Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #249 5/7/2014

Question: Should I run updates on Windows?


Yes. It is important you run updates regularly on Windows even if you have automatic updates set.

Microsoft releases updates regularly that have corrections to Windows and other Microsoft products (such as Office) and also security updates. Windows and Office are very large programs and although they have been tested there are mistakes in them and flaws that are discovered. Also Microsoft adds features or makes features better at times.

Windows XP stopped getting updates in spring 2014 but almost every week Microsoft releases new updates for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 and also for all versions of Office after 2003. They also include in Windows Updates the new definitions for their security software including Defender and Security Essentials which are both free.

The week of April 27, 2014 there was discovered a major security flaw in Internet Explorer (basically all versions from 7 to the latest). Microsoft released the correction to this flaw on Thursday May 1 to make Internet Explorer secure again. It appears from all my sources that Microsoft has also released an update for Windows XP for this flaw.

Usually Microsoft releases new updates on Tuesdays but will release on other days if serious enough.

To run updates go to the Start button on your desktop and click on All programs. Windows Update will be on the list. Choose it.  Click Check for Updates. It may take several minutes looking for updates. You will then be told how many important updates are available (and it usually automatically chooses for them to install, but you can deselect or select these also as you will do for optional) and how many optional updates are available. Most optional updates are good to choose but some like languages updates for languages you do not use, ignore them. Click on the optional updates line to see what are available and to choose. Click Ok to go back to the main screen then click Install Updates. Normally that is all you need to do but sometimes it will request permission to install or there are user agreements to agree to.

Keeping updates installed in your programs will help keep your computer secure and safe and also make it run better.