Stay up to date automatically

Published: September 7, 2006

The Internet is constantly changing, and Microsoft Windows XP also needs to change to remain as reliable and secure as possible. To keep Windows XP current, Microsoft releases software updates about once per month.

If you donít want to check for new updates each month, Windows XP can automatically download and install them for you using the Automatic Updates feature. This means that you can keep your computer up to date without having to remember to do anything (except leave your computer turned on and connected to the Internet).

To enable Automatic Updates


Use Microsoft Internet Explorer to visit Microsoft Update.


On the right side of the page, Internet Explorer displays the current status of Automatic Updates:


If Automatic Updates is turned on, your computer is protected. Windows XP will automatically install updates. You donít need to follow the rest of these steps. To check other aspects of your computerís security, read Make your system more secure.

Automatic Updates Turned ON message


If Automatic Updates is turned off, click Turn on Automatic Updates.

Turn on Automatic Updates button


In the Automatic Updates window, click OK.

Automatic Updates window with OK button selected

Microsoft typically releases updates once per month. Your computer will automatically download and install those updates. You may be prompted to restart your computer in order for the updates to take effect.