|March 8, 2003
This article assumes that you have already read Step-by-Step:
Using Windows Update and have kept your computer relatively updated.
Windows Update is pretty
cool, but most people are still too lazy to run the program every once
in a while. Also, it is possible by the time you run Windows Update,
you may have already been attacked via the security hole that has gone
unpatched. What's the solution? Automatic Windows Update.
If you have a fresh installation
of Windows 2000 or XP, you might not find the options for automatically
updating Windows. This is because this feature came around after
both operating systems were finalized. So in order to use this feature,
you have to run Windows Update and install the update that supports Automatic
Updates. I would basically suggest that you run Windows Update manually
until it is finally current, then you can use this Step-by-Step guide to
setup Automatic Updates.
Let's get started.
Windows 2000: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Automatic Updates
Windows XP: Right click on "My Computer" > Select "Properties" > Select
"Automatic Updates" tab.
For Win 200 or XP, you'll
end up at a dialog box that looks pretty much the same.
Let's go through the settings.
In the first option, you
control whether or not Window Update automatically updates your computer
or not. Check the box.
In the "Settings" options,
you have 3 options.
Personally, I like the second
option because it will keep your machine as updated as possible and I really
haven't had any problem with my line being slowed by the automatic
The first one simply notifies
you when critical updates are available before they are downloaded and
gives you the option to download them or not. Then it'll let you
know when the files are downloaded and ready to install.
The second option (my choice)
simply downloads all critical updates in the background and lets you know
when you can install them. Windows Update will run everyday as soon
as you boot your computer and start downloading available updates.
The third option is the same
as the 2nd option except you can control when Windows Update checks and
downloads the updates. This might be important for people who don't
want their Internet connection randomly bogged down with Windows Update
downloads. You can control when your line is bogged down. :)
the automatic downloads are for critical updates and security patches only.
This will not automatically install optional patches or driver updates.
If you want those to be installed, you still have to run Windows Update
Click "OK" and just use your
computer as normal.
When new updates are available
and are downloaded, you'll see this little icon in your system tray with
this message that new updates are ready to install.
Click on the icon and you'll
see this. You can choose to install it right away or if you want
to check out what you are installing, click on "Details".
Now that you know what you're
about install, you can click "Install".
You'll see this "Installation
in Progress" message.
Once the installation is
finished, you'll likely be asked to reboot your computer. Save your
work and click "Yes" to reboot.
Now you computer is setup
for Automatic Windows Updates. There's no excuse for you to be unpatched