SOURCE: Windows Secrets

Windows Secrets

June 24, 2009 20:00 ET

Windows Installing Updates Without Permission, Says Windows Secrets

Some Patches Installed Regardless of User Preferences

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - Windows users who prefer to research Windows updates before installing them on their computer may be receiving the patches whether they like it or not, according to a story in today's edition of the Windows Secrets Newsletter. Contributing Editor Scott Spanbauer reports that in certain instances, Windows XP and Windows Vista have installed updates without warning, regardless of a user's notification settings.

"We expect updates to occur when the Automatic Updates feature is enabled on a user's machine," says Spanbauer. "But several readers as well as Windows Secrets writers have noticed that some updates are installing even if they have configured Automatic Updates to 'download updates but don't install them' or 'notify me but don't install them.'"

Spanbauer notes that most Windows patches are desirable and do not negatively affect a user's machine. However, in some instances updates may interfere with a user's existing software or cause an interruption in Internet service. For these reasons, many companies as well as individuals prefer to research patches for potential conflicts before installing them.

A spokesman for Microsoft asserts that Windows' auto-update routine has not changed and that stealth installs from Automatic Updates have not occurred since August 2008. He also claims that Automatic Updates is working just as intended.

"We're calling it a bug until we get a better explanation," states Brian Livingston, editorial director of Windows Secrets. "This isn't the first time Microsoft has ignored user preferences to force an install and once again, our readers have raised a red flag. While this particular problem doesn't seem to be widespread, it still has the potential to cause major headaches and users should know about it."

The complete article and tips for securing your computer from unauthorized updates can be found at

The Seattle-based publishes a free, weekly e-mail newsletter with over 400,000 subscribers. A longer, paid version is available for a contribution determined by the subscriber. Published since 2003, the newsletter reveals tips and tricks to get the most out of Microsoft Windows. Employing six full-time staff members, publishes the work of several contributing editors, including Fred Langa, Woody Leonhard, Ryan Russell, and Susan Bradley. For more information, visit

Contact Information