describing the steps needed to get to Windows Updates and configure it to users’ needs. For Windows 7, the process is fairly easy for getting to Windows Update.
1. Click on the Start orb in the bottom left corner.
2. Click on Control Panel in the Start 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.
In the Windows Update window, the section on the left lists several options. These options are:
- Control Panel Home
- Check for Updates
- Change Settings
- View Update History
- Restore hidden updates
- Updates: frequently asked questions
- Installed Updates
Most of these options are self-explanatory. Clicking on Control Panel Home will take users back to the main Control Panel window. Clicking on Check for updates does just that, Windows Update will check the Microsoft servers to see if there are any updates to install. Clicking on Change settings brings up the settings window I discussed in the first Windows Update article. Clicking on View update history will show the updates that are installed on the PC. Restore hidden updates will show updates that the user has hidden previously. Clicking on Updates: frequently asked questions brings up the Windows Help and Support menu for Windows Update and the list of frequently asked questions. Clicking on Installed Updates shows the updates that have been installed on this PC. The link for Installed Updates is located in the bottom left corner of the window.
One thing that users may encounter with Windows Update is the need to update Windows Update. If Windows Update needs to update itself, a window like the one in the image below will appear. To install the update to Windows Update, click the Install now button.
When new updates are found, the window will show a summary of the types of updates similar to the image below.
To look at details of the updates to install, click on the link for the update type. For example, in the image above, users would need to click on the link for 6 important updates are available to look at what the updates are. The image below shows the detail screen for the 6 important updates. Microsoft also breaks down the updates by the major program. For example, Windows 7 updates are listed separately from Windows Defender updates. Microsoft Office updates would be listed under Microsoft Office as the major program instead of listing each program within Microsoft Office as its own section.
On the Select updates to install window, users can also select other types of updates to install. In the image above, there is a tab for installing optional updates. Optional updates are updates, drivers, or other Microsoft software. With the Important updates, the checkboxes to install the updates are automatically checked. For the Optional updates, users have to select the updates to install. To install all of the optional updates, click on the checkbox to the left of the Name column towards the top of the window. Once done selecting the updates to install, click the OK button to return to the Windows Update install screen.
Once back at the Windows Update install screen, click on Install Updates to download and install the updates that were selected. Some updates will require users to accept terms and conditions for the updates. An example of an update requiring the acceptance of terms and conditions is shown in the image below.
After accepting the terms and conditions, click on Finish and the update process will continue. After updates finish, users may need to restart the PC. If a restart is required, a message will appear stating the restart is needed. Click on the Restart button to restart the PC. During the restart of the PC, the updates will be installed.
On the window for checking for updates, there is a section just below where the update info is located that provides some added information. This information includes when the most recent update check was done, when updates were last installed, and the type of updates. Currently, my virtual machine shows that I am set to receive updates for Windows only.
Microsoft does allow the option to install updates other than just updates for the Windows operating system. To get updates for other Microsoft products, click on the Find out more link in the box just below the section with the information about when the update check ran.
When this link is clicked, the default browser will launch to the Microsoft Update website, shown below.
When installing updates, I recommend that users run the Check for Updates each time updates are installed as some updates have prerequisites that must be installed before the update will show in Windows Update. Although my VM was set to only install Windows Updates because I have just the operating system installed, I do recommend that users enable updating of other Microsoft products using Windows Update. I also do recommend that users set Windows Updates to install the recommended updates with the same settings used for important updates.
There is a setting in Windows Update to Restore hidden updates but how do users hide an update in the first place? Hiding updates is an easy process. Right-click on the update to be hidden and select Hide Update. If an update is accidentally hidden, use the Restore hidden updates option to unhide the update.
I hope that this information about updating Windows 7 helps. Keeping computers updated helps to keep them more secure and can help the computer run better. If there are any comments or questions, please feel free to comment below or email me at the link in my bio.