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I can't find this tiny bit of info anywhere: is Windows Update enabled or disabled by default on fresh installs of the OS? Basically I want to know whether it's on or does one have to manually enable it, even if it's the simplest user action.

If this varies from version to version (i.e. enabled by default on XP, disabled on Windows 7), I'd love to know about those differences as well.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It asks you on install on what state you would like it to set, to my knowledge its been the same between XP/Vista/7.

If you're question is about OEM machines with Windows pre-installed, I'd imagine that updates are enabled by default to 'Download updates and then inform the User that they're ready to install'

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So, in effect, nothing will be installed until user performs an action granting permission to install; at least on OEM machines. – dalbaeb Dec 15 '11 at 19:16
thats how it works on all our machines where I work, default is to download critial updates and wait until the user commits to install them. Of course there is always the option for them to be automatically installed – Samuel Jones Dec 15 '11 at 19:45
+1, but OEM pre-installs should still ask the user; that's part of the "out of box experience" which you get the first time you start the machine after installation. – Harry Johnston Dec 15 '11 at 20:48
Excellent, thank you both very much. – dalbaeb Dec 16 '11 at 14:55

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