Disabling the Windows Update Service can reduce the number of files that are created and writes that occur when updates are downloaded and installed. This action can reduce linked-clone growth and reduce IOPS in linked clones and full virtual machines.

Disable Windows Update Service if you refresh and recompose the linked-clone desktops. A refresh operation restores the OS disks to their original snapshots, deleting the automatic Windows updates. A recompose operation recreates the OS disks from a new snapshot that can contain Windows updates, making automatic Windows updates redundant.

Do not disable the Windows Update Service if you do not use recompose to install Windows updates in the linked clones.

The following steps apply to Windows 7 and Windows 8. The steps might vary on different Windows operating systems.


Verify that the most recent Windows updates are downloaded and installed on the virtual machine.


  1. In vSphere Client, select the parent virtual machine and select Open Console.
  2. Log in to the Windows guest operating system as an administrator.
  3. Click Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Turn automatic updating on or off.
  4. In the Important updates menu, select Never check for updates.
  5. Deselect Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.
  6. Deselect Allow all users to install updates on this computer and click OK.