Apps may be automatically updated on Windows 8 even if you never use the apps that ship with Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system by default and do not have a single other application installed on the device.
Apps are configured to auto-update if you are signing in with a Microsoft account. If you use a local account instead, they are not configured that way.
What this means is that Windows will check for updates regularly, and download and install those that it finds. If you use the app store and apps regularly, then you may like that, as it means that you do not have to download and install those updates manually.
If you only work on the desktop, you may want to block all automatic app updates to save bandwidth and maybe also storage space.
You need to do the following to disable the automatic update feature. Note that this will only affect applications and not system patches, as they are handled in a different way.
This blocks the automatic updating of apps. You can use the check for updates button to manually check for new updates.
All apps for which updates are found are listed after the scan, and you can decide to update none, some or all of them then.
It is alternatively possible to set the update behavior in the Windows Registry. For that, do the following:
Your third option is to use the Group Policy Editor instead.
Here you have the following options:
How much bandwidth can you save? That depends largely on the apps that you have installed, how frequently they are updated, and how large those updates are. It is likely that this will fall in the Megabyte range instead of the Gigabyte range.
Besides saving bandwidth and maybe storage space, you will also get more control over the updating process, which means that you can evaluate the updates before you allow them.
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