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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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


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 Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
Read Full Bio »