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How to turn off windows automatic update

  1. Apr 9, 2013 #1

    Bacle2

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    This is part of Microsoft's generally charming ways; I like it when I'm unable to turn my computer off because there's a Windows update that must be installed _right there and then_ .
    It's charming,specially when you're in a hurry ,need to stop your computer work and go somewhere else, or if the coffee shop you're working in is closing, and you need to leave. And the process often takes more than 10 minutes. I wish I was rich-enough to get a Mac.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2013 #2
    I especially love how it installs updates and reboots for me without saving my work or anything. I come back to a nice clean desktop with none of my windows open.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2013 #3

    Evo

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    You can stop this by setting your upgrade preferences to manual. That is what I did. When there are updates available, it will notify you and that's all. Then you decide which updates you want and when you want to do them. No more surprises, no more interrruptions.
     
  5. Apr 9, 2013 #4

    Bacle2

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    You're right,but, shouldn't those be the default preferences?
    I never selected to have the updates done automatically.
     
  6. Apr 9, 2013 #5
    Yeah. And windows will tend to just put them back wherever it's almighty creators think it should be anyway.

    it's windows man

    windows
     
  7. Apr 9, 2013 #6

    Evo

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    I agree that SHOULD be the default. But since it isn't, you should set it as the default.

    No, once you remove automatic updates, it will remain manual.
     
  8. Apr 9, 2013 #7

    Borg

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    I have to disagree. Manual updates require actually making decisions about what to install - not just when to install.

    There are a lot of users who have no idea how to configure their computer. These types of users are why there are so many spambots on the internet. BTW, that reminds me of a friend that I see every few years or so from where I grew up. Last time I talked to him, he said that someone fixed his computer and that it was much faster. The technician found over 100 viruses on it. I couldn't believe that it would even start like that.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2013 #8

    Bacle2

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    So you think I should not have the option to have the updates installed later when I'm doing something else, or if I need to turn my computer of and leave ?

    Morover, I do not see the connection between the viruses and the updates in your friend's computer; do you know for certain that the viruses found resulted from not doing all the updates or not doing them immediately?
     
  10. Apr 9, 2013 #9

    Evo

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    Random thoughts really isn't the place for this discussion, but I will answer, then move to the Computer forum. When updates are available, a popup lets you know. Security updates are listed as important. A description of each update is given. Any security update I allow. Just think of it as allowing you to decide when it's convenient for you. My advice was for you guys.

    It's super easy, this is for Vista, but just google "how to turn Windows automatic update off (your OS)"

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/turn-automatic-updating-on-or-off

    If they are completely computer illiterate, then they can just leave it on, or get tech support.
     
  11. Apr 9, 2013 #10

    collinsmark

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    "[Download and] Install updates automatically" is the default setting. This is what windows update defaults to unless you change it. Microsoft has some legitimate logic to this reasoning. Allow me to explain below.

    If you want to change your settings:
    • open up "Control Panel,"
    • click on "System and Security,"
    • click on "Windows Update,"
    • then find and click on "Change settings."
    [Some details of the above might vary based on your version of Windows.]

    From there you should be presented with a pull down menu with the following options:

    • "Install updates automatically (recommended)." This is the default setting. When you install windows, this is what is used unless you change it. Even with this setting though, only the "important updates" are automatically downloaded and installed. You can install the "optional updates" manually. (So even with this setting you don't have to worry about Bing Desktop suddenly showing up on your computer.)
    • "Download updates but let me choose whether to install them." This is what I use. Only the important updates are automatically downloaded. Optional updates can still be downloaded and installed manually. Windows tells you when updates are available and ready to be installed. I like this setting. It gives me an excuse to check for any optional updates that I might be interested in. If I used the fully automatic option instead, I'd probably never check the optional updates ever. And this option also avoids my computer doing stuff when I don't want it to (such as when I'm in a hurry and want to shut down the computer).
    • "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them." Same as above, but for people who have limited Internet connectivity or for those who are ultra paranoid about Internet usage or hard drive space. This is probably the best choice for a mobile device (laptop or tablet) that you take with you and sometimes connect to pay-as-you-go networks (some coffee shops, hotels, etc., might charge a per MB Internet access rate), or if you sometimes use a cellular network for Internet access, and your plan has a data cap.
    • "Never check for updates (not recommended)." Don't choose this option. The only reason you might want to choose this option is if your PC is masquerading as fancy MP3 player, a DVR for your TV, or some sort of standalone single purpose device that never browses the web or anything that a normal PC gets used for.

