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085: How do I make sure my Microsoft operating system and software are up to date?


Any software — whether operating system or application, from Microsoft or another vendor — may be vulnerable to cyberattack, particularly if it is not up to date.

Recent versions of Microsoft Windows and Office (among other programs) will generally update themselves automatically. You can also manually update Windows. Though the exact steps depend on our Windows version, to make sure you are getting all necessary updates, look in PC Settings or Control Pannel (depending on the Windows version) and launch the Windows Update application. In older versions of Windows, you may start Internet Explorer and click the Windows Update option in the Tools menu.

If available, install all of the critical and security-related updates. Performance-related updates, driver updates, and new-feature updates are optional but generally don’t hurt.



For an overview of what additional software is available for download, visit the Microsoft Download Center ( and these related web pages:

Microsoft’s Windows Update page (

Windows Update Frequently Asked Questions (

Microsoft Download Center Help (