Microsoft releases new versions of their software (Windows operating system updates as well as application updates) through Windows Update. Microsoft also releases security updates and patches through Windows Update, so it is very important that you have Windows Update configured properly on your computer.

    Saint Mary's College recommends that you configure your computer to automatically download the updates and install them on a schedule that you specify.

    To turn on Automatic Updates for your computer:

    1. Click on the Start button and select Control Panel.
    2. Double-click on System.
    3. Click the Automatic Updates tab.
    4. If your computer does not have Windows XP SP2 installed:

      1. Make sure that Keep my computer up to date. With this setting enabled, Windows Update software may be automatically updated prior to applying any other updates is checked. If it is not checked, click in the box to check it.
      2. Click the button next to Automatically download the updates, and install them on the schedule that I specify.
      3. Set the first pop-up menu to Every Day.
      4. Set the second pop-up menu to a time you would like the updates to be downloaded and installed. Choosing a time you are less likely to be using the computer (between 2:00am and 6:00am, or a time when you will always be in class) may be most convenient.
      5. Click Apply.
      6. Close the System Properties window.

      If your computer does have Windows XP SP2 installed:

      1. Click on the Automatic (recommended) radio button.
      2. Set the first pop-up menu to Every Day.
      3. Set the second pop-up menu to a time you would like the updates to be downloaded and installed. Choosing a time you are less likely to be using the computer (between 2:00am and 6:00am, or a time when you will always be in class) may be most convenient.
      4. Click Apply.
      5. Close the System Properties window.

    After you turn on Automatic Updates, Windows recognizes when you are online and uses your Internet connection to find updates on the Windows Update Web site that apply to your computer. Updates are downloaded automatically in the background, and you are not notified or interrupted during this process. An icon will appear in the notification area of your Taskbar when the updates are being downloaded. You can point to the icon to view the download status. When the download is complete, a message will appear in the notification area so you can review the updates that are scheduled for installation. If you choose not to install at that time, Windows starts the installation on your set schedule. Always install critical updates immediately!


Last Modified August 12, 2005