Tech – for Everyone

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

Don’t Want IE 9? How To Turn Off The Update Nag

For those of you not ready to switch to IE 9, or want to go back to IE 8, this article (written back when Microsoft was moving us from IE 7 to IE 8) tells you what you need to know.. I simply updated it by changing the number!

IE 8 9 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 9.
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 8 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 any Update — such as 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 9: Uninstalling IE 8 9 will automatically restore your older version (IE 8). Please see Microsoft’s official How To, here, How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8? How do I install or uninstall Internet Explorer 9?

Today’s free download(s):
* Panda Cloud Antivirus Panda Security has a ‘new’ type of antivirus – Internet based. “FREE, antivirus service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.”
[For more, also see Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?]

* 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.

Today’s quotable quote:You can observe a lot just by watching.” ~ Yogi Berra

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 4, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, ie 8, IE 9, Microsoft, PC, removing Updates, software, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Thank you. It’s been bothering me and I never tried right clicking on the items in that list before.


    Comment by Walter | June 23, 2011 | Reply

    • Walter,
      I am glad you found the tip useful.

      It is “little advertised”, as by and large (almost always) you want Updates. I surely would not advise using this on any “critical” Updates.. unless they broke your machine.


      Comment by techpaul | June 23, 2011 | Reply

  2. Many thanks for this tip. Vista has been driving me nuts to upgrade to IE9. I’ll wait awhile until I’m sure that it is stable,


    Comment by Anonymous | July 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      IE 9 is stable, if that’s what you’re waiting for..


      Comment by techpaul | July 8, 2011 | Reply

  3. IE9 breaks a lot of javascript that is stable in ie8 and all other current browsers and therefore I was call ie9 unstable


    Comment by Anonymous | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      I see. And I understand.

      I don’t use IE as my primary browser, but when I do use it, I have not noticed any significant problems. And I am not receiving any complaints from my clients, asking me to remove it (as I did when Firefox went from 3 to 4).


      Comment by techpaul | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thank you so much! That is so very useful. I did, initially, install IE9 but, among other issues, it wouldn’t work with my internet banking. So until my bank is ready to support it, I haven’t got the choice. (There were other things it didn’t work with that I was willing to tolerate but that just tipped the scales).

    So – many thanks, again. I’m also going to check out the Personal Software Inspector you mentioned, and the Adeona. Looks very interesting.


    Comment by Gail HL | July 30, 2011 | Reply

    • Gail HL,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my writings helpful.

      And I invite you to look around the site some (use my “Search” widget) as I have posted over 1,500 articles…


      Comment by techpaul | July 30, 2011 | Reply

  5. Thank god. I have ie9 installed but windows wanted to keep updating it which would fail every time. I use Firefox anyway. Thanks for the tip.


    Comment by Anonymous | August 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Sir or Ms,
      Um.. a bit of a relief, I take it? Thanks for taking the time to let me know you found my writings helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | August 16, 2011 | Reply

  6. thanks so much for the info – I finally got so disgusted with IE 9 that I uninstalled it (most annoying program ever!). But I needed to figure out how to stop getting the annoying “important update” message.


    Comment by annaB | October 25, 2011 | Reply

    • annaB,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my writing helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  7. Thanks for the tip.
    I have removed IE9 for a second time now (not happy with many of the changes) but kept getting pestered with the important IE9 update.



    Comment by Anonymous | November 13, 2011 | Reply

    • Bill,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my efforts here helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | November 13, 2011 | Reply

  8. thank you thank you thank you … easy peasy


    Comment by Amelia | December 4, 2011 | Reply

    • Amelia,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know someone out there found my article helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | December 4, 2011 | Reply

  9. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!


    Comment by Rick | January 24, 2012 | Reply

  10. The IE 9 version is nothing but trouble. I did not know my auto-updater had installed IE 9. I hate how sneaky the Windows updater is. I have to watch it all the time.


