Possible Duplicate:
On Windows 7, how to Shut Down the computer without the Update?

I have my Windows 7 Pro set up to "download patches, but let me choose when to install them". However, on several occasions, when I have shut down the O/S, Windows Update has proceeded with a lengthy patch application even though I issued no permission to do so.

This is a bit scary to me... in particular, it seems I cannot trust the Windows Update settings. Is this official policy somewhere at Microsoft, or am I witnessing a bug? What can be done about it?

  • Dupe: superuser.com/questions/104771/…
    – John T
    Mar 8, 2010 at 14:01
  • Thanks, I didn't see that. However, this question got a new and better answer than the original. What's the protocol? Should I post an answer on the other thread that links back here, or clone the best answer, or just let it go?
    – Stabledog
    Mar 8, 2010 at 14:04
  • Neither. This question will be closed as a duplicate. I have added my answer to the question which is the duplicate. @John Thanks for finding it. Mar 8, 2010 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


I found the answer here. It seems that indeed, this is "by design" behavior. I think that's disturbing, because the Shutdown button provides the user with no clue that the process may take 15 minutes or more. What if you're getting on a plane and running on a low battery?

Anyway, the solution is to do Ctrl+Alt+Del, then press the little red arrow next to the shutdown button, where a menu appears that allows "shutdown" distinct from "apply patches and shutdown".


  • 2
    No the solution is to turn it all the way off and never check. Then you do it manually once a month at your convenience sometime after the second Tuesday of the month.
    – Steve
    Mar 8, 2010 at 11:36
  • Well that eliminates the convenience of having the updates downloaded automatically. It is one solution, though.
    – Stabledog
    Mar 8, 2010 at 13:18

Set Windows Update to notify but not to download.

When updates become available Windows will show the icon and nag you from time to time, but the update will be done when you choose. You should take in consideration the time it takes to download, because unlike your current method it will not be done in the background.

  • Yes, I'm aware of this option... but I like the convenience of the auto-download. I'm just upset that the default shutdown behavior offers no clue that updates will be applied whether you like it or not. Anyway, I found the solution (see above)
    – Stabledog
    Mar 8, 2010 at 13:19

Turn off automatic updates. Do it manually the second Tuesday of the month.

  • They ARE turned off (download but do not apply). That's what's disturbing. But I found this: windowssecrets.com/comp/090312#insid1, which basically says "yep, that's the way it works 'by design'", but also offers an alternative way to do the shutdown.
    – Stabledog
    Mar 8, 2010 at 11:30
  • Set it to never check.
    – Steve
    Mar 8, 2010 at 11:31
  • My wife is still using Vista, and she's very mad at Windows when it does that. I like the solution presented in previous posts.
    – jfmessier
    Mar 8, 2010 at 13:21

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