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Configure Automatic Updates on a Windows Machine

I want to make sure that Windows updates as well as other updates for Microsoft products will automatically install on my machine.

On this page:

Windows 10

  1. Go to Start > Settings.


  2. Once the Settings page opens click on Update & Security

    Update and Security

  3. Select Windows Update on the left.
    Please Note: Windows 10 is set to Automatically download and install updates so there is nothing needed to be configured expect for advanced options.

    The option Check online for updates from Microsoft Update is unchecked by default if you are using WAUS (see the tip at the bottom of this page.) Checking this option allows additional updates to be installed from Microsoft. When a restart is required Windows will prompt you to schedule a restart or will do so when you are not using your machine.
    You can also manually check for updates by clicking Check for updates.


    Optional: If you select Advanced Options you can enable the following options:

    • Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows - This allows updates for programs like Office to also be downloaded and installed.
    • Defer Upgrades - This allows only security updates to be installed and any feature updates to be deferred for a few months.


Windows 7 SP1

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security.
    Result: The System and Security window opens.
    System and Security

  2. Click on Windows Update.
    Result: The Windows Update window opens.
    Tip: This page will show when the most recent updates were installed. They should be occurring at least once a month.
    Windows Update

  3. Click on Change settings.
    Result: The Choose how Windows can install updates window opens.
    Installation Options

  4. Set drop menu to Install updates automatically (recommended) and choose the frequency and time of day you wish the update to take place.
    Tip: Choose a time when your computer is turned on. Every day or every week is recommended.
  5. Click OK.
The MIT Windows Automatic Update Service (WAUS) is also available to those members of the MIT community who wish to utilize Microsoft's Automatic Update feature with a more conservative selection of patches – focused on critical security updates – than those available directly from Microsoft.

See also

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 04, 2020

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