Complete How to Change Windows Update 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP Settings

By | January 18, 2022

Windows Update is there to help make it easier for you to update Windows with the latest patches, service packs, and other updates. The easy way depends on how Windows Update is configured to download and apply updates.

When you first turn on your new computer or are finishing installing your Windows operating system, you tell Windows Update how you want it to be a little more automated or a little more manual.

If your initial decision doesn’t work, or you need to change how it works to avoid repeating the automatic update problem, like what happened on some Patch Tuesdays, you can customize how Windows receives and installs updates.

Depending on your version of Windows, this could mean downloading but not installing updates, telling you but not downloading them, or even disabling Windows Updates completely.

Time It Takes: Changing how Windows updates are downloaded and installed will only take you a few minutes at most.

Update Settings in Windows 10

Starting in Windows 10, Microsoft simplified the options available to you regarding the Windows Update process but also removed some of the finer controls you might have enjoyed in earlier versions.

  • Tap or click the Start button, followed by Settings. You must use Windows 10 Desktop to do this.
  • From Settings, tap or click Update & security.
  • Select Windows Update from the menu on the left, assuming it’s not already selected.
  • Tap or click the Advanced options informasi on the right, which will open a window titled Choose how updates are installed.
  • The various settings on this page control how Windows 10 will download and install updates for the operating system, and possibly other software, from Microsoft.
  • Changes to Windows Update settings in Windows 10 are saved automatically after you make them. When you’re done selecting or deselecting, you can close any open Advanced Options window.

Here are more details on all the “advanced” Windows Update settings available to you in Windows 10:

Automatic (recommended): Select this option to automatically download and install updates of all kinds — both critical security patches and non-critical non-security updates, such as feature improvements and minor bugs.

Tell to schedule a restart: Select this option to automatically download updates of all kinds — security, and non-security. Updates that do not require a restart will be installed immediately but which will not restart your computer without your permission.

Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows: It’s pretty self explanatory. I recommend checking this option so that other Microsoft programs you have installed will get automatic updates as well, such as Microsoft Office. (Updates for your Windows Store apps are handled in the Store. Go to Settings from the Store and turn the Auto-update apps option on or off.)

Delay update: Checking this allows you to wait a few months or more before major non-security updates will be automatically installed, such as those that introduce new features to Windows 10. Delaying updates does not affect security-related patches and is not available on Windows 10 Home.

Choose how updates are delivered: This option allows you to enable or disable downloading, as well as uploading, from Windows related update files around your local network or even the entire internet. Participate in Updates from more than one program where helps speed up the Windows Update process in Windows 10.

Get the insider version: If you see it, it will allow you to register for an early version of the major update for Windows 10. When activated, you will have a Fast or Slow option, which indicates how quickly once this test version of Windows 10 is available you will get it.

Update Settings in Windows 8, 7, & Vista

These three versions of Windows have very similar Windows Update settings, but I’ll mention any differences as we go through the process.

  • Open Control Panel. In Windows 8, WIN+X Menu is the fastest way, and in Windows 7 & Vista, check the Start menu for the informasi.
  • Tap or click the System and Security informasi, or simply Security in Windows Vista.
  • From the System and Security window, select the Windows Update informasi.
  • Once Windows Update opens, click or tap the Change settings informasi on the left.
  • The settings you see on the screen now control how Windows Update will search for, receive, and install updates from Microsoft.
  • Tap or click OK to save changes. Feel free to close the Windows Update window you came back from.

Here’s about all the options you have:
Install updates automatically (recommended): Select this option to have Windows Update automatically check for, download, and install important security patches.

Download the update but let me choose whether to install it: Select this to have Windows Update automatically check for and download important updates but not install them. You must explicitly choose to install updates either from Windows Update or during the subsequent shutdown process.

Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them: With this option, Windows Update will check for and notify you of available updates, but you will have to manually agree to the download and installation.

Never check for updates (not recommended): This option disables Windows Update completely in Windows 8, 7, or Vista. When you select this, Windows Update will not even check with Microsoft to see if critical security patches are available.

Here are some of the meanings of the checkboxes, not all of which you will see, depending on your version of Windows and how your computer is configured:

Give me suggested updates the same way I receive important updates: This option gives Windows Update permission to treat patches that Microsoft “recommends” in the same way as patches it deems “critical” or “important,” and download and install them as you would have selected in the drop-down box.

Allow all users to install updates on this computer: Check this if you have another non-administrator account on the computer that you actually use. This will let the users install the updates as well. However, even when unchecked, the updates installed by administrators will still be applied to those user accounts, they will not be able to install them.

Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows: Check this option, which is a bit more wordier in Windows 7 & Vista, if you have other Microsoft software and you want Windows Update to take care of those updates too.

Show me detailed notifications when new Microsoft software is available: It’s pretty self-explanatory check if you want to get notified, via Windows Update, when Microsoft software you haven’t installed is available for your computer.

How to Change Windows Update Settings in Windows XP

Windows Update is more of an online service than an integrated part of Windows XP, but update settings can be managed from within the operating system.

  • Open Control Panel, usually via Start, and then the informasi on the right.
  • Click the Security Center informasi.
  • Click the Automatic Updates informasi near the bottom of the window.
  • The four options you see in the Automatic Updates window control how Windows XP is updated.
  • Click the OK button to save your changes.

Here are more details on what these four options mean for the Windows Update experience in Windows XP:

Automatic (recommended): Windows Update will automatically check for, download, and install updates, without your input.

Downloaded the update for me, but let me choose when to install it: Updates will be checked for, and downloaded, from Microsoft’s servers, but they won’t be installed until you manually approve them.

Tell me but don’t automatically download or install it: Windows Update will check for new updates from Microsoft, and notify you of them, but they won’t be downloaded and installed until you tell them to.

Turn off Automatic Updates: This option completely disables Windows Update in Windows XP. You won’t even be notified that an update is available. You can, of course, still visit the Windows Update website yourself and check for any new patches.

Disabling Windows Update & Turning Off Automatic Updates

While it was possible, at least prior to Windows 10, I don’t recommend completely disabling Windows Update. At the very least, make sure you select the option where you are notified of new updates, even if you choose not to automatically download or install them.

And on that thought… I also don’t recommend turning off automatic updates. Letting Windows Update check for, download, and install updates automatically is an excellent way to make sure you’re protected against exploits by security issues once they’re discovered. Yes, at least in Windows 8, 7, and Vista, you can compromise by making that critical “install” part up to you, but it’s just one more thing you should remember to do.

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