Ahh, Windows Automatic Update. As if the manual windows update wasn't annoying enough, now Microsoft gets to decide which packages are on your computer without consulting you first, and nag you if you opt not to install the service. Here's how to disable that annoying, destabilizing little popup in the corner of your screen. I've only tested this on Windows 2000.

1. Log in as Administrator

2. Open the Control Panel

3. Open Administrative Tools

4. Open Services

5. Right click on Automatic Updates in the panel, and select properties.

6. Select Startup Type: Disabled

7. Repeat this with Background Intelligent Transfer Service

Windows Automatic Update will trouble you no more!

Thankfully, Microsoft have made it much easier to disable Automatic Updates on a computer running Windows XP. Follow these simple steps, and you shall no longer be nagged to Do The Right Thing.

  1. Log in under a Computer Administrator account.
  2. Open the Control Panel.
  3. Open the System applet.*
  4. Select the 'Automatic Updates' tab.
  5. Under 'Notification Settings', select "Turn off automatic updating. I want to update my computer manually."
  6. Click OK.

Windows Update will no longer pester you to update your computer. It is, of course, a very good idea to ensure you do update regularly, in order to avoid the nasty little exploits that worm authors love.

* Alternatively, right-click upon My Computer and select Properties. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, do as wertperch suggests, and press your Windows key+Pause/Break.

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