    Comment by Bob | February 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Bob,
      No doubt some will think me an MS apologist, or on their payroll, or something..
      But the technical truth is, the primary purposes of the Updates is to “patch” (aka ‘close’) security vulnerabilities and fix buggy code. It has become a primary way software companies REact to actual attacks (aka “exploits” [or “sploits”]).

      Microsoft says they consider the security improvements in v9 important enough to qualify as a “pushed” (as opposed to ‘optional’) Update.. though clearly some see at as a sneaky way to get their latest version onboard.

      I think there are – in fact – enough improvements (security-wise) in IE9 to reco it over 8 as long as it does not cause the user headaches. And since I found a way to block ads in IE9, I use it myself on most of my machines.
      But, I am not trying to suggest the “P” in “PC” does not stand for “Personal”, and thus this article.


      Comment by techpaul | February 12, 2012 | Reply

  11. Quote “…the primary purposes [sic] of the Updates is to “patch” (aka ‘close’) security vulnerabilities and fix buggy code.”

    Even AFTER updates have been installed—

    The primary way a user can avoid a security problem is by careful use and careful browsing.

    The primary way a user can be protected from buggy windoze code is via frequent full Drive Image backups to an external hard drive.

    In other words neither micro$$oft or any retail manufacturer is going to provide the full security and reliability that most everyone needs.


    Comment by DIY Reliability | March 26, 2012 | Reply

    • DIY Reliability,
      If it were merely a matter of eliminating the bugz, a program’s “maturing” (and testing/patching cycles) would eventually eliminate the need for updates. But we are in a cat and mouse game against the “hackers”, who are constantly seeking new ways to exploit code – close that way down, they go back to the drawing board and try something else.
      It is a “dynamic”, pervasive, unrelenting attack.. and (generally speaking) utterly unpredictable (ref: “zero day exploits”), requiring reactions (aka “patches” aka “updates”) to successful forays. (Sadly, often these “blackhats” are often better financed than the “whitehats”.)

      It is popular to believe that M$, in cahoots with others, deliberately put out shoddy product. To sell fixes, and newer versions. But there is much more going on here. (And Windows predates viruses..) Regardless of what a person might believe, your two “primary ways” are spot on — hard drives die (regardless of the OS onboard) and criminals attack your machine/device via the Internet (and dropping infected USB sticks in parking lots…)


      Comment by techpaul | March 27, 2012 | Reply

  12. I use IE version 9.0.8112 and still get the threatening message that WordPress will shortly stop supporting it…something seems strange here…


    Comment by peter benedek | July 10, 2012 | Reply

    • peter benedek,
      Since IE9 is current, I agree. I am afraid all I can suggest as a first step is to contact WP support and ask if they can explain why you’re seeing that.

      Second, it may help to completely “reset” your IE. “Export” your Settings/Favorites, and then follow the steps here. (Then “Import” your settings back.)


      Comment by techpaul | July 10, 2012 | Reply

  13. I would LOVE to know how to get rid of all the adds that are such a distraction. Any hints would be well appreciated.



    Comment by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 | Reply

  14. Sorry I meant ads… how to block the ads that are always there.


    Comment by Anonymous | January 8, 2013 | Reply

  15. Just go into “Windows Update” and change the setting to “Ask before installing updates”.


    Comment by Ty Buchanan | March 2, 2013 | Reply

    • Ty Buchanan,
      Um.. no. Not quite.

      Your way will simply prompt when Updates are available. Each and every time. For the whole batch. (Basically saying “it’s time for Updates. Start now?”)

      The method in the article allows you to tell the machine to completely stop trying to prompt/install a particular Update. I used IE 9 as an example, but the method works on all Updates.


      Comment by techpaul | March 2, 2013 | Reply



    Comment by 1HAMBURGER | March 15, 2013 | Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found my article helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | March 15, 2013 | Reply

  17. Thank you for this most excellent tip – my antivirus program kept alerting me there was a critical update so I’d open the Update window — IE 10? Critical? I don’t think so!


    Comment by Jet | May 30, 2013 | Reply

    • Jet,
      No. I don’t think so either.


      Comment by techpaul | May 30, 2013 | Reply

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