Updating your WindowsXP computer

This document describes how to run Windows Update on your WindowsXP computer (Windows2000 is similar). You can also configure Windows to automatically download critical updates and notify you when they are ready to install.

Running Windows Update

Step 1  
  Click the Start button and select Windows Update.

Your web browser might prompt you to install an "ActiveX component" in a banner near the top of the web browser window -- if it does, install it.

Step 2  
  When prompted to perform an "Express" or "Custom" update, choose "Custom".
  Windows Update will check for critical updates....
Step 3  
  If Windows Update finds any "High-Priority Updates" click Review and install updates.
Step 4  
  When the "Review and Install Updates" screen appears, click Install Updates to begin the download/update process.
  Windows Update will perform the installation...
  ...and indicate when it's done....

You may be prompted to reboot your computer -- some updates require a reboot to complete the installation.

Sometimes, updates must be installed a few at a time, and then the computer must be rebooted, and then a few more can be installed. Repeat steps 1 through 4 until Windows Update reports "No high-priority updates for your computer are available."

Configuring Automatic Updates

Step 1  
  Click the Start button and select Settings and then Control Panel.
Step 2  
  Double-click the Automatic Updates icon.
Step 3  
  When the Automatic Updates window appears, click the Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them.

Click the OK button.

From time to time, Windows will quietly contact Microsoft's servers to check for any critical updates. If updates are required, Windows will automatically download them and notify you that they are ready to be installed by popping up a balloon in the lower right corner of your screen.

A Windows Update "globe" icon will also appear on your task bar.

When the balloon appears, click it to begin the installation. Usually, you can continue to use your computer while the updates are being installed. If necessary, you will be prompted to save your files and restart your computer.

Note: You can still run a "manual" Windows Update as described earlier in this document rather than waiting for Automatic updates to check for updates. You may wish to do this if there's a "new vulnerability" being reported in the news and you want to be sure your computer is updated as quickly as possible.


Where to get help
If you need help updating your computer's operating system, contact the Computer Support Line at x5999.