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How to Manually Install Windows Updates

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 11/24/2009

We all know the Windows operating system is never perfect right out of the box. This is why Windows updates are made available to customers periodically, and these updates are very important. Read on to find out how to manually install these updates so you don't lose valuable protection!

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    Windows Updates are critical system updates provided to genuine Windows customers. Usually, you can set these updates to be automatic, and while this may be the best way to handle things, it is important to know how to install these updates manually. The automatic update feature helps keep your system updated no matter what's going on in your life; but knowing how to make sure your computer gets these updates regardless will definitely help to make sure that nothing happens to your system.

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    Things You'll Need

    • Windows XP
    • Internet Connection
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    Step One

    Go to: Start > All Programs > Windows Update. This will open a web page that will connect you to Microsoft and run a scan to see if you have any updates. You will likely have to install an ActiveX control for the update page to work correctly, so be sure that you do this. It is safe for your computer, so do not worry.

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    Step Two

    Now, Windows Update should run a scan to see if there are any updates for your computer. This may take a few seconds, or it may take a few minutes depending on how long it has been since this process was last ran on your computer. While it is scanning, you can do other things.

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    Step Three

    When the scan is complete you will be presented with a list of updates that your system needs. Some of these updates will be less important than others, (such as updates to components), while others will be very important security fixes. It is best to download everything if you are unsure. Read what is presented on the screen, and click the "Download and install now" button.

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    Step Four

    Next, a window will open that will prepare the computer to receive the download. It will then download the information and install the information to your computer. You may be prompted to start the install yourself if the updates require it. Then, all you will need to do is restart your computer to make sure the updates are being put to use by your computer system.

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    Tips, Warnings, and Other Information

    • Schedule Windows Updates to run and install automatically. You can do this by going to Start > Control Panel > Windows Security. Make sure the "Automatic Updates" panel reads "ON".
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