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 Help Item Display
 What is Windows Update?
 Windows Update is designed to keep your Windows computer running smoothly and to make it harder for viruses and other outside threats to invade. The updates sometimes offer you new functions that make Windows easier or more fun to use, and updates for Windows software, such as Internet Explorer and Outlook.

To see the latest updates, go to

You can see how many updates your copy of Windows already has, the updates you should consider downloading, and your current Windows Update settings.

You can use:
  • Express Install to get the high-priority updates
  • Custom Install to see all the available updates
  • Automatic Updates to get the high-priority updates automatically
Express Install and Custom Install are tools on the Microsoft Web site. Automatic Updates is available from your computer's Control Panel.

What about Automatic Updates?

Automatic Updates is software on your computer that links to Microsoft's Web site, where it finds the current high-priority updates and installs them. You set the actions on the Control Panel on your computer, which you can change at your convenience.

Since Automatic Updates installs only the current, high-priority updates, and does not check for previous or optional updates, you may miss updates that could have appeared before the first Automatic Updates. It's a good idea to go to the Microsoft Web site and run the Express Install from time to time. Browse the Optional list for updates that would help you or your system while you are there.
  Did you Know?

Some features of Windows XP Service Pack 2 may block Web site features that you need to use.
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