Home Editorials How to Turn On & Download Windows 8 Updates

How to Turn On & Download Windows 8 Updates

Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system didn’t just add a new touch-friendly screen and a store for users to download all of their updates. It changed a host of things. For the first time, resetting your computer is as simple as pushing a button and you don’t have to worry about updating your stuff. Windows 8 has a touch-friendly browser, apps that’ll update themselves and security fixes that all happen in the background. Windows 8 updates can automatically happen in the background too.

If you turned off automatic updates when you first set-up your Windows 8 computer you aren’t alone. Millions aren’t necessarily ok with software upgrades being added to PC. To them, there’s too much room for error, too many things could go wrong.

At some point though, every piece of software and every app running on your Windows 8 notebook tablet or desktop is going to need a software update. Blocking Windows 8 updates might seem like the right move to make, but in the abstract is actually not. Windows 8 updates are how you get the latest features and fixes for features that aren’t quite working correctly. Windows 8 updates are how Microsoft maintains the security of your device.  In fact, Windows 8 updates are the only way the built-in Windows Defender software that act as your device’s first line of defense gets virus definition upgrades. Even Microsoft’s own Office suite of productivity apps rely on Windows 8 updates.

Read: 21 Windows 8.1 Tips

You need to keep Windows 8 Updates on and if you’re not going to, you need to know how to go through them manually and chose which updates you’d like to install. Here’s how to download Windows 8 updates manually and what you need to do to keep your Windows 8 notebook, desktop or tablet in good shape even if you don’t turn updates on. Note that in these examples we’re using Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system, which is itself an update of Windows 8. Windows 8.1 is available in the Store app absolutely free of charge.

Check for Windows 8 Updates

You can check for Windows 8 updates at any time as long as you’re connected to the internet.

Turn on your Windows 8 device by pressing the power button.

Don’t bother going into the Settings app for this. Instead, you’re going to want to dive into the control panel for a more familiar and detailed look at how updates are working on your PC.  Go to the Start Screen and look for the Desktop tile. Click on it.

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Now place your cursor in the top-right corner of your screen to bring up the Charms Bar. Click on the Settings Charm.

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Select Control Panel from the list of options along the top of your screen.

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Now search for Windows Update using the search box in the top right corner of the Control Panel.

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Click on the Check for Updates option.

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If you’re connected to the Internet Windows will now check to see if you have any Windows 8 updates pending. You’ll get a green check box if you have nothing pending. You’ll get an orange shield if you do have updates that need to before. Click on the Install Updates to get your computer up to date.

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Click on the highlighted text to get a breakdown of all the Windows 8 updates you have pending and why they are important or optional.

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Turn On Automatic Windows 8 Updates

Turning on Windows 8 updates if you’ve disabled them during the setup process isn’t difficult. You don’t need to go resetting your device for example.

Turn on your Windows 8 device by pressing the power button.

Don’t bother going into the Settings app for this. Instead, you’re going to want to dive into the control panel for a more familiar and detailed look how updates are working on your PC.  Go to the Start Screen and look for the Desktop tile. Click on it.

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Now place your cursor in the top-right corner of your screen to bring up the Charms Bar.

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Click on the Settings Charm.

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Select Control Panel from the list of options along the top of your screen.

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Now search for Windows Update using the search box in the top right corner of the Control Panel.

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Click on the Turn automatic updating on or off option.

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Now click on the drop down menu under Important Updates to change your Windows 8 update settings. You can choose between having all updates installed, which is what Microsoft recommends, having updates automatically downloading and deciding whether to install them yourself, deciding to download and install them on a case by case basis or never checking for updates at all. A check box underneath all of this allows you to hand over update control for Microsoft-made apps to Windows Update. If you’re running Microsoft Office you definitely want to select this too.

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When you’ve made your selections click Ok and you’re done.

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