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For compatibility reasons, I need my system (Windows 7) without any .NET higher than 3.5.

Unfortunately, it seems that Windows Update will automatically update the .NET framework. While I can uninstall the framework again, Windows Update will keep buggering me with .NET 4 related updates and patches.

How can I set it up in such a way that .NET 3.5 stays the latest version of the .NET framework installed?

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You can right-click the update and select hide, is that what you mean? – Jesper Jensen Jul 25 '13 at 6:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • Right-click My Computer and select Properties
  • Click on Windows Update at the bottom the column to the left
  • Click on the button Search for updates
  • When you get the list of updates, right-click on the .NET Framework 4.x update
  • Select Hide update

Now Windows won't remind you to update this again through Windows Update.

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Installing .Net 4 shouldn't effect an application targeted at .Net 3.5. This works with .Net 2 as well. They install side by side.

Here is a reference to the Microsoft .Net framework blog article about it:

That being said, turning off automatic updates is an option that should prevent it. If you try to run any app targeted at 4 it'll prompt you to install the framework though.

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+1 for the "why is this an issue?" style response from @Don. – Richard Jul 25 '13 at 14:17

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