Deepening: Software Updates with Flexera PSI

ADIDS Element


Parent Topic(s)

Safer Software Updating


30-45 minutes

Materials to Prepare

  • Flexera PSI- Download from the developer’s website (Flexera)
  • Laptop and Projector for demonstration


Step 1: Windows Updates

Explain that Microsoft issues security and other updates for the Windows operating system, usually on the second Tuesday of every month, though sometimes more frequently when emergencies strike. This exercise will get participants acquainted with the Windows Updates feature.

Step 2: Changing Settings

Instruct participants to open Windows Updates in the Control Panel. (Control Panel -> type ”Windows Update”.) Ask participants to click “Change Settings” to review their current status. Before moving forward, please confirm that:

  • Install Updates Automatically (recommended) is selected.
  • Make sure the box for installing updates to “Microsoft products and new optional Microsoft software” is also selected.

Step 3: Checking Last Updates

Return to the main Control Panel page for Windows Update and ask users to check the last date updates were checked and installed.

  • If participants have out-of-date systems, ask if Windows Update is now downloading updates.
  • If not, advise that participants review Update History and Hidden Updates to find failed updates and seek specific solutions for those updates, or refer to a local technician.

Step 4: Explaining Flexera PSI

Ask participants to open the Add/Remove Programs dialogue box from the Windows Control Panel.

  • Remind them that this is a list of all the software on their computer and that security vulnerabilities in these applications can put their system at risk.
  • Unfortunately, Windows Update doesn’t support applications that weren’t developed by Microsoft.

An application called Flexera PSI will help:

  • Flexera PSI compares applications on your PC to a database, checking for the latest versions.
  • This application is free, but not open source. Paid versions are aimed at enterprises and corporate networks.

Step 5: Cleaning up and Patching

Ask participants to take this opportunity to uninstall software they do not need or do not recognize. We recommend that you confer with each participant before they uninstall applications to avoid someone unintentionally bricking their PC.

Step 6: Display and Walkthrough

Instruct participants to install Flexera PSI and scan their computers.

  • Invite discussion about the number of applications that need updates following everyone’s first completed scan results.
  • If the connection capacity allows, ask that participants update at least one application, using the shortcut icons provided within the application.