Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Do Not Want That Update? How To Stop A Nag

IE 8 is an “Important” Update, Yes, But I Don’t Want It

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.

Tip of the day: 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 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.

Today’s free link(s): Panda Cloud Antivirus – Free Cloud Protection
Panda Security has launched a brand new type of antivirus, and Security blogger Bill Mullins has this excellent write up. “FREE, antivirus thin-client service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.” Click the link for more..
[update: For more, also see Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?]

Today’s free download: Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 30, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Paul,

    Thank you for this. I quite agree, not all of us need to be shoehorned into the same pair of shoes.

    By following your advice, I’ll now be able to get rid of these annoying (when I don’t want/need the update), prompts. Let me be the captain of my own ship, Microsoft!



    Comment by Bill Mullins | April 30, 2009 | Reply

    • And “right-click simple”, too. Sometimes MS gets it right.

      I hope my using the current upgrade to IE 8 as an example doesn’t lead my readers to conclude that I’m somehow ‘dissing’ the new browser — I’m not.
      Compatibility issues with some browser plug-in tools I need have to be addressed before I can switch over all my machines is all. Happens with major upgrades.


      Comment by techpaul | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    Great tutorial on this… I learn something from you everyday I come to your blog. With your OK, I would like to point my readers to this tutorial with a short clip from my blog…

    Thank you…


    Comment by whatsonmypc | May 1, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      Your readers are always welcome here; and it is my hope that my readers will also visit your site frequently.


      Comment by techpaul | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  3. does the nag thing work on wives?

    ok, ok, i’ll go back to my cave now.


    Comment by g | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  4. Many thanks – this was driving me buggy. IE=don’t want.


    Comment by Leoben60 | May 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Leoben60–
      I just used IE as my example (it can be done with any Update), but I’m glad I was able to help you stiffle an annoyance.


      Comment by techpaul | May 3, 2009 | Reply

  5. The hide update works -for a while- and then it promptly nags again regarding IE8. I hid that update after trying IE8 for two days and then removing it. Once I was reverted back to IE7 I hid that update nag again. One month later, a few minutes ago, I was notified of IE8 again and had to once again hide the nagging notification. The hide feature, at least for IE8, is only a temporary solution.


    Comment by Michelle | June 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Michelle,
      I hope this second time it stays “hidden” for you. It should.

      You are the first who has said this to me (and I deal with a lot of computer users everyday) and I have not experienced it on either of the two machines on which I’ve elected to retain IE7 (Vista Home Premium and a Ultimate.)

      I will be paying extra attention to this (you really shouldn’t have to say “no thank you” more than once) and I would very much like to hear from anyone else who’s experienced this.


      Comment by techpaul | June 23, 2009 | Reply

  6. I am currently using xp pro x64. At this moment, I’ve got the yellow shield with and exclamation point in my task bar, waiting to inform me that theres an update to ie6. I’ve told unchecked the box for the update, and, on the message box that pops up when you do so, told it to NOT inform me of this update again. In approximately, oh, lets say 5 minutes, that damn yellow shield will be back. Windows XP has a listening problem.


    Comment by Joe | July 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Joe,
      Forgive me if I missed something, but.. did you simply un-check the checkbox.. or did you right-click and select “Hide update”? You need to do the latter for the long-term “go away”.

      I am not intimately familiar with XP x64, and maybe I’m missing something, but hiding the Update should work.

      PS — I simply must add, I sincerely hope that you are not still using IE 6… and if you are to please consider switching to a newer IE or Firefox or Opera or..
      IE 6 is the most hacked piece of code ever written.


      Comment by techpaul | July 2, 2009 | Reply

      • Folks, it has been a while since I’ve dealt with this issue in XP. Joe wrote me and reminded me that,
        “As far as hiding updates go, in XP there is no right-click menu. You get the list of downloads/updates with check boxes next to them. When you uncheck them and hit close, a message box will pop up called “Hide Updates”. Inside that is another check box, “Don’t notify me of these updates again.”

