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Windows 7: App does not allow me to disable auto-update

16 Oct 2016   #1

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit
App does not allow me to disable auto-update

A favorite app has recently started automatically updating itself. There is no setting to turn this off. Most of the time, the updates are defective when released so I would prefer to manually update when I'm sure they are safe. Is there any Windows 7 setting where I can disable this? Permissions, perhaps? Or ownership? I've emailed their support but it generally takes weeks (or months) for them to provide assistance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2016   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64

What is the app ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2016   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Welcome to the forum.

In general what you want is not possible. It may be possible in specific cases. Applications have complete control over the details of when and how they update themselves. They may or may not provide means for the user to influence this. Windows would have no knowledge of this except that it is accessing the Internet. It has no idea why and doesn't care. Windows does not understand what applications are doing except at a very primitive level.

All you could do is prevent the application from accessing the Internet. I have never tried to do this with Windows firewall. Of course this may prevent the application from operating normally, or at all. If an application really wanted to do so it is not particularly difficult to evade such restrictions.

Maybe it is time to look for another application.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Oct 2016   #4

Windows 7 x64

That is a somewhat a virus or malware.

Only application that have either one of them can do anything without any setting.

The application do have "Administrator" mode, if not Windows & Security program will flag & block.

There is a way.

I am not sure, but you need to block that application for doing anything, since there is no setting.

Either in the Internet Security &or something, i forgot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2016   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit

The app is PlayOn. It allows you to (legally; yes, it truly is legally - has been reviewed by many legit websites) download tv episodes to your computer. The problem is that it is constantly having to update the process and their updates tend to break sites that are working properly. The automatic update is a recent innovation and is working very badly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2016   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Without knowing the specific details of that programs difficult to provide an accurate answer, but I'll try my luck and point to the most common ways of taming rebel software.

- Use a firewall to deprive it of internet access, or at least, to the servers it uses to auto upgrade. Being a program that requires legitimate internet access this is a difficult option, but doable with some care.
- Rely on file system permissions to deny upgrade access. Software installed in program files (which should be everything) is writable only by admins, while can be run by anyone. This makes normal usage of the software impossible to tamper itself and auto update, at least not without an UAC prompt, which you must say "NO". If it's poor enough to require admin access every time (which is a terrible practice, IMHO), this won't work, either. Also, check is its normal install didn't tamper with the default permissions as a backdoor to autoupdate.
- Use Software Restriction policies/AppLocker to block the updater, so it fails to run at all. Denying read access to everyone to the update module, if one exists, is also a valid option.
- Some really bad software install system services to autoupdate without your consent. Check every single one to see if that's the case, and if so, disable it. Skype and Adobe Reader use such bad practices, for example.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 App does not allow me to disable auto-update

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