Automatic Updates is a great feature of Microsoft operating systems that allows you to easily keep your system up to date and secure. In the previous installment of this article, I showed you how to configure Automatic Updates through the System Properties dialog box. In this article, I’ll show you alternate method.

Automatic Updates can be configured through the Local Group Policy. More experienced users may want to use this method instead using the System Properties dialog box. You can configure Automatic Updates settings through the Local Group Policy using the steps outlined below:

  1. Click Start and click Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and Click OK.
  3. Expand Computer Configuration.
  4. Right click Administrative Templates and click Add/Remove Templates.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Within the Windows\Inf directory, click Wuau.adm and click Open.
  7. Expand Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Update.
  8. In the details pane, double click Configure Automatic Updates.
  9. Click Enabled.
  10. Click OK.

When you enabled Automatic Updates through the Local Group Policy, the default setting is 3 – Auto download and notify for install. This means that Windows will automatically download updates for your computer from the Windows Update Web site and notify you when they are ready to be installed.

Finally, another little tip for those who are running Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, in most cases, Microsoft recommends that Automatic Updates remain enabled to ensure your computer is up to date with the latest hotfixes and service packs. However, there may be instances where you need to disable Automatic Updates. For example, if you use a dial-up connection, you may opt to manually check the Windows Update Web site for updates.

Once you disable Automatic Updates, Windows XP will disagree and continue to remind you each time it boots that your computer may be at risk. You can prevent this warning from appearing. Simply click Start and click Control Panel. Double click the Security Center applet. Under the list of Resources, click the Change the way Security Center alerts me option. Deselect the Automatic Updates option.

[tags]windows xp,microsoft certification,exam,automatic update,70-270[/tags]