Should You Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1?

Unlike Windows XP service pack 2, which included significant security updates, or Windows XP service pack 3 which is required for support from Microsoft, Windows 7 service pack 1 does not have any significantly compelling updates for most users. If you do not regularly use automatic updates to keep your operating system up to date, then it is a good idea to install Windows 7 service pack 1 to get your operating system caught up on the security patches that are included in the service pack.

If you are a business user then it makes sense to start testing the service pack to ensure compatibility with all of your office software. If you are a home user you might want to wait a month or two and see if any problems crop up, assuming you are up to date on your security patches.

Personally, I decided to just jump in and install the service pack. I really haven’t noticed anything different on my system. Microsoft has a page about how to install Windows 7 SP1, but I didn’t look at it until long after I had installed. In fact the only reason IO looked at it was so I could tell you where it is in case you do want to read it! The page is at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff817622%28WS.10%29.aspx

So the answer to the question really is that it is up to you. If the service pack fixes something you have had problems with, then install it. If the service pack adds some functionality for you, then install it. If there are no compelling reasons, then take your time, but eventually you will need to install it when support for Windows 7 without the service pack is discontinued.

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education
Cyber Threat Analysis Center
ESET North America

Author ESET Research, ESET

  • Spasov

    In my opinion everybody should install SP1 for Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 server.
    It does includes some updates that haven't been previously included . For example – some weeks ago just when SP1 became RC , a friend of mine running Windows 7 had some driver problems – he called me next day . He has submitted the error info to Microsoft and in a few hours they provided him with a knowledge base article that advised him to install an update that was not public yet but as it was written in the article - the update was going to be included in SP1 for Windows 7. He installed that update and all was fine afterwards. I am not sure if this update got pushed at a lter time but the article clearly stated that the update was not public yet and that was going to be included in SP1 for Win 7 . I know because my friend has copied the information and has made many screenshots to show me after that in case he needs further help.

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