ITS Helpdesk

Phone: 810.762.3123 opt. 1 - Email:

What is Windows Update?

Last Updated: Jun 12, 2018 08:08AM EDT

This Quicknote is designed to explain what "Windows Update" is, what it does, and how to use it. This is also intended to assist users of University-owned laptops in learning the procedures associated with updating their equipment. Please note: if you own a university computer, you will need to make sure to connect it to our network every 60 days or less in order to keep your Microsoft Office validated. You will also need to do the same every 90 days or less to keep your Windows operating system validated.

Intended Audience:

This Quicknote is for the benefit of the faculty, staff, and student members on campus who own a Windows computer.


To follow this Quicknote, you will need to have a computer running a validated copy of a Windows operating system. It is also important to note that you will need to be an administrator on the computer you are using to validate the software.

What is Windows Update?

Windows Update is the online extension of Windows that helps you to keep your computer up to date. You can use Windows Update to choose updates for your computer's operating system, software, and hardware, such as system files, device drivers, service packs, and new Windows features.

What are Product Updates?

Product updates are a catalog of fixes, patches, and enhancements to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office Products. Look at the catalog and download any and all security updates and software patches that apply to your installed software. You can download all of these security patches and updates from the Web and install them on your computer. As ITS pushes the patches for most of the software that users on campus use, manual updates for university-owned computers are not needed.

Updating Your System Files Using Windows Update

Updating your system files through Windows Update is a relatively simple process. Below you will find instructions on how to do this on both Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Validating Windows and Microsoft Office on a University Owned Computer

  1. Make sure that the computer is connected to the network.
    • This can be done by bringing the computer on campus and making sure you're connected.
    • If you are not on campus, you can connect it to our VPN through Pulse Secure.
  2. Once it is connected, you will only need to wait a few moments for Windows to sync.
    • You may want to open one of the programs from Microsoft Office to verify the sync.
    • You may also need to restart your computer.
  3. The validation is complete!

Updating Windows 7

  1. Click the Start Orb in the taskbar.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Depending on your Control Panel layout, you will either need to click Check for Updates under the Security category, or click System and Security → Windows Update → Check for Updates.
  4. Click Install Now to install any available updates.

Updating Windows 10

  1. Click the Start menu in the taskbar.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Update & Security.
  4. Click Check for Updates.
  5. If updates are found you may click on Download and then once complete Install Now.
    • The updates may have already been automatically downloaded or installed. You may change this setting by clicking Advanced Options and choosing a different option under Choose how updates are installed.

Additional Information


If you have any questions or experience any issues with this Quicknote, please visit or contact the ITS Helpdesk for assistance.


Locations: 206 Murchie Science Building or 3174 William S. White Building
Phone#: (810) 762-3123 (option 1)
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