You can set Windows to automatically install important and recommended updates, or to install important updates only. Important updates provide significant benefits, such as improved security and reliability. Recommended updates can address non-critical problems and help enhance your computing experience. Optional updates are not downloaded or installed automatically. To learn more about the types of updates that Microsoft publishes, see this Knowledge Base article on the Microsoft Help and Support website.

If you don't want updates to be installed automatically, you can choose instead to be notified when updates apply to your computer, so you can download and install them yourself, or you can set Windows to automatically download updates, and then notify you so you can install them yourself.

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.

  3. Click the automatic updating option that you want.

  4. To get important and recommended updates for your computer, under Recommended updates, select the Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box.

  5. Click OK. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.


  • If you turn off automatic updating, make sure you check for new updates regularly. For more information, see Install Windows updates.