When working on your PC, there's a lot more going on than what meets the eye. While working on a project, your operating system is simultaneously using resources to perform several tasks behind the scenes. When you pull the curtain on Windows 8, you may be surprised with all the activity that's going on.
Before we look at the Windows 8 OS, it's important to point out that many of the programs and applications are also performing tasks behind the scenes like scanning the Internet for updates. By default, programs and operating systems will automatically scan for updates. Windows 8 uses the app store to keep your apps up to date. For apps that are not set to automatically apply the updates, you will be notified of their availability in the Windows store live tile on the start screen.
While you can adjust the settings so that your system and its programs will manually scan for updates, we don't recommended turning off the automatic settings. Many of these updates relate to security, and the sooner you install them on your PC, the better protected you will be from the latest threats.
In the past, computers had less RAM and needed every performance enhancement and tweak possible in order to run large applications smoothly. Turning off automatic updates used to be a way to free up resources and get the needed boost. Today's computers, which feature significantly more RAM, it no longer hinders performance to have automatic update activated. Therefore, it's considered best practice to keep the update settings on automatic.
Windows 8 updates may feel a bit secretive because you are not notified when the updates are actually taking place. You might not even be aware that an update even happened until you go to reboot and see that your PC is applying a previously downloaded update.
If you want to pull the curtain open and see what's going on in Windows 8, you will want to check out the Action Center. You can open the Action Center from the notification area in the taskbar. In Action Center, you can do tasks like review and take action on security and non-security notifications and maintenances, as well review archived messages and notifications.
You can also use Action Center to turn notifications on/off for actions that you may not think too much about. Actions such as:
- Windows update messages.
- Firewall messages.
- Internet security messages.
- Virus protection.
- Backup notifications.
- Drive status (space management, drive health).
- Storage Spaces.
There are more actions that you can track, but Windows has these notifications turned off in the default settings to keep you from being inundated with messages about updates that most users consider unworthy of their attention. Nevertheless, these processes are important. You can turn all the notifications on if you want to know exactly what your operating system is working on in real time.
Performing system updates behind the scenes is a big part of what Heart of Texas Network Consultants does with our managed IT services. When you go home for the night, we remote into your PCs and perform updates and maintenances to keep your computers running smoothly. We remotely perform several essential tasks like apply Windows updates, check for drive errors, update your antivirus software, and much more. With our managed IT service, you don't have to worry about what's going on behind the scenes of your computer because you will know that it's just us, doing our job and keeping everything running. Call us at (254) 848-7100 to learn more.