If you're running Windows 8 and you went with the recommended settings automatic updates will be switched on. This can be annoying so here's our guide to stopping Windows 8 installing updates automatically.

We've been using Windows 8 for months and months at PC Advisor and something which has got under our skin is automatic updates. Microsoft's operating system does warn you of the upcoming update installations when you log on to the machine over the course of a few days, but when it finally gets round to it there's no option to postpone like there was in Windows 7.

Instead Windows 8 simply tells you that updates will be installed in 15 minutes regardless of what you're doing and suggests you save whatever you're working on. See also: Add Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets to Windows 8

Here's our step by step guide to sorting automatic updates out in Windows 8 on your PC or laptop.

Step One

Make sure you're in the desktop portion of Windows 8 and open the Charms Bar. This can be done my moving the mouse pointer to the right-hand edge of the screen or swiping in from the right if you have a touchscreen.

Windows 8 charms bar

Step Two

Click the Settings button from within the Charms Bar.

Step Three

Click Control Panel towards the top of the Charms Bar.

Settings Control Panel

Step Four

Depending on which view you're presented with, navigate to System and Security and hit 'turn automatic updating on or off' under the Windows Update section. Alternatively, click Windows Update and choose 'change settings' on the left-hand side.

Windows 8 control panel

Click to enlarge

Step Five

Either way you'll end up at the Windows Update setting menu. Here you can choose your preference from the drop down menu.

To stop Windows 8 installing updated automatically choose from 'download updated but let me decide when to install them', 'check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them' and 'never check for updates'.

We recommend the first of these three options.

Note: It is important to keep your system up to date so although this method stops Windows 8 installing updates automatically, you should still install them when they are available.

Windows 8 Update Settings

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