Windows Update scans your computer and provides you with a tailored selection of updates that apply only to the items on your computer.
Any update that Microsoft considers critical to the operation of your operating system, programs, or hardware is classified as a "critical update" and is automatically selected for you to install. Critical updates are provided to help resolve known issues and protect your computer from known security vulnerabilities.
Follow this four-step process to get the updates you need to keep your computer up-to-date:
1. Click on your Start Menu and open Windows Update (you can also find Windows Update under the Tools menu in Internet Explorer).
2. Click Scan for updates.
3. As you browse through the available updates in each category, click Add to select the update of your choice and add it to the collection of updates you want to install. You can also read a full description of each item by clicking the Read more link.
4. When you have selected all the updates you want, click Review and install updates, and then click Install Now.
Windows will alert you in the lower right corner of your taskbar if any updates are needed, after you restart your computer. You can review the updates by clicking on the information bubble when it pops up.
Some updates must be installed separately, be sure to review updates before installing.
Some updates might require that you restart your computer. Save your work and close any open programs before beginning the installation process.
Reviewed February 27, 2014