How to Get Window XP Updates Manually

By Tammy Clevenger

Microsoft provides regular updates to the Windows XP operating system. These updates include security patches, application upgrades and Service Packs to keep the operating system running efficiently. The simplest and most convenient way to get Windows XP updates is to use the Windows Update application. Windows Update can be configured to manually or automatically download and install updates as they become available.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP computer with Internet access

Step 1

Log on to the computer with a user account that has administrator rights.

Step 2

Use Internet Explorer to go to the Microsoft Windows Update website (see link in Resources). Note: If you use another browser, such as Firefox, a message will appear saying the updates can be accessed using only Internet Explorer, version 5 or above.

Step 3

Click the top notification bar to install the ActiveX Internet Explorer Add-on Installer control, if needed. The Windows Update site will automatically check the computer for the latest version of this control and will only offer the download if the component is not present or requires an update.

Step 4

Click "Install ActiveX Control" from the context menu.

Step 5

Click the "Install" button on the dialog box to install the ActiveX control.

Step 6

Click "OK" to continue installation, if prompted.

Step 7

Click "Finish" when prompted to complete the ActiveX control installation.

Step 8

Open the Windows Update application by clicking the Windows "Start" button and locating the application in the Programs list.

Step 9

Click "Windows Update" to open the application. The Windows Update software will automatically locate and list "Important" and "Optional" updates that apply to the operating system in use.

Step 10

Click the link labeled "N Important Updates Are Available" to select or deselect the recommended updates to install. ("N" indicates the number of updates found.) To select an update for installation, check the box next to the listing. To deselect, clear the checkbox.

Step 11

Click the link labeled "N Optional Updates Are Available" to select or deselect optional updates.

Step 12

Click the "Install Updates" button to install the selected patches and service packs. The updates will automatically download and install.

Step 13

Click the "Change Settings" link on the left navigation panel to configure automatic or manual updating with the Windows Update tool.

Tips & Warnings

  • Monitor the progress of the downloading and installation of updates by rolling the cursor over the Windows Update icon in the system tray at the lower right side of the Windows screen.
  • You must be logged in with administrator privileges to install the Internet Explorer Add-on ActiveX control or Windows Updates.
  • During the update download and installation process, the Internet connection and processor speed may be slower than usual.
  • A reboot may be required after installing certain updates.

References & Resources