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How to turn off automatic updates in Windows

Windows Update can be a pain if it’s scheduled to work automatically. Here's how to turn off automatic updates

It’s important to keep your Windows laptop or desktop updated – many of Microsoft’s updates keep your system secure, and sometimes they can add nice new features.

However, Windows Update can also be a pain, particularly if it’s scheduled to work automatically. If that’s the case, you’ve probably experienced the head-in-the-hands moment where you’ve stepped away from your computer for a moment, only to return to an updating machine that reboots with all of your windows and work gone.

This is what happens when Windows Update downloads some updates and took it upon itself to reboot without your permission. This should never happen. At best, it's a hassle. At worst, you stand to lose any work you haven't saved.

Thankfully, there's an easy fix for this, here's what you need to do:

1. In Vista and Windows 7, click Start, type Windows Update, and then hit Enter. In XP, head to the Control Panel and seek out Windows Update.

2. Click the Change Settings option at left. 

3. Change the setting to Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.

4. Click OK.

That's all there is to it. Windows may still nag you about installing updates, but at least it won't reboot without your permission.

Visit the Dell Tech Zone for more advice on family computing.

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