This is probably fine for Joe corporate user who may unwittingly download an update that ends up wreaking havoc on his computer. However, as a developer I often need to update my computer so that I can have access to various patches and hot fixes that allow me to (gulp) improve my productivity.
Anyhow, I'm not encouraging anyone to knowingly break their company's security policy. BUT, if you must, here are the steps.
- Open the registry by opening Start - Run, type regedit, and click OK.
- Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
- If it doesn't exist already, create a new registry DWORD value called NoWindowsUpdate.
- Double click on this value and make sure the value is 0.
- Now you can go to Windows Update!
For more information, see Microsoft Support article:
I especially like this part of the article:
"For corporate users who are connected to a corporate network
To resolve this issue, contact the local system administrator to determine whether Windows Update access is disabled by Group Policy settings."