How To Stop Updates on Windows 8.1

Updates have never been better than they are on Windows 8. For the most part, the operating system takes care of them itself, making sure that users always have the latest versions of Microsoft installed applications, and security updates whether they want them or not. The or not, is the problem there. Windows 8 removes most of the guess-work out of making sure your Windows 8, desktop, 2-in-1, laptop or tablet is up to date. The problem is that sometimes updates might break things, or change them in a way you don’t appreciate.

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Here’s how to stop updates on Windows 8.

Before we begin you need to completely understand the risk you’re taking in stopping updates on your Windows 8 device. Microsoft turns on updates by default because it wants to make sure that you always have the latest security fixes and usability changes. If you turn automatic updates off there’s no way to ensure that your device is running the latest updates unless you manually check them.

If you’re still sure that you want to turn off automatic updates on your Windows 8 device, create a calendar appointment on your smartphone that reminds you to manually perform updates every month. Regardless of how you do it, just make sure that you always remember to run them. A Windows 8 device without the latest updates, gets more vulnerable to viruses and spyware as time progress.

For this example, we have the Windows 8.1 update already installed on our Windows 8 device. It’s the free update that Microsoft began distributing through the Windows Store last year. If what you see in these slides looks different than what you have on your device you should download the update from the Windows Store now. Installing this update could take an hour. Make sure you’re near a power outlet and don’t need your device to be usable for a bit.

Turning Windows 8 Updates Off

Press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows button around your device’s display to go to the Start Screen.

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Don’t click or tap on anything in the Start Screen. Instead, place your mouse cursor in the top-right corner of your screen to reveal the Charms Bar if you have a mouse and keyboard. Touch users should place their finger on the right edge of their screen and slowly side it to the left to reveal the Charms Bar.

With the Charms Bar open, tap or click on the Settings Charm. It’s the gear at the bottom of the Charms Bar.

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Immediately, you’ll find a Settings fly out that has everything from internet settings to a power button and notification controls. Tap or click on Change PC Settings. It’s the bottom option closer to the right edge of your screen.

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Welcome to the Settings app. Tap or click on the menu option at the bottom of your screen labeled Update and Recovery.

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Tap or click on the Choose How Updates Get Installed option on the white part of your screen. It’s a little less obvious than the other buttons around. You’ll find it just below the Check Now button.

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Tap or click on the drop down menu at the top of the screen to change your automated installation settings. Options include being able to download updates but let you choose to install them, checking for updates but letting you choose when to download and install them and never checking updates. Tap or click on any of these options except the last one.

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Absolutely, under no circumstances should you instruct your Windows 8 device to not check for updates automatically. Even if you aren’t going to install them, it’s better to be notified that you have fixes pending than to just completely ignore them. Again, it’s all about keeping you device working and safe.

If you choose to be notified of Windows 8 updates a small notice will appear on the desktop letting you know that upgrades are available and asking if you want to go ahead and install them. This isn’t as convenient as having Windows 8 install updates in the background, but it also saves you from losing work or having to stop doing what you’re doing because Windows has automatically decided its time to download a security patch or an Internet Explorer fix.

While you’re in here, it’s not a bad idea to click the Microsoft Update check box that automatically installs or notifies you that you have updates for Microsoft programs like the Office suite of productivity apps. You may already be annoyed by automatic updates, but you’ll need to install these updates at some point too.

Tap or click on the Apply button once you’ve made your selection.

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There you have it. You’ve successfully stopped Windows 8 updates from downloading automatically. Again, before doing this come up with a plan for manually checking for Windows 8 updates. Failing to do so risks the long-term security of your device and if your device isn’t secure, your data isn’t secure either.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. P

    08/17/2014 at 1:38 pm

    I would NEVER do this…

    Reply

  2. anuj sharma

    08/17/2014 at 10:15 pm

    Really Nice post. I’ve been looking for desired result for this query. This post just saved my time. Keep posting such information. Its really helpful.

    Reply

  3. Rahul Yadav

    10/25/2014 at 9:36 am

    Good !! i like it.

    Reply

  4. murray

    02/14/2015 at 8:38 pm

    How do you stop once started

    Reply

  5. fxxk microsoft

    06/26/2015 at 12:03 am

    F**k Microsoft. They are fxxking stupid. I’ll never use their other products. WIn 10 is just a shit

    Reply

  6. Mutahir

    12/02/2015 at 12:24 pm

    thanks a lot

    Reply

  7. gillian bhalai

    03/07/2016 at 3:02 pm

    I do not get the choose how updates get installed prompt

    Reply

  8. john

    10/20/2016 at 9:46 am

    Isn’t it funny how people can get so locked in a world that they start believing it is the best thing since sliced bread. For example, the first sentence of this port got it completely wrong. NO, Windows 8 (8.1, 7, Vista, 10, XP) are some of the operating systems that does not get updates right. The only reason I have time to type this is because I am waiting for a Windows 8 to install updates (and I have been waiting for quite a while). The problem is, that the number of updates to be installed is exactly the same as it did a few hours ago. All I wanted to to was to quickly restart the computer to redo a failed installation. Can you imagine if you have to reboot a laptop while you are in an important meeting and it decides then and there it is time for updates – regardless of what you (who PAID for the laptop in the first place) wants to do. Apple is slightly better – at least it gives you the option to do it later – but then it keeps on bugging you until you have time to download more than 1 GB. If you want to how good updates can get – take an old PC and install Linux on it – simply google “best linux distro” and choose one of the 260+ linux distributions available.

    Reply

  9. Suzy

    12/06/2016 at 6:47 am

    These updates are so bogus. A tech told me to turn off updates as it WILL screw up your system. I turned off updates, only to have them magically turned back on, now I have to restart AND get the updates, also magically downloaded AND installed without my permission. Microsoft just doesn’t get it. I very much regret updating to 8.1 and will NEVER update to 10.

    They truly need to allow users to choose, not choose for them. Yes, especially on restart at the most inconvenient times!

    Reply

  10. Pierre

    02/14/2017 at 10:16 pm

    as Suzy said ” A tech told me to turn off updates as it WILL screw up your system”

    what do you do when that Monthly Quality Rollup – – FAILS ???
    and there is little or no information on your Error, that is causing that Fail.

    like now – – where it’s failed Eleven Times in the last three months??.
    – there is No Fix – – MS isn’t interested in this particular computer, anymore.
    yeah – – it’s win8.1 as well.

    Reply

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