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Windows XP - Adjust Microsoft Updates

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to adjust the updates for Microsoft applications. You will want to update you computer but adjusting the updates will allow you to say when the updates can be downloaded and installed.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Adjust Microsoft Updates

Desktop icons in windows xp

With Windows XP loaded to the desktop you should see the desktop icons.

With the mouse right click the My Computer icon and click properties from the menu that appears.

The system properties will be displayed.

The other way to access the system properties is via the 'System' utility in the control panel.

showing the system properties section in windows xp

You will see the System Properties load up and you will see several tabs along the top of this window.

We have tutorials to deal with each of these tabs individually otherwise this tutorial would be huge!

In this first tab 'General' you cannot make any changes although as you can see there is some useful information on this page.

Click the 'Automatic Updates' tab.

automatic updates tab in windows xp

There are not many options to change on the automatic updates page.

The deafault setting is set to 'Automatic' which allows Windows XP to connect to the internet and download the updates for Windows XP and Micrsoft Office programs.

change the time of updates in windows xp

You can set the time that the automatic updates will be downloaded and installed with the two drop down menus. As you can see on our example it is set to every day at 3am. Our computer is on late but not that late!

If you click the drop down menu you can click a new time or day.

don't install updates automatically option windows xp

You can set the updates to download and not install themselves.

To do this click the option to 'Notify me but don't automatically download or install them'.

This is pictured in our example.

notify ballon on taskbar for updates in windows xp

With the 'Notify me but don't automatically download or install them' setting you will recieve an updates balloon on the taskbar near the clock as pictured in our example.

yellow ballon updates in windows xp

When you click the yellow update ballon you will see the automatic updates window appear asking what you want to do with the updates.

Normally the default option of 'Express Install' is the one you want to install. Click the 'Install' button at the bottom of the automatic updates window.

turn off automatic updates in windows xp

The other available settings from the automatic updates window are 'Turn off Automatic Updates'.

If you turn off the updates you will not recieve them and will have to manually visit Microsofts website to download and install updates.

If you don't install any updates then you may be at risk from internet threats or Windows crashing (it has been known occassionally).

To exit the automatic updates click the 'Ok' button at the bottom of the system properties window. You will be returned to the Windows desktop.

Next tutorial - Change Performance Options in Windows XP

Return to Windows XP Tutorial List