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Beginner Geek: Make Windows 7 Update Find Updates for More Than Just the OS

Are you new to Windows 7 and the way it runs Windows Update?  By default it won’t check for updates for other Microsoft programs installed, here’s how to make Windows Update find updates for Office and other MS apps.

Activate Microsoft Update

First, open Windows Update to see what updates you’re receiving.  You can easily find it by entering Windows Update in the Start menu search.

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Look underneath the Windows Update box to see what you’re getting updates for.  By default, Windows 7 will only check for updates to Windows and drivers, not other Microsoft products such as Office.  To add this, click the Find out more link on the bottom.

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This will open the Windows Update page in your default browser.  Check the I agree box, and then click Install.

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Accept the UAC prompt, and then after a moment the page will update and show that Microsoft Update is now installed.

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Windows Update should automatically launch and check for updates, this time for Windows and other Microsoft products.

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You’ll likely notice some updates for Microsoft programs you already have installed, as well as some optional free programs from Microsoft such as Silverlight and Live Essentials.

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Turn Off Microsoft Update

If you’d rather only check for Windows updates and not check for updates to other Microsoft programs, here’s how you can switch back to the default settings.  Open Windows Updates as before, and click the Change settings link on the left hand side.

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Scroll down to the Microsoft Update section, and uncheck the Give me updates for Microsoft products box.

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Click Ok to confirm that you wish to turn off Microsoft Update.

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Now you’ll only receive updates for Windows, but not for other Microsoft products you have installed.

Conclusion

Most Windows users have many other programs from Microsoft installed on their computers, so you’ll likely want to stay up to date with the latest updates.  You’ll also be able to select optional extra free programs from Microsoft if you want, but you’ll never have new apps installed that you don’t want.  Now we only wish that all other programs could automatically update with Windows update, too! If you’re new to Microsoft Security Essentials check out our article on how to make sure MSE is always updated.

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 07/28/10

Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous

    geez, there’s no such “Find out more” link in my windows update!

  2. theamazingpete

    You might want to try Secunia for updating other programs. It doesn’t perform the update but it does tell you when there are updates available.

  3. Scott

    @Anonymous:

    That’s because you already have it enabled. If you click “Change settings” (it’s on the left side panel of the main Windows Update window), there’s an option under “Microsoft Update” that says: “Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows.” Also, under “Software notifications,” there’s an option to “Show me detailed notifications when new Microsoft software is available.” You probably have check marks in those 2 boxes.

  4. Magued

    No “Find out more” in my WU

  5. nakul

    File Hippo Update checker + windows updates = WIN

  6. Yoshiyah

    I agree. Filehippo Update Checker will perform a scan of programs installed and launch a page in your default browser. it then gives download links to any program needing updating (including Beta releases). Using Filehippo Update Checker + Windows/Microsoft Update + MSE + Host File=WIN

  7. voyager42

    try cnet tech tracker also……………………it’s free!

  8. updatemeMS!!

    just found out MS important updates dont include an important update…wonderful huh!

    those of you using win 7 64bit home premium might want to check KB947821 is installed,, i had to manually track the fekker down!,, shows as important update in update history but in MS infinite wisdom doesnt install if you chose to only install important updates….

  9. Irman Ahmad

    “Windows” tweeted this just now!!

  10. Gebrauchte Software

    Saw it on Twitter too.

    Windows Microsoft Windows
    Get Windows 7 to update Windows and other @Microsoft products: http://bit.ly/jNa7RH
    vor 34 Minuten Als Favorit markieren Retweet Antworten

    Nice work, great info.
    http://twitter.com/#!/usc_shop

  11. dan

    How may I search WINDOWS UPDATE to quickly see if a certain “KB” number has already been applied to my PC? The WINDOWS UPDATE list is too long to read through and there is no way to sort on “KB” number.

  12. ferasward

    more thanksssssssssssssssss

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