Keeping computers on a network up to date

This article contains information to help you manage updates over a network and to help you find the right updates for each computer on a network. Every computer on a network needs updates that are designed for the version of Windows that it’s running. A computer running Windows Vista, for example, doesn’t need the same updates as a computer that is running this version of Windows.

Update computers on a home network

The easiest way to keep a home network up to date is to turn on Windows automatic updating on each computer. Use the recommended setting so that regardless of who uses the computer, Windows can check for updates and install them on a regular schedule. For more information, see Understanding Windows automatic updating. You can also choose to allow anyone who uses the computer to manually install optional updates and software. For more information, see Change how Windows installs or notifies you about updates.

Manage updates for computers on an office network

If you are a system administrator for a network, you can use these options to help keep all computers on the network up to date.

  • Make sure Windows automatic updating is turned on to the setting that you want all computers on the network to use. To manage the Windows automatic updating setting for each computer, use Group Policy settings for the Windows Update service. For more information about Group Policy, visit Microsoft TechNet and search for Group Policy.
  • To find updates for multiple versions of Windows, search the Windows Update Catalog online.
  • To learn more about how to update Windows operating systems and other Microsoft products that are running inside your corporate firewall, go to the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) website. This service helps administrators target systems for update deployment, define user interactions with updates, schedule the frequency and priority of updates, and more.
  • To learn how to update Microsoft Office, see Update Microsoft Office.


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