Sometimes the way Windows Update is configured to download and install updates just isn't working out. Automatic updates sounds great, but sometimes automatic can mean automatic failure.
For example, let's say an issue with an update being applied on Patch Tuesday is causing a BSOD. You do a System Restore and get back to work, only to see the same problem occur the next day when the patch is again applied... automatically.
Regardless of why you might want to change how Windows Update behaves, there are several options to choose from other than the fully automatic default.
The specific steps involved to change Windows Update settings differ somewhat depending on which operating system you're using:
- How To Change Windows Update Settings in Windows 8
- How To Change Windows Update Settings in Windows 7
- How To Change Windows Update Settings in Windows Vista
- How To Change Windows Update Settings in Windows XP
Note: While it is possible, I don't recommend fully disabling Windows Update. At very least, make sure you choose an option where you're notified of new patches, even if you choose not to have them automatically download or install.