How to Configure Windows Update Settings

I will continue our series about working with Windows Update in Windows 7 and show how to configure its settings. As you will see, there are plenty of options available for configuration that allow you to have this tool working the way you desire in just a few seconds.

Windows Update Settings

First, open the Windows Update window, by using any of the methods described in our previous article, called How to Check for & Install Windows Updates. Then, click on the 'Change settings' link.

Windows Update

In the Change settings window, you can find several configuration options. First, there is the 'Important updates' section. This will allow you to choose between several alternatives on how to get important updates installed on your computer: you can choose from either installing important updates automatically once they are available to never checking for updates. Both Microsoft and our team recommend you to go for the first option so that you are always up to date with the latest fixes.

Windows Update

If you have selected 'Install updates automatically' you will also have the option to set when these updates get installed. You can select a specific day of the week or every day plus the hour when these get installed. The optimal setting would be every day at an hour when you are usually working on your computer.

Windows Update

The following sections have just one check-box each and they can differ based on your computer.

In the 'Recommended updates' section you can select if you want recommended updates to be installed together with the important ones. For more information about the difference between recommended and important updates, check our previous article, How to Check for & Install Windows Updates.

Windows Update

If you check the box available in the 'Who can install updates' section, you will allow other users on your computer to install updates, even if they might not be administrators. This is actually a recommended setting, if you want to be up-to-date.

The section called 'Microsoft Update' is available only if you have other Microsoft software installed, such as Microsoft Office, Windows Live Essentials, Silverlight, etc. If the check-box from this section is enabled, Windows Update will automatically check for updates available for the Microsoft applications you are using.

In the 'Software notifications' section you can check the available option so that Windows Update notifies you when extra software is available from Microsoft. One good example of this extra software was the Windows Vista Ultimate Extras. However, with Windows 7 there are no such extras available. I'm not sure if enabling this option will ever be useful, so it is up to you if you check it or not.

How to Postpone Reboots

Some of the updates automatically installed by Windows Update will require a reboot. In such cases, you will receive a notification as the one below.

Windows Update

If you want to reboot at that moment, make sure you have closed & saved any work in progress, and click on 'Restart now'. If you do not wish to reboot, select the option you desire from the 'Remind me in' drop-down menu and click on Postpone. You will be notified again when the selected time is up and you will be able to choose again the most convenient option.


As you have seen in this article, making Windows Update work as you desire, is very easy. If you ever had any problems with it, don't hesitate to leave a comment. Also, don't forget to check out the other articles about this tool so that you become very familiar with the way it works.

Related articles:

How to Check for & Install Windows Updates
How to Manage Installed or Hidden Windows Updates
How to Work with the Action Center