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HP PCs - Updating Drivers and Software with Windows Update (Windows 8)

This document applies to HP and Compaq computers with an Internet connection.

This document helps you obtain software and driver updates that are available from Microsoft using the Windows Update tool. Not all drivers and software are available through Windows Update. For some updates, you must go to the HP Consumer Support Web page or check with the software manufacturer.

NOTE: If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

The types of updates that are available through Windows Update:

  • Security updates: These updates are usually critical and help make your computer more secure from online threats.

  • Windows bug fixes and enhancements: update to improve the experience of Windows 8.

  • Drivers: Computer and hardware component manufacturers work with Microsoft to supply updated drivers through Windows update. These are usually available as optional updates in the Windows Update experience. Not all drivers may be available.

HP recommends that Microsoft Windows Update be used on a regular basis. Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and other hardware and software vendors diligently pursue fixes and enhancements for their products. Many, including Hewlett-Packard, use the Windows Update tool to distribute important updates.

Some updates that you would not use Windows Update to find are listed here:

Understanding Windows Update

The Windows Update utility determines which updates are applicable to your computer and then downloads and installs them automatically. To ensure that your computer stays up to date, you should select the option to automatically install both the Important and the Recommended updates.

  • If an update requires a restart to complete the installation process, you can schedule this action for a specific time when it will not disrupt your work. You can also postpone a previously scheduled restart until your current work is complete.

  • If a software update applies to a file in use, Windows can save the application's data, close the application, update the file, and then restart the application.

To manage the update process, Windows Update provides options that give you control over how you are notified about updates, as well as the ability to review and approve updates before they are downloaded or installed. At any time, you can also manually check for, and install any available updates using the Windows Update control panel. You can scan for updates, review details about each one, access your update history, and manage your update preferences.

Download Updates directly from the Windows Update website

To immediately get updates for your computer, connect to the Internet and then connect to Windows Update by going to Non-HP site (in English). You might need to select your language or country/region if you have never visited the site before. Make sure to follow the directions on the website to download and install updates.

NOTE: You cannot get HP driver updates directly from the Windows Update website. To get driver updates, open Windows Update from your computer (Control Panel) and install optional updates.

If you are unable to connect to the Windows Update using the previous step, follow the instructions below for your version of Windows.

Using Windows Update from your computer in Windows 8

Perform the following steps to find and install updated software and hardware drivers for your computer with Windows 8:

  1. From the Start screen, type control panel to open the Search charm, and then select Control Panel from the search results.

    Figure 1: Search results

    Search charm with Control Panel selected
  2. Click System and Security.

    Figure 2: Control Panel

    Control Panel with System and Security selected
  3. Click Windows Update in the System and Security window.

    Figure 3: System and Security

    System and Security with Windows update selected
  4. Click one of the following options, if presented, on the Windows Update window:

    • Important updates installs security updates or updates that are important to the health of your computer.

    • Optional updates allows you to select driver updates or updates that are optional. It is a good idea to download and install optional driver updates, especially if you have changed the Windows edition on your computer.

    Figure 4: Windows Update

    Windows Update with Important and Optional update selections called out

    The following options are available:

    • Control Panel Home: takes you back to the main Control Panel.

    • Check for updates: checks for updates

    • Change settings: enables you to set the computer to automatically install updates

    • View update history: checks to ensure that all important updates were installed.

    • Restore hidden updates: shows the restored updates so they can be installed.

    • Installed updates: shows installed updates; you can uninstall or change the installed updates.

    • Add features to Windows 8: shows a User Account Control box verifying if you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer.

A Windows Update fails

There are two main tools on your computer you can use to update software on your computer: Microsoft's Windows Update and HP Update software. If you cannot find an update in Windows Update or an update fails to install, try to find the update using HP Update. For more information, refer to Using and Troubleshooting HP Update . If HP Update does not have the update you are looking for, refer to Microsoft Update Solution Center Non-HP site (in English) for helpful troubleshooting support documents that you can use to resolve the problem.

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