How To: Disable security alerts in Windows XP and Vista

Cezar Renta

As a Windows XP or Vista user, you probably wondered how can you disable the system tray pop-ups when Automatic Updates are available or  the firewall/antivirus is disabled. The firewall alert is very annoying in my case, at every fresh install, I disable the Windows Firewall because, I simply don’t like it and I use other firewalls. Upon deactivation, the Security Center pops in the system tray and starts “alerting” us that the Firewall is disabled…I don’t like that at all.

So, as always, there is a way around by disabling the alerts and works in both Windows XP and Windows Vista. If you have the Security Center popped in the system tray (the 4 colored shield), double click on it, if not, go to Control Panel and look for the Security Center option. Entering the Security Center, you will notice the the left part of the window has some options. The last option from that tab is “Change the way Security Center alerts me” and we can modify the alerts by activating or deactivating them, as seen in the image. You can now disable the Firewall, Update or Antivirus alerts with no problem, with the possibility of reactivating them in the future.