How to permanently ignore a Windows XP update

In order to ignore a Windows XP update, you have to make sure Automatic Updates is NOT set to Automatic. Rather, set it to one of the following two settings (in Control Panel > Automatic Updates):

  • Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them.
  • Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them.

Windows will, upon finding updates, prompt you that updates are available but will not install them. This will give you a chance to ignore your selected update. If you want to force Windows to check for updates immediately, open a command prompt and type:

wuauclt /detectnow

Next, once the update is available and you’re prompted to begin the installation, select Advanced. This will show your list of potential updates in a checkbox-list format.

Uncheck the update you do not want to install and click Next.

You will then be prompted if you want to ignore the update. Confirm.

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome.


  1. #1 by lisa on August 1, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    I tried entering wuauclt /detectnow in a command prompt and it did nothing. Running Windows XP Home with SP3 and updates. All I got was another command prompt entry C:Documents and Settings
    Followed by user name and the >

    • #2 by Mike on August 2, 2011 - 8:22 am

      wuauclt /detectnow itself doesn’t generate any output. It serves to “kick-start” the Windows Update detection process. It causes Windows Update to check for updates in the background and, if updates are available, takes action based on your Windows Update settings.