Blog Post

How to keep Windows up-to-date for PC security

One of the common threads you’ll see throughout the world of Windows PC security is to keep your system up-to-date. Threats are constantly evolving and emerging. But fortunately, your software providers continuously evolve their solutions to protect against these threats as well. This only works if you update your system though.

Windows provides the base layer of defense, so as a first steps, let’s ensure you allow automatic updates and that you apply them regularly.

In fact, as I write this, a significant vulnerability was just announced that impacts “virtually every PC user.” Fortunately Microsoft is deploying security updates to Windows users, but you must be setup to receive them!

As a first step, it is vitally important to be on a supported version of Windows. If you are using Windows XP or another common, yet unsupported, version of Windows, you are putting yourself at undue risk. This guide focuses on Windows 10 to ensure you have the latest security updates and support.

Check your Windows Update status

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Click Start
  2. Settings
  3. Update & Security

You should find that your system has a nice green checkmark. If not, it’s time to make some tweaks!

If your machine is not updated, it’s time to dig through the settings and ensure you are allowing Windows to automatically update.

Examples of update status

Here’s a screenshot of a computer that is not up-to-date. You’ll note that there is a virus definition update and a general Windows patch available. These are actually related to the Intel vulnerability that was announced at the start of 2018.

Windows Update Settings

After letting the updates install and rebooting my PC, I get a green checkmark showing me everything is happy and up-to-date.

Examples of update status

Here’s a screenshot of a computer that is not up-to-date. You’ll note that there is a virus definition update and a general Windows patch available. These are actually related to the Intel vulnerability that was announced at the start of 2018.

After letting the updates install and rebooting my PC, I get a green checkmark showing me everything is happy and up-to-date.

Here’s a screenshot showing a happily-updated copy of Windows:

Windows Updated

Changing your auto-update settings

You can click through “Change active hours,” “Restart options,” and “Advanced options” to ensure updates are allowed to download and install. You can set off times that are convenient for you.

You may also find that you have an update pending and you may just need to restart your machine to let the process finalize. Getting in the habit of regularly restarting your PC can help keep updates coming in a timely manner.

Free guide: 7 "Ridiculously Simple" Steps to Secure Your PC

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Questions or comments? Let us know!