Are Windows Updates really necessary?

scott May 14, 2011

I’m using Windows Vista with Avast, Malwarebytes, WOT, and NoScripts.

Do I really need any Windows Updates at all and if so why?

I have only downloaded and installed the so-called “important” and last time found adware.zugo infecting my registry. I have since turned off updates entirely.

  1. ABC
    November 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

    i weeky re-image (ghost) a SSD from the oriiginal factory "spinning" hard-drive (it takes 9 minutes), the laptop with SSD always boots up "as new", free of all spy, mal, virus-ware.  i copy my data using CD-RW.  i never worry about data loss, Service Pack, updates, security, virus, trojan, worm, scans, zombie, etc.   "any OS or data" loss/damage will be restored quickly

  2. Mary
    May 31, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I also have a concern about Microsoft updates.I have had the same one updated and installed 21 times since Jan.2011"Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition Service Pack 4[KB2463332],at 55.8MB this seems to be a large amount of memory being sucked up by the same? update.Are there differences in them or is it just needlessly repeating itself?If it is,should I uninstall some of the older ones?

    • Tina
      May 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm


      I think it's best if you submit a new question! Please specify which version of Windows you are running and which Service Pack.

  3. Tina
    May 14, 2011 at 9:43 am


    Windows Updates are absolutely necessary! Not only do they deliver security updates, they also patch issues and provide updates for Windows programs and drivers. However, it's usually sufficient to only download and install the important updates.

    And yes, some Windows Updates have been known to cause problems, but I don't think they distribute viruses. You caught that somewhere else! Watch your browsing and download habits, do update your software regularly, especially your browsers.

    If you regularly download illegal Torrents, visit all the sites you don't want your mom to know about, and use filthy old software that hasn't seen updates in months or years, then you are very likely to catch malware. I'm not saying that you do, I'm just saying that this behavior would increase the risk.

    • Scott
      May 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

       Thanks for the response Tina, I guess what I'm missing here is the difference between windows security updates and the virus definitions data base updates Avast does each time my browser starts. I can manually update drivers periodically but must admit I don't know what a patch is or the issues they fix. Also, after removing adware.zugo, I googled it and found some one mentioning problems with a security update and discovery of adware.zugo and I mistakenly drew the conclusion that they were related. In the past I've had similar timely coincidences not to mention a basic innate distrust of corporations in general that lend to such questions. I use Vuze and what it fails to scan I follow up with an Avast scan and only visit sites that WOT (and my mother) would approve of. In general I smooth along quite sailly with the help of regular bathings of 360 Amigo and auslogics. Is it possible I pick it up from a Craig'slist scam attempt reply email? He did claim to be a marine at sea after all. If so, how do I scan potentially dirty gmails prior to opening them?

  4. James Bruce
    May 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Personally, I think your methodology is backwards. In all my years of using windows, I have yet to get a single virus or malware app. I also don't run a single AV app, and run windows updates automatically.

    Doesn't your computer just crawl along with all that crapware in the background?

    Avoiding viruses is easy, it just involves not running random files and ignoring obvious dodgy file attachments, and using a decent browser that doesnt start with Internet and end with Explorer.


    • Scott
      May 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm

       Thanks James for your input. Actually my computer cruises nicely as long as I regularly clean registry and junk files etc. periodic registry and hard defrags although  it takes a couple of mins to start up. Trial and error is my learning curve and the hard lessons are hopefully behind me but naturally there is still much to learn. Much thanks for MakeUseOf and it's subscribers!

      • Alexiastation
        June 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        Be very careful using programs that clean your registry, the ones we all used in the old days do more harm than good in the Win7 environment. :)

    • Alexiastation
      June 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      So correct I got off of Internet Explorer and have since been netting without a hitch, literally my new pc stayed new and as for updates, better safe than sorry!

  5. Anonymous
    May 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Check your open ports

    Normally Windows updates are important since they fixes bugs and vulnerabilities (fix such as IE Windows Media Player Outlook etc as well as the OS itself) in the system, Things marked as Important such as security patches should be installed ASAP. although they dont bring new functions but makes the system up to date.

    Most of the time windows updates are for one of the following:
    1) Update software
    2) Critical Update (A released Fix for a discovered problem)
    3) Hot Fix (A release of several Fixes for problems)
    4) Security Update (Updates on NEW virus/spyware threats)
    5) Latest Version of Service Pack

    • Scott
      May 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

       Thanks ha14, appreciate the info and the link!

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