How to work with the new Windows Update

Windows Update is another application that has been redesigned in Windows Vista. Now it is a standalone application instead of a web based one and, in order to download updates, you don’t need to go through a validation process. As you will see for yourself, the new Windows Update is easier to and use and less disruptive compared to its predecessor.

In this article we will talk about the new Windows Update, how it works and how to configure it.

Where to find Windows Update

Windows Update can be found directly in the root of the Start Menu. Alternatively, you can find it in Control Panel -> System and Maintanance -> Windows Update.

Windows Update

How to check for and install updates

When you will start Windows Update it will show you if there are any available updates. If no updates are being reported as available, then you can do a manual check by clicking on the Check for updates link. Windows Update will make a quick check and show you a summary of its findings.

Windows Update

As you can see in the screenshot below, at the time when we wrote this article, there were available 7 important and 17 optional updates. Also, if you have Windows Vista Ultimate, you can see if any new Extras were launched by Microsoft or not. If you want to install them click on the Install updates button.

Windows Update

This will install all the important updates but not the recommended or optional ones. To also install some (if not all) of the optional updates you will need to click on the View available updates link that can be found beneath the Install updates button.
As you can see in the screenshot below, Windows Update will split all available updates by categories. You can also see the type of each update and the date when it was published.
When choosing the updates you want to install, you should always select the important and recommended ones as they usually solve critical problems/vulnerabilities.

Windows Update

If you don’t want to install an update and you don’t want it to be reported by future checks, right click on it and select Hide update. That update will disappear from the list and it will never be installed on your PC.

Windows Update

After you have selected all the updates that you want to install, click on the Install button.

Windows Update

Windows Update will download and then install the updates. At the end, you might be prompted to restart your computer. Close all the important applications or documents you have open and then restart your computer. At the next log-in, Windows Update will inform you that all updates were installed successfully.

How to view the history of your updates

When you are in the Windows Update main window, if you click on the View update history link, you can see all the updates that were downloaded in the past and installed on your computer.

Windows Update

If you want to view or copy the details about an update, select it with the mouse, right click on it and select the appropriate option.

Windows Update

How to restore hidden updates

If you have hidden some updates that you did not want to install, you can always restore them by accessing the Restore hidden updates link. Select them with the mouse and then click on Restore.

Windows Update

The selected updates will now be available again in the Windows Update list.

How to configure Windows Update

To configure different aspects of Windows Update, click on the Change settings link. You can choose to check for and install updates automatically, download the updates automatically and then install them only when you want, check for updates and then download and install them when you want or, you can disable the automatic check for updates.

Windows Update

Other configuration options include the scheduling of automatic checks and the inclusion of recommended updates together with the important ones (when downloading, installing and notifying about updates).

Related articles:
How to uninstall Windows Vista updates
Keep Your Applications Up-to-Date With Update Notifier
The 9 commandments for an enjoyable computing experience
How to change the interface language of your Windows Vista

Recommended articles:
Prevent Windows Update from Forcibly Rebooting Your Computer

11 thoughts on “How to work with the new Windows Update”

  1. Where do you get updates for
    Where do you get updates for non-vista items, e.g. hardware driver updates etc? I’m sure with XP the Update process listed both windows updates as well as other non microsoft updates e.g. graphics card drivers.

  2. student,first time vista user
    I am a first timer to the whole vista thing. we upgraded our system and i have to admit i am very rusty at this. the toolbar is totally different. there is alot missing or hidden that i seem to can’t find. I am a student and the program that they are using is the microsoft office word 2003. I am using the microsoft works task launcher on the contrare that i now have the vista. If you could help me by providing a tutorial on the toolbar I would gladly be appreciated.

  3. Windows Updates
    I am having a problem updating windows every time it checks for updates it states can’t find updates and shows error code , it tells me that there are updates and when it tries to get them it can’t, same with win. defender it is doing same thing,error code 0x80190194 Help !!!

  4. KB955430
    Security update for core service pack keeps repeating. help I have over 20 copies of it. HP has no clue on how to resolve this, except to tell me I have to download it every time it appears. History shows sucessful installation.

    • How to download KB955430
      Plz let me know how to download KB95540 on Windows Vista. I do not download the file when I download KB955430 from windows update site which is always stopping 92% on the screen then not complete to seccess.
      Plz give me the note.

  5. Updates not showing in “windows update”
    The new windows update says there is “4” new updates, but the window where i can chose updates is blank, it wont show the updates, even if the tab says there is updates.

    if i have autmatic download or just download the important onces, then it works, but i want to see what im downloading and installing on my computer…

  6. Every time I try to update
    Every time I try to update windows , i am having a problem , it checks for updates it states can’t find updates and shows error code , it tells me that there are updates and when it tries to get them it can’t, same with win. defender it is doing same thing,error code 0x80190194 … so what can i do now … please help me .

  7. windows update page failed to load
    my windows update having an error it was “page failed to load”
    i don’t know how this happened. i’m using windows vista home premium 64-bit. i don’t know what to do. please help..

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