The Windows Update feature notifies you of the latest updates and bug fixes for the Windows XP operating system directly from the Microsoft Web site. To launch the Windows Update, you click the Start menu, point at the All Programs button, and then click Windows Update in the Programs menu.
As soon as you click select Windows Update on this menu, Windows gets you online and connects you to the Windows Update Web page on the Microsoft Web site.
To have your computer checked out to see whether you're in need of some updated Windows components, follow these steps:
1. On the Microsoft Windows Update Web page, click the Scan for Updates hyperlink.
When you click this hyperlink, the Windows checks your system for needed updates. After checking your system, the number of updates appears in the list of three types of updates (Critical Updates, Windows XP, and Driver Updates) in the pane on the left side of the window.
2. To have the Update Wizard install particular updates in one or more of the various categories, click the check boxes in front of each update name and description.
3. After you have all the updates that you want selected, click the Review and Install Updates hyperlink in the pane on the left side of the window.
4. Click the Start Download button on the Download Checklist page.
A license agreement dialog box then appears. Choose the Yes button to sell your soul to the devil (just kidding) and start the download.
After you click the assent to the license agreement, the Microsoft Windows Update page downloads and installs the updated files for the component(s) you selected. When the download and installation are complete, the message Download and Installation Successful appears on Windows Update Web page.
5. Click the Close box in the upper-right corner of the Windows Update Web page to close this browser window.
Just in case you're the type who would never think to use the Windows Update command on the Start menu, Windows XP turns on an AutoUpdate feature that automatically starts bugging you about new Windows features that you can download and install.
AutoUpdate indicates that Windows updates that could benefit your computer are available by placing an Install Reminder icon (with the picture of the Windows logo above a tiny globe) in the Notification area of the Windows taskbar. From time to time, a ScreenTip appears above this Install Reminder icon, telling you that new updates are available.
To get the Windows updates downloaded or to silence the Install Reminder, click that icon in the status bar. Windows then displays an Updates dialog box with three buttons along the bottom: Settings, Remind Me Later, and Install.
To go online and have Windows download and install the new updates (using the procedure outlined in the steps in the preceding section), choose Install. To be reminded to update at a later time, choose the Remind Me Later button and then select the time interval that must pass before the Install Reminder starts prompting you again in the drop-down list box of the Remind Me Later dialog box that appears.
To turn off the AutoUpdate features so that it never bugs you again, follow these steps:
1. Click the Start button and then click Control Panel.
2. Click the Switch to Classic View button at the top of the Control Panel navigation pane on the left side of this window.
3. Double-click the System icon to open the Systems Properties dialog box.
4. Click the Automatic Updates tab and then in the Notification Settings section, click the Turn Off Automatic Updating, I want to Update My Computer Manually radio button.
5. Click OK or press Enter to close the System Properties dialog box.