Take Control – Stop Windows Update Prompts

Do you get a little bugged out when Windows constantly reminds you of an update that you have decided you don’t want to install? Want to put a stop to this annoyance?

Guest writer TechPaul, my tech wizard friend, a CompTIA Certified computer technician, and the owner of Aplus Computer Aid, shows you how.

Sometimes we need to tell Windows Update to stop prompting us to install a particular Update.

When Microsoft has released important and/or critical Updates (aka “patches”) for us, Windows has various ways of letting us know, including a System Tray icon.


Note: The normal route for accessing Update choices is Start >Windows Update, or Start >Programs >Windows Update. Click “View available updates”.]

I am a big fan of Updates. I (almost) always install them the moment I become aware of them. I use Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector to keep an eye on all my installed programs’ update state.. and I recommend you do too. Updates are ‘good’, and you want them.

Manage Windows Updates prompts

Currently, Microsoft Update is annoying me by continuously nagging me that there are Updates available. And when I click on the icon to see just what these updates are…


.. and I see that there is just one Update Microsoft wants me to install (the others only rate “optional”) – Internet Explorer 8.

Now, I understand why Microsoft wants us to be using a more secure browser (and I understand why it’s considered “important”) and I will upgrade from IE7 on most of my machines – but not all. Not yet.

So I right-click on the Update I don’t want to be nagged about and then click on “Hide update”.

That’s it. I’m done. Windows Update will no longer prompt me to install this (now) ‘hidden’ update. At a later date, to see Updates that I’ve hidden, I just click on “Show hidden updates”. I can undo my change.

Note: This technique can be used on troublesome Updates that cause incompatibility issues such as a BSOD.

If a Windows Update install causes you trouble, and you need to uninstall it, the “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove Updates.

After you get that Update uninstalled, (then) use the Hide feature to prevent Windows Update from re-installing it on you again.

To uninstall IE 8: Uninstalling IE 8 will automatically restore your older version. Please see Microsoft’s official How To, here, How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8?

This is a guest post by Paul Eckstrom, a technology wizard and the owner of Aplus Computer Aid in Menlo Park, California. Paul adds a nice humorous touch to serious computer technology issues. Why not pay a visit to his Blog – Tech – for Everyone.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved*

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1 Comment

Filed under Computer Audit Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Guest Writers, Security Rating Applications, Software, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Update

One response to “Take Control – Stop Windows Update Prompts

  1. Bill Mullins

    Thank you TechPaul, for sharing your knowledge on what can often be an aggravating problem.