Disable Automatic Windows Update

photo booth tips

This Photo Booth Owners quick tip is Windows Automatic Updates and how to turn them off and still keep your business's computers protected.

The Windows Automatic Updates are a great thing for the general masses, but they are not so great when they cripple your photo booth at a gig.

Here is a common scenario. Photo booth owner Jon starts his computer to install and test his photo booth template for tonight's event. When he shuts down Windows, it installs a series recent update. This is the default behavior of Windows. Jon not paying attention doesn't notice this and goes about packing up.

When he arrives at the event and sets up he discovers that his computer is giving him strange errors or even worse it will not start up. Jon messes with the computer feverishly but cannot resolve the issue. Since Jon doesn't have a backup on site he is forced to cancel the event and refund his client.

Ever heard of a situation similar to this? I bet you have as we have many accounts in the photo booth forums here at PBO.

Unfortunately the complexity of modern operating systems make in place patching less than perfect and errors do happen. For this very reason you the Photo Booth Owner must verify that your computer still operates properly after each round of updates. This also includes updates to your photo booth software, printer drivers and camera drivers.



To help control Windows Updates and minimize risk it is recommended that you disable the automatic installation of Windows Updates. Here is how to do so in Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.


Disable Windows Updates Automatic Installation in Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows key and type "control panel".
  2. Type "windows update" in the search bar (top right).
  3. Click the "Turn automatic updating on or off".
  4. Select the Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them option as pictured below.
  5. Click OK

Photo Booth Owners Tips


Disable Windows Updates Automatic Installation in Windows 7

  1. Press the Windows key and type "control panel" in the start menu search box.
  2. Type "windows update" in the search bar (top right).
  3. Click the "Change settings" link in the left-hand navigation.
  4. Select the Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them option as pictured below.
  5. Click OK

Photo Booth Owners Tips


Disable Windows Updates Automatic Installation in Windows XP


  1. Press the Windows key and click "Control Panel" on the right-hand side of the start menu.
  2. Double-click on Automatic Updates.
  3. Select the Notify me but don't automatically download or install them option as pictured below.
  4. Click OK.

Photo Booth Owners Tips


That wraps up this photo booth owners quick tip. For more great tips visit our tips section at photoboothowners.com/tips.


Have a tip of your own? Share here on the blog through a comment or in the photo booth forums.

  • Alan Dodson

    Honestly, in most cases, if your photo booth computer is functioning properly and is ONLY used for the operation of the photo booth, virtually all operating system updates are unnecessary. If the photobooth software is updated, you should know WHY you need to update before installing any updated versions. You may be better off not updating unless you want to use an added feature. My engineer father used to tell me: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

    Alan Dodson
    Mr. Picture Booth

    • Thanks for the comment Alan.

      I agree with you except for the case where there are security issues addressed. I strongly advocate photo booth owners to make sure their machines are up to date with the latest security fixes, just make sure you test them and of course install them when you have time to test.

      • skyhawk

        I'm with Alan as well. My build is Win7 and I patch it completely around this time of year when things are slow. That gives me half a dozen or so fundraiser / non-wedding events as an acceptance period before the change freeze for the rest of the year.

        I also review the windows event logs between each event. (I clear them afterward)

  • BayState Photobooth

    I learned the hard way, thankfully not as bad as original story, but quite a scare. Since then, the laptop I use is strictly for the photobooth and NEVER goes online. This allowed me the luxury of not updating the OS and also no need to install virus protection/firewalls/etc. At the end of a gig, I dump all the photos to a thumb drive and finish any uploading on my home laptop. Great article and great tips!

    • Thanks for your feedback. Do you foresee yourself providing social media capabilities in 2013? This is one area I see a lot of growth this year in our industry. This would require a network connection of sorts so could alter your plan.

      Thanks again for reading the PBO blog and looking forward to great comments in the future!

  • Grant

    I'm so new to the photo booth world, I've yet to get my first event under my belt. Thankfully, I read this tip! I never even thought about anti-virus or software updates interfering with my equipment during an event. I'll stop this before it happens!



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