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How to Turn Off Windows Updates on Windows 7

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Windows Updates are useful, and do help protect your computer from bugs and viruses/malware. But they can also be incredibly annoying, by shutting down your computer when you don’t want it to, or installing updates that break some functionality on your computer. In this will I will describe how to turn off Windows Automatic Updates in Windows 7, but I would still HIGHLY recommend installing them when you have some time, because you can leave your computer very vulnerable without some of the security updates.

Step 1: Open the Windows Control Panel

Open the Windows 7 Start Menu and Click Control Panel

The Windows control panel can be opened just by clicking the start menu, and then clicking the control panel option on the right. After a few seconds the window for the control panel will pop up.

Step 2: Change the View to Large Icons

Change the Control Panel to Large Icons

For some reason Windows defaults the control panel to this crappy view where it is hard to find what you are looking for. To make it much easier, choose the dropdown box at the top right that says “View by: “, and choose the option for “Large Icons”.

Step 3: Choose the “Windows Update” option

Choose the Windows Update Option in the Control Panel

The Windows Update option will be at the very bottom of the list (it is sorted alphabetically). Just double click it to open the Windows Update settings.

Step 4: Select “Change settings” on the left

Choose the Change Settings Option on the Left

On the left you will see several options, choose the one for “Change settings”. This will open a Window that allows you to change all of the Windows Update settings so youcan make it less annoying.

Step 5: Choose the best options for you

Choose the best Windows Update Setting for you

Under the Important Updates dropdown, you will see several options that will make it so Windows Updates is more set up for you.

The normal “Install Updates Automatically (recommended)” option will download updates whenever they become available, and then will supposedly install them at the time selected below. In my personal experience, it never works that way, and will shut down my computer to install updates at the worst times.

The next option, “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them” is much better, because it will still check for updates and download them, but it won’t shut down your computer and install Windows Updates unless you tell it to.

The “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” option is great if you have very low bandwidth caps on your internet. This makes it so it won’t download updates while you’re connected to your cell phone internet, or another internet service where you need to save your data, you can just wait till you’re on your home internet to download them. Also, the computer won’t install them until you tell it to, so no more random shutdowns where you lose work.

The last option “Never check for updates (not recommended)” is great if you have some software that the updates keep breaking, or if you just really don’t care about security and just want Windows Update to leave you alone. This will turn off Windows Update completely. Unfortunately, with this option a window will be constantly popping up in the bottom right hand corner to tell you that your Windows Updates are off. I would still definitely recommend installing the updates when you have some time, but at least this option makes the Windows Updates leave you alone for the most part.

The other two options on this page aren’t a big deal. If you want to deselect the box that says “Give me recommended updates the same way I get important updates” go ahead. The updates it installs with this option aren’t security related, and just fix small bugs with Windows software.

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