        Thank you, Joe. My XP was getting rusty!


        Comment by techpaul | July 3, 2009 | Reply

  7. Thanks for explaining how to hide the updates you don’t want. I had IE8 and had a ton of problems, so after finding the hidden files and uninstalling it I do not want it again. The reminder was driving me crazy. Right click – so simple.


    Comment by Kristine | August 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Kristine,
      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with IE 8, (I recommend using it if you can) and I’m glad I helped out.

      I should tell you that infrequently, but every so often, Updates that you’ve hidden will re-appear, and need to be hidden again.

      Thanks for your kind words.


      Comment by techpaul | August 8, 2009 | Reply

  8. I am also being nagged by IE 8 Same as Michelle, and have followed your procedure to hide it. Works for a while then starts to nag again or is included with other MS updates required fo XP. I have tried IE 8 did not like it and reverted back to IE 7. MS update with IE 8 download is in my systrtay right now?
    Please advise if you can.
    Thank you


    Comment by Felix | August 26, 2009 | Reply

    • Felix,
      In XP the only option you have is to place a check in the checkbox “Do not show me this update again”.

      You may have to repeat as necessary, as Microsoft is really trying to get us to install it, though they are backing off some and no longer calling it “critical”. (There are good, practical reasons for this.)
      One thing to try is to tell it “no” while you are logged in as “Administrator”, and not in your usual User Account. Instructions for how to log in as “Administrator” are here, about a third of the way down the page.

      Once you are in Administrator, visit Windows Update and let it do it’s thing, and then “hide” IE 8 just as you have before.

      Another option is to contact Microsoft support. Any support request for Updates is free of charge. Tell them you want IE 8 to go away and stop bothering you!
      If enough of us do that.. they might get the message..


      Comment by techpaul | August 26, 2009 | Reply

  9. i trid to make on update to windos vist sp3 and it restart after saying %100 complit i restart the computer and the update starts again how can i stop it???????

    email me at *deleted*


    Comment by susen | November 9, 2010 | Reply

    • susen,
      I am sorry to hear of your trouble.

      There could be many causes for this behavior, and resolving them is a (professional) service I provide at my business website.

      However, Microsoft provides free tech support for any security-related issue (including Windows Updates) at 1-888-PCSAFETY. (.. that might be 866 .. I can’t remember for sure right now.)
      I would try them first.


      Comment by techpaul | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  10. techpaul thank you very very much i cald them and thy helpt me get my computer runig i had to del from the regedit some files and here we go

    thanks to techpaul em yes the number is 1 866 pcsafety


    Comment by susen | November 9, 2010 | Reply

    • susen,
      Glad I was able to point you in the right direction, and thank you for the update.


      Comment by techpaul | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  11. I don’t want any more updates at all. For whatever reason (my PC is a P.O.S. most likely) every and I mean EVERY single time Microsoft sends me an update my computer doesn’t know how to act. I tend to leave my computer on overnight so I don’t have to boot it back up again in the morning. Well, the morning after an update (which I didn’t ask for in the first place) my computer forgets how to start itself up. I do Startup Repair and it still doesn’t work. Every time I have to go through the process of hitting F8 repeatedly until the screen comes up where I can select the various safe modes. I select Safe Mode with networking and start it up and then I have to do System Restore. This usually works but it takes a while. This happens every single time they send me an update.


    Comment by Think About It | April 10, 2013 | Reply

    • Think About It,
      Whether or not your PC is of the POS variety, it sure sounds to me like there is a problem. (And, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if an OS re-install isn’t in order.) You absolutely want the security patches that are “Windows Updates” if you are going to connect the machine to the Internet.

      I recommend running (from the Command prompt) chkdsk C: /f and sfc /scannow. Maybe that will clear things up, and let you install updates. You should also check your device drivers to see if they are the latest versions. But I suspect your best bet is going to be having a tech look at it.

      If those things are not an option/didn’t help… you might try the Microsoft “Fix it” for Windows Update, here


      Comment by techpaul | April 10, 2013 | Reply

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