Learn how to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is an important update that includes previously released security, performance, and stability updates for Windows 7. Installing SP1 helps keep Windows 7 up to date. For more information, see What's included in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

How to get SP1

The recommended (and easiest) way to get SP1 is to turn on automatic updating in Windows Update in Control Panel, and wait for Windows 7 to notify you that SP1 is ready to install. It takes about 30 minutes to install, and you'll need to restart your computer about halfway through the installation.

To learn if Windows 7 SP1 is already installed

  • Click the Start button The Start button, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.

    If Service Pack 1 is listed under Windows edition, SP1 is already installed on your computer.

Disk space requirements

Make sure you have enough free disk space to install SP1 (even though much of that space will be reclaimed after the installation). If you need to create free disk space, go to Strategies for freeing disk space on the Windows website.

Installation methodEstimated amount of free disk space required
Installation method

Windows Update

Estimated amount of free disk space required
  • x86-based (32-bit): 750 MB

  • x64-based (64-bit): 1050 MB

Installation method

Downloading SP1 from the Microsoft website

Estimated amount of free disk space required
  • x86-based (32-bit): 4100 MB

  • x64-based (64-bit): 7400 MB

Installation method

Installing SP1 using an installation DVD

Estimated amount of free disk space required
  • x86-based (32-bit): 4100 MB

  • x64-based (64-bit): 7400 MB

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Before you begin

Before you install SP1, we recommend you do the following:

  • If you have any prerelease versions of SP1 installed, uninstall them before installing the final release version of SP1. To do this, follow the instructions in "Uninstalling SP1" in this topic.

  • Back up your important files to an external location, such as an external hard disk, DVD or CD, USB flash drive, or network folder. For more information, search "Backing up files and folders" in Help and Support.

  • If you're using a laptop, connect it to an AC electrical outlet and don't unplug or restart the computer during installation.

  • Some antivirus software might prevent SP1 from installing, or might slow down the installation. You can try temporarily disabling your antivirus software. If you do so, be sure that you're aware of the risks involved, and be sure to re-enable it after the service pack is installed.

Installing SP1 using Windows Update (recommended)

If your computer is set to automatically install updates, you'll be prompted by Windows Update to install SP1. Follow the instructions on the screen. If you aren't prompted to install SP1, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your computer is connected to the Internet.

  2. Click the Start button The Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Update.
  3. In the left pane, click Check for updates.

  4. If any important updates are found, click the link to view available updates. In the list of updates, select Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB976932), and then click OK.

  5. Click Install updates. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  6. Follow the instructions on your screen.

  7. After the installation is complete, log on to your computer at the Windows logon prompt. You might see a notification indicating whether the update was successful.

  8. If you disabled your antivirus software, enable it again.

Note

  • If SP1 isn't listed, you might need to install some other updates before installing SP1. Install any important updates, return to the Windows Update page, and then click Check for updates again.

Downloading and installing SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center

If you have problems getting the service pack from Windows Update, you can download the SP1 installation package from the Microsoft Download Center, and then install SP1 manually.

  1. Go to the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 download webpage on the Microsoft website, and then click Continue.

  2. Choose either the 32-bit (x86) or the 64-bit (x64) version of SP1 depending on whether you're running the 32-bit or the 64-bit version of Windows 7, and then click Download.

    • To find out which version you're running, click the Start button The Start button, right-click Computer, and then click Properties. Under System, next to System type, you can view the operating system.
  3. To install SP1 immediately, click Open or Run, and then follow the instructions on your screen. To install SP1 later, click Save and download the installation file to your computer. When you're ready to install SP1, double-click the file.

  4. On the Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 page, click Next.

  5. Follow the instructions on your screen. Your computer might restart during the installation.

  6. After installation is complete, log on to your computer at the Windows logon prompt. You might see a notification indicating whether the update was successful.

  7. If you disabled your antivirus software, enable it again.

Installing SP1 using an installation DVD

You can order a DVD from Microsoft containing SP1. You'll need to choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of SP1, depending on whether you're running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7. For more information, go to Get Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on DVD on the Windows website.

  • To find out which version you're running, click the Start button The Start button, right-click Computer, and then click Properties. Under System, next to System type, you can view the operating system.
  1. Insert the DVD into your computer with your current version of Windows 7 running. The Install Windows Service Pack wizard should automatically appear.

    If the wizard doesn't appear, click the Start button The Start button, click Computer, right-click the drive containing the installation disc, and then click Install or run program.
  2. On the Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 page, click Next.

  3. Follow the instructions on your screen. The computer might restart several times during the installation.

  4. After installation is complete, log on to your computer at the Windows logon prompt. You'll receive a message indicating whether the update was successful.

  5. If you disabled your antivirus software, enable it again.

Uninstalling SP1

To learn how to uninstall a service pack, go to How to uninstall Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on the Windows website.

Help stay safe and keep your computer up to date

Make sure you're taking advantage of all the ways that Windows can help keep your computer as secure and safe as possible:

  • Install an antivirus program. Antivirus programs scan for viruses trying to get into your email, operating system, or files, and can help protect your computer. To find an antivirus program, go to the Windows Security software providers webpage on the Microsoft website.

  • Don't open email attachments. Many viruses are attached to email messages and will spread as soon as you open the email attachment. It's best not to open any attachment unless it's something you're expecting. Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail can help block potentially dangerous attachments.

  • Use a firewall.‌ Windows Firewall or any other firewall program can help notify you to security threats. It can block viruses, worms, and hackers from attempting to download potentially harmful programs onto your computer.

  • Use the latest version of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 9 contains security and privacy improvements, such as updates to SmartScreen Filter and InPrivate Browsing, which can help protect your computer so you can browse the web with more confidence. For more information, go to the Internet Explorer webpage on the Windows website.

Notes

  • For general information about service packs, go to the Service Pack Center webpage on the Windows website.

  • For technical information about SP1, such as release notes and the SP1 deployment guide, go to the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 resources webpage on the Microsoft TechNet website.