Microsoft launched Windows 8 on October 26th, and as of the middle of November they have already released 12 important updates – as well as many more recommended updates. Security holes have been fixed, Internet Explorer has been patched, core operating system files have been updated and you may be dangerously out of date with your barely one month old operating system if you haven’t run Windows Update recently.
Before I go too far into the DOOOOOM!!! speech, let me say that this is a very normal thing for new operating systems. Even though Microsoft makes every effort to test and verify the software before shipping, there are hundreds of thousands of possible hardware and software combinations. There are even more possible uses for each of those combinations, and as security holes, bugs and feature flaws are found it’s typical for a rash of patching to take place the first few months of an operating systems launch. The term “early adopter” is used with people who buy operating systems at or near product launch due to the chance of running into these bugs and frequent patches.
So how do you make sure you’re patched up?
The easiest way is to make sure you’ve got automatic install of updates turned on. The easiest way to verify this is to go to the Windows 8 interface (click the Windows key on your keyboard) and start typing Windows Update. This will begin a search for the phrase Windows Update in programs. Click on the settings option in the upper right hand corner of the screen and you should now see 6 options come up.
Click Turn automatic updating on or off.
Click the drop down box under Important Updates and select the option you would like. I would recommend Install updates automatically (recommended) and also click the checkbox next to Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates. Click OK when you are done and agree to any Windows user account control popup asking for permission to modify your system settings.
If you don’t enable automatic installation, or have optional updates, you can check those by opening up the Windows 8 interface by clicking the Windows key on keyboard or clicking lower left hand corner of screen and typing Windows Update. Click on settings then click Install optional updates. From this window you can also check for updates manually, view your update history and change your automatic update settings.
If you do not have automatic updates set up I would recommend checking once every week until at least February. Remember to also check with device manufacturers and software vendors for program updates specific to Windows 8.