Before you start
Objectives: Learn how to use Windows Update console to configure updates in Windows 7.
Prerequisites: you have to know what are updates and why are they important.
Key terms: Windows Update, Windows 7, configuration
Windows Update Console
To open Windows Update, we can go to to Start > All programs > Windows Update.
Windows Update Window
When we install Windows 7, we are asked if we want to configure Windows updates. We can choose to configure it immediately, to configure it later, or to never configure Windows updates. If we choose not to configure Windows updates to automatically check for updates, we can always check for updates manually.
Let’s look at some of the settings of Windows Update. To do that we can select “Change settings” option from the menu on the left.
Windows Update Menu
Here we choose different options about Windows updates.
We have different options for important update installation:
So, updates can be installed automatically, they can be downloaded but not installed, and they can be checked for but not downloaded and installed. We can also choose not to install updates at all. We can also choose on which day and at what time to install updates. For laptops the option to check for updates but not download them is great. This way we can save battery.
Note that we also have an option to give us recommend updates the same way as important updates. We can also enable or disable standard users to install updates on our computer.
Checking for Updates
When our computer checks for updates, the system will contact Microsoft Windows update servers. For example, in our case, after the check we only have one important update available for installation.
We can click on “1 important update is available” and see what updates are available for install.
List of Updates
We can also right-click and hide the update.
Hide Update Option
If we do that, it won’t be installed and won’t be brought up for installation in the future. We can also copy its details. We can also view more information about the selected update on the right-hand side of the window.
Information About Update
If we hide an update, but we want to bring it back again and install it, we have to go to the “Restore hidden updates” option in the Windows Update console.
Hidden Updates Option
In that window we will select the update we want to restore, and then click the Restore button.
Windows vs. Microsoft Updates
By default, we will only get updates for Microsoft Windows operating system. To be able to install updates for Windows and other Microsoft products, we can click on “Find out more” option.
Find Out More Option
This takes us to a website where we can choose to install a new version of Microsoft Update, which allows us to download updates for not only Windows but also other products from Microsoft, such as Microsoft Office.
This upgrade can also be done trough the Microsoft Office. Once we install Microsoft Office and run it for the first time, it will ask us if we want to use Microsoft Update to get updates for Microsoft Office as well. Once we upgraded the Windows Update to a newer version, we get two more option in Update settings.
New Update Options
Now we can choose to get (or disable) updates for other Microsoft products. We can also choose to get other Microsoft software such as various add-ons or similar.
After the upgrade, we have checked for updates again, and now we have three updates available for install.
New Updates Available
Let’s try and install them now.
As we can see, whenever update is being installed, a restore point is created. This means that in case the update causes a problem, we can revert back to the point of time before the update was installed.
Note that installing update will often require a reboot.
After the reboot, we can go back to Windows Updates and check the Update history on the left hand side.
Here we can see all updates that were installed, when it happened, the status of the installation, and the importance of the update.
List of Installed Updates
We can also right-click specific update in this list and see the details of the update installation.
We can gather more information about the update from the knowledgebase article in the update installation details. This is particularly useful if we have an installation error and we need to fix it.
All updates that we install can be uninstalled. To do that we can go to the “Installed Updates” option on the left hand side of the Windows Update window.
Installed Updates Option
Here we will see a list of updates. We can right-click particular update and then uninstall it.