Updating Office 2010

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Why Update

You can easily use Microsoft Office 2010 without ever updating your software. However, you can improve your experience with Office 2010 by regularly installing updates.

As with almost all software products, hackers exploit all vulnerabilities that they can find. It is impossible for a developer to anticipate every potential hole in their software. The same holds true for Microsoft Office 2010. As Microsoft becomes aware of potential security threats to their Office 2010 suite, they release security updates to patch the problem. Though this is most common for Outlook 2010, other applications in the Office 2010 suite occasionally need security updates as well.

Security updates are the only types of Office 2010 updates available. Until consumers truly begin using a product, it’s hard for Microsoft’s developers to fully test every possible aspect of their software. This is where bug fixes, or service packs, come into play. If you happen to notice a glitch when you open certain menus or problems with certain Office 2010 applications closing unexpectedly, check for the latest Office 2010 updates. In addition to security patches, bug fixes are released to take care of all the little issues Microsoft developers and beta testers may have missed.

As if security patches and bug fixes weren’t enough, Microsoft also provides Office 2010 updates in the form of feature updates. These updates often include additions to existing features, such as added support for languages, spell checker and thesaurus updates and additional web components.

Keep Office 2010 up to date not only keeps your Office 2010 suite running smoother, but also keeps your system more secure and provides access to updated features to make Microsoft Office 2010 even more useful.

Where to Get Updates

Microsoft Office used to have its own update site. Now all updates for Microsoft products can be downloaded from Microsoft Update. If you are looking for a specific update, you can also search the Microsoft Update Catalog. I recommend only using the Microsoft Update Catalog for Office 2010 updates if you need to download updates for an offline computer or for deploying a single update to multiple network computers.

As a side note, updates may not be available for Office 2010 until the end of year or early 2011. However, updates for all versions of Microsoft Office are available through the sites mentioned above. Microsoft Update scans your system to see which version of Office you currently have installed to provide only the Office updates relevant to you.

Downloading and Installing

To check for updates, visit one of the sites listed in the “Where to Get Updates” section. Most users should visit Microsoft Update. Once the site loads, you can choose whether to view just high priority updates, which include service packs and security patches, or a list of all available updates. Express updates are high priority, while the custom updates section lists everything. Check the updates you want to install. There are descriptions beside each update.

Once you’ve chosen the updates you want, press the installation button. The download and installation process run back to back and rarely require any user interaction. If you haven’t download Office 2010 updates recently, repeat the process to check for any updates that may be dependent upon other updates being installed first.

Additional Updates

Office 2010 updates are available in the form of add-ons, such as clip-art, templates, sounds and more. There are several ways to check for these updates. You can check for add-on updates through each individual Office 2010 application. Open the application and go the “Help” menu. From here, you can choose either “Microsoft Office Help” or “Microsoft Office Online.” Search for the type of add-on you need, such as “food clipart” or “budget template.”

Visit the Office Online Home Page to view available downloads, clip art downloads and templates. You can also check the Microsoft Update Catalog for add-ons and other Office 2010 update downloads as well.

Unlike security patches and bug fixes, these Office 2010 updates are only useful if you actually want or need them for a project you are working on in Microsoft Office 2010. Otherwise, these updates will simply take up space.


If you ever have problems after installing Office 2010 updates, you can perform a System Restore or remove the recently installed updates through Add/Remove Programs in Windows. Try disabling your anti-virus and any third party firewall software and reinstalling the update. Occasionally updates do not download or install properly when anti-virus or firewall programs are running.