Disable notification balloon in Windows XP

This article was modified on 2012-02-22 19:00:05

If you`re using Windows XP SP2 or SP3, I am sure that you don`t like the ``annoying`` notification balloon that says ``Your computer might be at risk``. This warning will be displayed if your firewall is OFF, if you don`t use an antivirus software or if you don`t use the ``Automatic Updates`` feature. If all of them are being present, you shouldn`t see any warnings. Now, before showing you how to disable any notification messages in Windows XP I am going to explain you when to disable those notification messages and when to leave them as they are. Let`s take the first scenario, your firewall is OFF. If you do have an firewall that automatically disables Windows XP firewall it`s OK to see a notification balloon and it`s alright to disable this message. Next, the ``Automatic Updates`` - you should definitely leave this option ON. The last thing, an antivirus software must run on your computer but I assume that you already know this. If you do use an antivirus and your Windows is not detecting it ( not all antivirus programs are being detected ) again, it is OK to disable the notification balloon. Supposing that you already know all of these things I am going to show you how it can be done. First of all, please go to your ``Control Panel``, if you don`t know how to get there, in this picture I am showing you how to do this - click on ``Start`` button - go to - ``Settings`` and then to go to - ``Control Panel``.

 Accessing Control Panel from Start menu in Windows XP

Once you will open ``Control Panel``, you should see the main ``Control Panel`` window that asks you to ``Pick a Category``. Depending on what settings you`re using to display this window ( your ``Control Panel`` could be on ``Classic View`` ) please make sure to access ``Security Center``. To do so, click on ``Security Center`` icon ( it is being located on the right side of the window ) exactly like on this picture :

Accessing Security Center in Windows XP via Control Panel

If you selected ``Security Center``, you should see a new window called ``Windows Security Center``. Make sure to look on the left side of the window for ``Resources`` tab. You will need to click on the last feature called ``Change the way Security Center alerts me``.

 Going to - Change the way Security Center alerts me via Windows Security Center

Now you should see a small window called ``Alert Settings`` that will allow you to disable the notification balloons for your ``Firewall``, ``Automatic Updates`` or ``Virus Protection``. If you want to disable the warning balloons, all you need to do is to make sure that you uncheck them. As you can see in this picture, I`ve decided to leave ``Firewall`` and ``Virus Protection`` checked and I wanted to disable only the ``Automatic Updates`` feature. So, if you decided which feature to disable, make sure to uncheck the corresponding little box and press ``OK`` button.

Disable Automatic Updates from Alert Settings window

This is it, you have managed to stop the annoying notification balloons. Having them disabled will make your Windows XP experience more pleasant. Now that I have showed you how to disable notification balloons in Windows XP ( it works as I said for both SP2 and SP3 ) I hope that you will understand that this should be done only if you know what you`re doing. For example, if you`re an experienced Windows user and you understand the basics of security concepts, please don`t disable the ``Alert Settings`` to your friends, only to show them how warnings can disappear in seconds. So, it is fine to apply what you have learned in this article on your own computer, doing so for other could do more harm than good. But I guess you can see that even I have chosen to leave the other ``Alert Settings`` checked for an extra security. What will happen if a virus or a malware will disable my firewall or antivirus ? This is why it`s recommended to leave them as they are. Those features were not added by Microsoft to annoy people. They exist for one reason - to alert you when something considered critical is not being present on your computer.

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