Microsoft began rolling out a new update for Windows 8.1 where, among other conveniences, they put the “Power” button on the Start screen. Over the next few weeks, this update will automatically download and install on your computer through Microsoft’s Windows Update.
If your computer isn’t set to receive updates automatically, or your computer isn’t caught up with all the updates, let’s set things up so everything will come through smoothly.
First, you can easily tell if the new Windows 8.1 update has already come through simply by going to your Start screen and in the upper right-hand corner, next to your name and picture, if you see the power button symbol and the magnifying glass search symbol, the update has already been installed on your computer.
It’s important to have the most current updates. To check for new updates manually, go to the desktop and open Internet Explorer. In the menu bar near the top, click “Tools” and then click “Windows Update.”
A new window will open and it may show that there are available updates to download and install on your computer. Go ahead and click the “Install now” button. Click to allow the installation to proceed if you receive any prompts. After the updates are installed, click “Restart now” to restart your computer.
If it indicates you have optional updates, it is important to install most of these as well. Click the link to see what optional updates are available. There are a few that you may not want to install, such as “Bing desktop,” “Bing Search,” “Microsoft Security Essentials,” (if you use a different anti- virus software), and anything else you find unnecessary. Just remove the checkmark from the box. You can also right-click an update and select “Hide” so it won’t be installed.
If the page indicates there aren’t any available updates, I recommend you double-check to be sure. Near the top and to the left, click “Check for updates.” Again, if updates are available, click “Install now” to continue.
I recommend you follow this process of checking for new updates, downloading and installing and restarting your computer, until all necessary updates are installed.
Before closing the windows, we can also make sure your updates will be installed automatically. To the left, click “Change settings.” In the drop-down menu, select “Install updates automatically.” Also, be sure to checkmark both boxes below, “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates,” and “Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows.” Click “OK” at the bottom to save your changes. Close all your open windows. If everything is working well, this would be a good time to set a manual system restore point.
For 14 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 250 articles about Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at Scott@HollywoodScott.com.