To have Windows install important updates as they become available, turn on automatic updating. Important updates provide significant benefits, such as improved security and reliability. You can also set Windows to automatically install recommended updates, which can address non-critical problems and help enhance your computing experience. Optional updates and Microsoft updates are not downloaded or installed automatically.

For more information about automatic updating and installing Windows updates, see Understanding Windows automatic updating and Install Windows updates in Windows 7.

To learn more about the types of updates that Microsoft publishes, go to the Microsoft updates terminology article on the Microsoft Help and Support website.

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.

  3. Under Important updates, choose the option that you want.

  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click OK. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

You can also choose if you want to allow anyone to install updates by selecting the Allow all users to install updates on this computer check box. This applies only to updates and software that are installed manually; automatic updates will be installed regardless of the user.