Friday, 6 November 2009

Hidden Microsoft Silverlight keeps reappearing in MS Update

Talk about customer pressurization. I have recently discovered a cunning little method that Microsoft uses to make you download Microsoft Silverlight through Windows Update, even if you have explicitly hidden it or have another Flash player (like Adobe) already installed.

First you get presented with the update screen, provided that you have Windows Update set to manual. Otherwise, MS Silverlight may have been already installed without your knowledge.

You naively think that after you have hidden the updates you don't want to install, it won't bother you again. Not so fast cowboy.

Deceptively enough, if you click hide, close Windows Update and reopen it immediately, MS Silverlight will not show up, which makes you think that your action has indeed worked.

However after five minutes...

There it is again!! Wait so haven't I hidden update for this software already? Let's check.

Yep, MS keeps re-offering the same software again and again with different update IDs. What makes them think that if I did not want an optional update the first time, I will want it the 7th time? They will not rest until you install every piece of their bloatware on your computer. Little tricks like this is what I don't like about Microsoft's way of dealing with their customers.


  1. Those are completely different updates, nothing sneaky going on, each time there is a new version of SL it will be offered. If SL is installed you will also be offered security updates for specific versions of SL you have installed on your system.

    Google those KB numbers, you will see they are completely different updates for SL

    Disable "Microsoft" Updates in the Windows Updates settings panel.

    1. what kind of idiot tells people to disable the updates that help their systems run/stay more secure just to stop one program from being a nuisance?

    2. Late in replying, but he means disable (uncheck) "Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows".

      That will disable the Silverlight, Office and other updates, but will keep the core Windows OS updates.

      As mentioned before, the repeated KB updates from MS is due to the way MS handles updates. Each update is predicated on certain other software or updates already being installed. The problem is, MS Update is not smart enough to use the "law of transitivity" to deduce that ALL Silverlight updates up to this point should be installed. In that case, you'd be able to see them all and hide each one of them without having to keep doing repeated updates. But MS Update has tunnel vision and only sees the next immediately available update.

  2. Actually, if people would use their intelligence... and eyes.. you'll see that he's hiding the KB960353 update... and it's re-appearing in subsequent checks for updates. I'm running into the same issue with another Silverlight update I'm trying to hide from my updates list. Since I DON'T use Silverlight at all I don't know why it's attempting to install the update. Regardless, the updates don't always make things more secure... anyone who believes the updates are all about protecting the system should read up on the "Recommended" update KB3035583 which is automatically being installed (and chewing up 10 GB of space) on thousands of home systems.