    Installing the "important updates" are actually pretty important. This is something you should do regularly. Some of the updates are security updates that keep bad things off of your computer. Some are feature enhancements and bug fixes that keep your computer behaving well. This goes for everybody, from computer nerds like me all the way to computer illiterates that call the computer "that Facebook thing with the keys and mousy."

    So the logic behind Microsoft's reasoning for the default setting is:
    • If the default setting is "Install updates automatically," computer savvy people can change it if they want, and it's all set up for computer illiterates who don't want to bother changing stuff or don't know how to. Win-win.
    • If the default setting is any of the other settings the computer illiterates might not be able to figure out how to change it. Not good.

    [Edit: Ooops. Hit post reply before reading Evo's post. :blushing:]
     
  12. Apr 9, 2013 #11

    Borg

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    If it bothered you so much, why didn't you do something about it?

    As far as my friend is concerned, I have no idea which specific viruses he had or how he got them. However, many viruses exploit Microsoft security flaws that are fixed through the updates.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2013 #12

    Borg

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    Yes, this is my point. Thanks, collinsmark.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2013 #13

    Bacle2

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    I did do something, but my computer crashed --as it does periodically * -- and all the setting changes were lost. It is difficult for me to reinstall --which I did -- and remember all the changes I have done to the original settings. The real something about it I wanted to do was to buy myself a Mac, but I cannot afford to plop $1,500 for it.

    Still, isn't the fact that so many changes are necessary a sign of poor design? Why aren't that many changes necessary for MACs?

    * And this is after allowing all updates as they came, when they came.
     
  15. Apr 9, 2013 #14

    Borg

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    Yes, Microsoft is to blame to some extent but, something like 80 - 90% of all PCs use Windows. The virus writers are just getting the biggest audience for their effort by targeting it.
     
  16. Apr 9, 2013 #15

    Evo

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    Hey collinsmark
    This is also my selection.
     
  17. Apr 9, 2013 #16

    Borg

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    Same here which is why I saw that dumb Bing Desktop that probably would have installed itself otherwise. I do let most inportant updates install except for their Malicious Software Removal Tool. I'll remove my own viruses if I'm dumb enough to get hit.
     
  18. Apr 9, 2013 #17

    Bacle2

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    This is maybe kind of besides the point, but I think the claim that market forces allow only the best to survive is (at least in this case) flawed; if a better OS came up, would all companies abandon their existing machines, infrastructure (software, etc.), to spend money and general resources on a new system, then have to retrain all of its employees to use the new system, to learn how to use new programs? I doubt it, unless the new system was so many orders-of-magnitude better than the previous one to make the costs worth it. So Microsoft's "prowess" comes down to being there first and setting the standards, and having everyone trained to follow those standards.

    Morover, the dominance of Windows (in general, the first-in) is reinforced by having software writers cater to the needs and specs of Windows in order to be able to sell to all of those trianed in the use of Windows, or else be unable to sell to just a few outliers not using Windows.

    Just like if some new, better technology was developped to, say, come up with a better system of pipes for sewers, or a better road design material/technology, it is not likely that all the old technology would be dismantled in favor of the new one. The first one in gets the advantage, not the one with the best product, at least in this type of situation.

    Maybe I'm bitter here, but I have followed Microsoft's advice on updates, etc., only to have my computer crash at-least once a year, then having to spend more than a week reinstalling Windows.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  19. Apr 9, 2013 #18

    Borg

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    Bacle2, I feel your pain - really. Even though I don't have to reinstall Windows, I do spend more time than I wish configuring systems. I'm currently trying to figure out why a Windows server at work keeps rebooting itself every day. If it was a Unix machine, the logs would probably point out the culprit immeadiately. Two of us have been all over the Windows server, its logs, and Event messages - nothing! We're at the point where we're just going to rebuild it.
     
  20. Apr 9, 2013 #19

    Bacle2

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    Borg, I guess all we can do is follow up on Frank Constanza:




    SERENITY NOW (HOOCHY MAMA)!!!!

    Should be the name of the next Windows OS.

    Collinsmark: Thanks for the detailed answer/info.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  21. Apr 10, 2013 #20

    collinsmark

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    Another strange coincidence.

    Today's "Toothpaste for Dinner":

    never-update.gif
    [Source: http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/, 04/10/13]


    And also, today's xkcd:

    All Adobe Updates
    all_adobe_updates.png
    (With mouseover: "ALERT: Some pending mandatory software updates require version 21.1.2 of the Oracle/Sun Java(tm) JDK(tm) Update Manager Runtime Environment Meta-Updater, which is not available for your platform.")

    [Source: http://www.xkcd.com/1197/]
     
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