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In Windows 7 a balloon tip in the tray area let me know when I had updates that needed to be installed. In Windows 8 this seems to be missing or disabled by default. In fact, the only screen I've found which mentions pending updates is the log-in screen.

I even checked the metro start screen and haven't found anything mentioning updates. I'm using Start8 right now to avoid having to use the metro interface.

I prefer to install updates manually when I'm not going to be interrupted by a restart, but without a tray notification I'll never know when I need to. Is there a way to restore the old behavior from Windows 7?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This annoyed me, too - I wrote a program to restore the functionality.

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Nice! This seems to do the trick. Thanks. – Jonathan Taylor Jan 19 '13 at 16:20

You can go in the Updates section in PC Settings and click "Check for updates".

If there are updates, it's going to tell you they will be installed as scheduled, but you can click on the hyperlinked text to see the indiviaul updates as well as force an immediate install.

However, I'm not aware of any desktop tray notifications.

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