Annoying as they might be, it’s important to keep Windows updated…just ask the victims of the latest ransomware attack. If you haven’t used your PC for a while or you just want to make sure you’re updated with the latest software, it’s easy to manually check and make sure in Windows.

Press the Windows button or Search button, and type “check for updates” in the box. Then, hit Enter or click on the first result. This will take you to the dedicated Windows Update page in the Windows 10 Settings application (or, if you’re using Windows 7, the Control Panel).

The display will show you the last time Windows connected to a Microsoft server to check for the latest updates. Click the “Check for updates” button. After a few seconds you’ll know if you’re running the very latest version of Windows or not.

Windows 7 users will see a slightly different window, but with the same options. Just click “Check for Updates” to see if updates are available.

If you’re up to date, congrats. If not, just click “Install updates” follow the on-screen instructions to download and install what you need. You may be prompted to restart your computer once the update process starts, so save any open work.

Normally, you shouldn’t have to manually check for updates. By default, all versions of Windows will download and install updates automatically. If you’ve turned this feature off, you should really turn it back on (Under “Change settings” in Windows 7 and “Choose how updates are installed” in Windows 8). These automatic updates keep your computer safe, and as annoying as they can be, they’re very important.

Windows 10 doesn’t allow users to disable updates completely, but if you’re concerned with being forced to restart and lose saved work, there’s a way to schedule your “Active Hours” and make sure that happens when you won’t be inconvenienced.

Profile Photo for Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider is a veteran technology journalist with a decade of experience. He spent five years writing for Android Police and his work has appeared on Digital Trends and Lifehacker. He’s covered industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress in person.
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