Security updates are delivered on the second Tuesday of each month, which is called “Patch Tuesday”, but security updates can be delivered whenever a software update is required to prevent an exploit targeting Windows users. Windows Update can be configured to install updates automatically, to ensure that a computer is always up-to-date and not vulnerable to computer worms and other malware.

Why to update systems with patches given by Microsoft?
The windows operating system we use in the computer is fundamentally made up of millions of lines of programming code. For example, Windows Vista is made of about fifty million lines of code. Errors are inevitably made, while typing out these 50,000,000 lines, thus making the software vulnerable.

Hackers try to exploit these vulnerabilities created by the mistakes in the software. They use the hacked computer to send spam, steal passwords of the owners/users in order to take over their identities and make online purchases.

In order to repair these errors, Microsoft regularly releases updates/patches for its products. These updates automatically take care of the vulnerable part of the code by repairing or replacing it with safer one.

Quick Facts:
As of 2008, Windows Update has about 500 million clients, processes about 350 million unique scans per day, and maintains an average of 1.5 million simultaneous connections to client machines. On Patch Tuesday, the day Microsoft typically releases new software updates, outbound traffic can exceed 500 gigabits per second. Approximately 90% of all clients use automatic updates to initiate software updates, with the remaining 10% using the Windows Update web site. The web site is built using ASP.NET, and processes an average of 90,000 page requests per second.

How to perform windows update – for Dummies:
There are many ways through which you can update your windows manually.

  • Go to all programs in start menu and find “Windows Update” and click on it. (OR)
  • Right click on “My Computer”. Go to “Automatic Updates” tab. Click on “Windows Update Website”. (OR)
  • Open “Internet Explorer“. Type windowsupdate.microsoft.com in the address bar and hit Enter.

All the above steps will direct you to Windows update site of Microsoft. Click on “Express” button. The site will provide all the recommended updates for your computer. Click on ‘Review and Install Updates’ and then on ‘Install Now.’

Precautions while performing windows updates:

  • Log in as Administrator into your system.
  • Make sure there is no interruption in power or internet while updates are going on. That may make things messy for later updates.
  • Some updates require restarting of your computer. Make sure you save and close all your work and applications before you start installation process.
  • Use Internet Explorer only as updates don’t work on other browsers.

PS: The above mentioned process is for people without much idea on “windows updates”.

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