Every once in a while, Microsoft decides it wants to reprogram my computer. It doesn’t ask me if I want any updates or explain what they are - it just goes ahead and downloads them on to my computer. I never know they’re there until I start getting insistent messages that I need to restart my computer so they can be installed. Every fifteen minutes. And the only two options are “do it now” and “wait fifteen minutes and annoy me again”. How about an option for “don’t ever do it” or “don’t ask me again” or “delete all those files I didn’t ask for”.
Is there some way I can set my computer so that I do not get any unrequested updates? It annoys me that I have to do that - don’t infect my computer should be the default.
While you can do this, it’s not a wise decision. Without updates, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to all sorts of attacks (look up “Blaster virus” some day). Automatic updates makes certain you’re currently up to date.
I had a backup, made just last week in fact. That would have taken three hours as well. Then I would have the security vulnerabilities that the update addressed. I’m just saying that if you don’t have the time to either reimage your computer or figure out that the only way to get the computer to talk to the drive is to disable your IEEE 1394 interface, you might want to do the updates at a time more convenient to you.
Who said anything about MS, anyway? You sure seem sensitive about an offhand remark.
I don’t know that much about computers, but on the bright side, spelling and punctuation have not escaped me.
Why is it that every time I see this question asked, half the responders assume that “I’d like to turn off automatic updates” means “I intend to never update my computer again”? Personally, I’ve had automatic updates turned off since day one; I apply all security updates manually every so often, but I sure as hell don’t want MS automagically installing crap like Silverlight or WGA on my machine without my approval. Even then, it doesn’t mean I’ll never install those things, just that I’ll do it on my own schedule.
The canard that “if you don’t already know how to turn them off, you shouldn’t be doing it anyway” doesn’t hold water either, unless you’re under the impression that every reasonably competent computer user knows where to find every configuration option in every menu off the top of his or her head.
Anyway, to the OP — Discipline has already provided instructions for Windows 7. If you’re using XP, the process is:
Control Panel -> Automatic Updates -> Turn off automatic updates -> Apply.
That’ll stop the updates, but the next thing you’ll want to do is turn off the annoying notification that helpfully informs you you’ve turned off the annoying automatic update notification. To do this:
Control Panel -> Security Center -> Change the way Security Center alerts me (in the “Resources” panel on the left) -> Uncheck “Automatic Updates” -> OK.
A quick heads-up - co-worker of mine informed me this morning that one of the Microsoft patches issued this week is causing a Blue Sceen of Death in XP. Apparently the system cannot even be restarted from Safe Mode, you have to boot from an installation disc. So you might want to think twice about the automatic update, maybe do the automatic download and then pick and choose what you want to install.
You can’t blindly trust Microsoft’s patches. I keep auto updates off and run updates manually. I try to wait at least a week (after Microsoft posts) to apply the update. That way any issues with the update will already be resolved.