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Microsoft Updates, Windows Updates, Automatic Updates, all these phrases can cause a bit of confusion for the average pc user. Are they all the same? When do I need to do updates? What if I have errors after the update is installed? These are just a few of the common questions we regularly receive from users. Below we will answer these questions and give you a clear understanding of the Microsoft Update process.
What are the differences between Windows Updates, Microsoft updates and Automatic Updates?
Windows Updates are designed specifically for the Windows Operating System installed on your computer. Microsoft Update enlarges the scope of the download and to include updates for other Microsoft based programs, such as Microsoft Office and Windows Live.
An Automatic Update is generally set-up on your system if it is newer. This feature provides you with the ability to let your PC automatically download and install updates. While using the Automatic Update feature is easy and convenient, you do not have the ability to choose which updates are going to be installed. If you do not want to make selections however, setting the Automatic Update is the best way to keep your PC current with the best patches and updates available.
When should I use Microsoft Update?
If you enable the Automatic Update, you won't need to remember to check for the latest “Import and Recommended” updates as your computer will automatically download and install these files whenever you are on-line. Even using the Automatic updates you may want to check every 2-3 months for any optional updates for programs you may use or special functions you may perform with your system.
If you do not choose the Automatic Update feature, you should check for updates once a week or at least once a month at a minimum. Microsoft usually releases updates on the second or fourth Tuesday of the month. Some more important updates or patches are released at the time they are created to offer you the option to install them immediately.
Should I allow automatic updates?
If you do not wish to be bothered with regularly looking for and installing updates then setting the Windows update feature to automatic is suggested. All Windows systems including and released since Windows Vista have an automatic updating feature, where you can schedule the time you want your system to download and install the “Import and Recommended” updates. This feature is recommended for most users.
Do I need to download Windows updates if I am using Microsoft Update for my other Microsoft programs?
No. If you use Microsoft Update, you will be able to review and install updates for Windows and other Microsoft software products in one location, either on the website or your Control Panel. All systems including Windows Vista and beyond have a Windows Update control panel where you can review updates instead of visiting a website for your download selections.
How do I resolve download errors or errors after installing the update?
Should you download a corrupt file or have a conflict during download,
Go back to the website and overwrite the first download and then re-install it.
One of the most important things you can do as a computer user is to update your files and keep a current System Repair disk on hand. As most of the updates are patches and resolutions to known issues, rarely will you encounter errors from the update itself. On the rare occasion you do have an issue that can’t be resolved by a system re-boot, reinstall Windows from your installation disk or repair CD.
It is possible that older programs installed on your system could have update conflicts. If this happens, go to the website of the program in question and download any available updates.
We hope this helps clear up any questions you may have about updating your system files. If there are further questions you’d like to see answers to on our site, please contact us here.