Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Windows 8 - Third Pass: Windows Update

Another oddity of Windows 8 is how Windows Update works.  Unfortunately it appears that Windows Update is another app that runs one way in the Start Screen (formerly the Metro Interface, I’m trying to adjust my Windows 8 vocab here) and another way in the desktop environment.  It took me a while to figure out that there was a difference here and unlike Internet Explorer, there is no check box to make the Start Screen version run the desktop version.

Originally, I was running Windows Update by going to the Start Screen, typing Windows Update, which opened the search box, then selected Settings, which revealed a shortcut to Windows Update on the left and allowed me to open it.  This opened the Start Screen personalization settings, which has a Windows Update tab.  While providing a slick interface it does not provide the many features or customization options that the old desktop Windows Update app provided.

After a bit of digging I did find that the original desktop app does exist, you just can’t get to it via the Start Screen unless you create a customized shortcut.  In order to get to it you have to go into the desktop environment, open the Control Panel, and then select Windows Update.  I do that by pressing Windows-X while on the desktop, selecting Control Panel from the menu that opens and then select Windows Update.  This provides you the same features and control you are used to from the Windows Update app in Windows 7.

To say that this is the long way around the barn is an understatement.