Turn off settings that were recommended during Windows setup

[This information is preliminary and subject to change.]

When you set up Windows, you might have chosen to use recommended settings to help make your computer more reliable and secure. If you want to turn off any of these settings, follow the relevant procedures below.

Note

Note

In some situations, for example when a computer is managed by a system administrator, you might not be able to make all of the following changes (the options will be unavailable). In that case, ask your system administrator if it's possible for you to change these settings.

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Install important and recommended updates

Using the recommended settings turns on automatic updating, gets the latest drivers from Windows Update when connecting new devices, and downloads the latest detailed information for devices. Here's how to turn off each of these settings:

Turn off Windows automatic updating

Getting automatic updates can help protect your computer. Without automatic updates, your computer might be vulnerable to security threats.

  1. Click to open Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.

  3. Under Important updates, click Never check for updates (not recommended), and then click OK. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Choose not to get the latest drivers from Windows Update

You can control how Windows finds drivers when you connect new hardware or devices to your computer. Here's how to change the settings so Windows Update doesn't check for the latest drivers when you connect new devices:

  1. Click to open Control Panel.

  2. Under Hardware and Sound, click View devices and printers.

  3. Right-click the name of your computer, and then click Device installation settings.

  4. Click No, let me choose what to do, click Never install driver software from Windows Update, and then click Save Changes. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Choose not to download the latest detailed information for devices

Windows can download detailed information, such as the name of your devices and device icons, so your devices are easier to identify in Windows. If you don't want to download this device information from the Internet, follow these steps:

  1. Click to open Control Panel.

  2. Under Hardware and Sound, click View devices and printers.

  3. Right-click the name of your computer, and then click Device installation settings.

  4. Click No, let me choose what to do, clear the Replace generic device icons with enhanced icons check box, and then click Save Changes. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Help make Internet browsing safer

Using the recommended settings turns on Windows Defender, and SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer. Here's how to turn off these settings:

Turn off Windows Defender

Windows Defender alerts you when spyware and other potentially unwanted software tries to install, run on your computer, or change important Windows settings. Without Windows Defender, your computer might be more vulnerable to security threats.

  1. Click to open Windows Defender.

  2. Click Tools, and then click Options.

  3. Click Administrator, clear the Use this program check box, and then click Save. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Turn off SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer

SmartScreen Filter is a feature in Internet Explorer that helps detect phishing websites. SmartScreen Filter can also help protect you from installing malicious software, or malware, which is software designed to deliberately harm your computer such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.

Warning

Warning

Turning off SmartScreen Filter might make your computer more vulnerable to security threats.

  1. Click to open Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Safety button, point to SmartScreen Filter, and then select Turn Off SmartScreen Filter.

  3. In the MicrosoftSmartScreen Filter dialog box, click OK.

Get solutions to problems online

Using the recommended settings turns on Windows problem reporting and Windows online Help and Support, and gets the latest troubleshooting packs when troubleshooting problems. Here's how to turn off each of these settings:

Turn off Windows problem reporting

Windows problem reporting sends information to Microsoft to help develop and improve solutions to problems. This can help you with a solution when you have a computer problem in the future. Here's how to turn off Windows problem reporting:

  1. Click to open Action Center.

  2. Click Maintenance, and then under Check for solutions to problem reports, click Settings.

  3. Click Never check for solutions (not recommended), and then click OK.

Turn off Windows online Help and Support

If your computer is connected to the Internet, you can find the latest Help content from Windows Help online. The Windows Help online search results include new content, so you have a better chance of finding answers.

  1. On the toolbar in Windows Help and Support, click Options, and then click Settings.

  2. Under Search Results, clear the Improve my search results by using online Help (recommended) check box, and then click OK. The words Offline Help will be displayed in the lower-right corner of the Help and Support window when you're not connected.

Choose not to get the latest troubleshooting packs when troubleshooting problems

The latest troubleshooting packs help you address problems with the latest solutions. If you don't want any users of the computer to get the latest troubleshooting packs, do the following:

  1. Click to open Control Panel.

  2. Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.

  3. In the left pane, click Change settings. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. Under Other settings, clear the Allow users to browse for troubleshooters available from the Windows Online Troubleshooting service check box, and then click OK. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Help Microsoft improve Windows

Using the recommended settings turns on the Customer Experience Improvement Program and the Help Experience Improvement Program and search string collection. Here's how to turn off these settings:

Turn off the Customer Experience Improvement Program

This program helps Microsoft improve Windows. Without interrupting you, it collects information about your computer hardware and how you use Windows.

  1. Click to open Action Center.

  2. In the left pane, click Change Action Center settings.

  3. Under Related settings, click Customer Experience Improvement Program settings.

  4. Select No, I don't want to participate in the program, and then click Save Changes. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Turn off the Help Experience Improvement Program and search string collection

By participating in this program, you can help Microsoft improve the quality and relevance of the Help experience. The program collects the words and phrases that you type into the Help search box. This "search string" information helps improve search results in Help. To turn off the Help Experience Improvement Program, do the following:

  1. On the toolbar in Windows Help and Support, click Options, and then click Settings.

  2. Under Help Experience Improvement program, clear the Join the Help Experience Improvement program check box, and then click OK.