Do we really need windows automatic updates?

By jram76 ยท 5 replies
Dec 2, 2007
  1. Running WinXP and wondering how many people have turned off their automatic windows updates. The way I see it, it runs constantly just to remind me to update which sounds like a waste of resources when I can just go to their site and check for patches once a week.

    Only problem is I get a Windows security alert when I turn it off and it's annoying, gotta remember how to turn that off as well...
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I agree the warning needs to be turned off as well as the auto-update process. Not only does the program use resources, it also 'phones home' without permission (if so set, which many people do not know how to turn off).

    My solution is simple - I subscribe to the MS email notification service, which lets me know in good time what updates are available, describes whether I can be affected, and I can also leave it a few days to discover if anyone starts screaming the update has caused more problems than it solves.

    The troubles caused by updates making other things worse can never be eliminated, but credit to MS things are usually better now than they were not so long ago. This is because XP is now very well de-bugged in general.

    of course, people who have unwisely rushed into Vista are at the previous early stage of bug-corrections continually causing new bugs, so tough on them, ha ha.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You can make it install all critical updates silently without telling you at all. That's the recommended behaviour BTW.

    Exactly the same data is sent when you visit the Windows Update page, so you are not improving your privacy. And you need the WU services running to use the WU webpage too.. That is unless you actually download and install all the fixes one by one manually.. If you really don't have anyting better to do with your time, go ahead :)

    Considering that Windows zero-day attacks are pretty common, for a normal user it is better if Windows installs critical fixes automatically and immediately.

    I personally check for updates manually after every Patch Tuesday, but that is only because I often use my laptop on mobile connections and I have no desire to pay premium just because WU suddenly decides to download a 15MB update.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    I'm on a Laptop and not always connected to the Internet.

    I've elected long ago to disable ALL auto update programs -- I want to know
    precisely what was updated, when, and with what change.
    The MS version change to IE7 was FORCED on the community using auto-update
    and many had significant problems with it.

    Clearly, auto update is not a requirement but then YOU must take responsibility for
    the security of your system with periodic manual updates.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    You're actually asking a triple question here as I read it:

    1. Should you get Windows Updates?
    2. Should you get Windows Updates downloaded automatically?
    3. Should Windows Updates be allowed to install automatically.

    My personal choice to all three is No.- but understand I take the responsibility for my system. I closed down the auto update Service, I don't use IE unless a needed site won't support Firefox. My systems are so bloated with updates, many of which I could have done without.

    If you do choose to get the updates, I am very against them being done "silently"! You should know when they're available, what they are and use the Custom Install feature instead of Express.

    Too many have been brainwashed into letting Microsoft add to their systems. While I fully understand that Windows is a Microsoft product, I do not think they should be given free reign to access and leave data on our systems.
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    As most updates are for security purposes, the answer is yes. If you are on a closed system, then no. But since 99% of computers are on some kind of open network, then you want max protection and equipment/driver updates.
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