• 1000004: Disable Automatic Update in Vista, Win7 or 8.1

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    AKB1000004: Disable Automatic Update in Vista, Win7 or 8.1

    By @woody

    Published 6 Feb 2017 rev 1.0

    As most of you know, I recommend that you normally turn off Automatic Updates. I’ve been saying – in print – for almost two decades that Windows Automatic Update is for chumps. It’s just as true now as it ever was. Given the “Get Windows 10” campaign, I’d say it’s more important now than before.

    For those of you using Windows 8.1, 8, 7, or Vista, I strongly recommend that you set Windows Automatic Update to “Never check for updates.” Then follow along here on AskWoody – or keep an eye on the tech press – and wait for the patches to stew for a week or two or three. I’ll change MS-DEFCON rating when I figure it’s safe to turn Automatic Update back on – and what to watch out for when you do.

    Here’s how:

    Windows 8 and 8.1

    While looking at the old-fashioned Windows desktop, hold down the Windows key and press X, then choose Control Panel. Then follow the instructions for Windows 7.

    Windows 7 and Vista

    Using an administrator-level account, click Start > Control Panel > System and Security. Under Windows Update, click the Turn automatic updating on or off link. (Note: If you have Control Panel set to View by icons, click Windows Update, then on the left choose Change Settings.) In the drop-down box, select “Never check for updates (not recommended),” then click OK. That’s all it takes.

    You need to apply security patches from time to time. But you can and should do it at your own pace, waiting to see if the patches cause massive problems before allowing them onto your machine.

    If you’re using Windows XP, you’re just begging for problems. Get rid of the machine. Replace it with a nice Chromebook, an iPad or, yes, shell out the $200 for a new Windows 10 computer. Life’s too short.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #92110

      I am happy to see that you have changed the WU setting you recommended. I have been recommending Never for a couple of years now.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #119213

      I don’t have the (Never check for updates,not recommended option.)  I have windows 8.1  & my options are (Install updates automatically) &( Let me choose.) I am set to Let me choose. Thanks for your helpful info.

      • #119215

        Did you have GWX Control Panel on your computer before? It blocked the settings so GWX wouldn’t change it to Auto and install Win10. There is a Registry setting I think will fix it. If you’re not familiar with the Registry, get someone who is to help you. I think 4 may be what you want.

        1) Hold WindowsKey + R
        (is hold Start & press R on your keyboard)

        2) Type: “regedit”
        Hit Enter

        3) Go to:

        Find AUOptions.
        Double Click AUOptions or Right Click Modify

        > You can change the values data from 1 through 5 <
        1. Install updates automatically
        2. Download updates but let me choose wether to install them
        3. Check for updates but let me choose wether to download and install them
        4. Install updates automatically / Never Check For Updates
        5. Enable the option box to choose manually


        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #119220

          I had read you on this before. And it helped me help someone else, so I am glad to have the opportunity to thank you, late, without having to look for it.

          I had not used one of the dashboards advertised at the time, and so did not recognize the change for what it was. But pieced it together after reading you.

    • #151374

      For once someones advice actually worked in Windows; thank you!!!

    • #152096

      Thank you for this fix. I tried the Microsoft  fix and it did not work. They said upgrade to Windows 10. I think this is just a ploy to trick us into upgrading. No way!

      Thanks again


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