How to Show “New Windows Updates Available” Notification Icon in Windows 8 Taskbar?

UPDATE: New freeware "Windows Update Notification Tool" added.

It seems the list of features which have been removed from Microsoft's new OS Windows 8 will never end. Almost all people know that Microsoft has removed Start Menu and Start button from Windows 8. Microsoft has also removed Aero glass transparency from Windows 8 which was one of most interesting and eye catching features of Windows Vista and Windows 7. We recently told you that Microsoft has also removed ability to show messages and send emails via Task Scheduler tasks from Windows 8 and we also shared a workaround for it.

And now its turn of the built-in "Windows Update" program. All Windows versions come with "Windows Update" application which automatically downloads and installs important updates and hotfixes released by Microsoft to improve Windows performance, security and to fix problems and vulnerabilities found in the OS.

By default Windows Update does its job automatically but you can change its settings and can ask it to notify you about the new updates before downloading or installing them. To customize its settings, open Windows Update from Control Panel and click on "Change settings" link given in left sidebar. It'll open Windows Update settings page where you can select the desired option from the drop-down box as shown in following screenshot:


If you have set Windows Update to automatically download and install updates, that's ok but most of the users like me select the option "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them", so that we can have full control over Windows Update and we can choose which updates should it install and when. Many times we don't want to waste our Internet bandwidth in downloading huge updates, so using this option we can decide when to download these updates.

In previous Windows versions such as Windows 7, selecting the option to notify us before downloading and installing updates used to work without any problem. Whenever there were new updates available, Windows Update used to show its icon in Taskbar notification area (or system tray) to notify us about the new updates. We could click on the icon and select the updates to download and install.

But this functionality has been removed from Windows 8. Now Windows 8 doesn't show any notification icon in system tray about the new updates available. It only shows the notification about new updates at login screen. Now that's a strange behavior! If we don't log off or restart our computer system frequently, if we always hibernate our system and if we have set Windows to automatically log into our user account without asking for password, how will we know about the new updates because we'll not see the login screen at all?

Showing new updates notification at login screen is absolutely useless and removing Windows Update's notification icon from system tray makes the option to notify us about the new updates broken. What's the use of the option if it doesn't notify us?

I have personally faced this problem while using Windows 8 Pro. It never notifies me about new updates and I always have to manually check for updates using Windows Update main window.

So what's the solution? How to fix this annoying issue in Windows 8? How to show the good old "New updates are available" notification icon again in Windows 8 Taskbar? Here is the answer!

Today in this topic, we are going to share 2 free and very small software which help you in getting this useful feature back in Windows 8.

  • Windows (8) Update Notifier
  • Windows Update Notification Tool

Windows (8) Update Notifier

"Windows (8) Update Notifier" is a portable utility specifically created for Windows 8 which automatically shows Windows Update icon in Taskbar notification area whenever a new update is available as shown in following screenshot:


You can click on the notification message and it'll launch Windows Update main window where you can choose which updates do you want to download and install. Its very light on resources and doesn't need to install. You can directly launch it by double-clicking on its EXE file.

If you are also suffering from this problem and want to get new updates notification similar to previous Windows versions, just download this free utility using following link:

Download Windows (8) Update Notifier

Please keep in mind that its a portable utility so you'll need to launch it every time you restart Windows. If you want it to automatically start with Windows, you can add its shortcut to Windows startup list. Simply type shell:startup in RUN and press Enter. It'll open Startup folder which contains shortcuts of the programs which are set to automatically start with Windows. Simply create a shortcut of WindowsUpdateNotifier.exe file and paste it in Startup folder. That's it. Now the program will automatically start with Windows.

Thanks to gHacks for sharing it...

Windows Update Notification Tool

"Windows Update Notification Tool" is another similar freeware which also helps you in getting Windows 7 style update notifications in Windows 8 Taskbar. This tool is also portable and can be used in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 8.

It also allows you to hide the icon from system tray if there are no new updates available. You can also set it to show Windows 7 style icon in system tray. It also provides an option to automatically start it with Windows. All of these features can be accessed using its system tray icon context menu.


You can download it using following link:

Download Windows Update Notification Tool for Windows 8

Thanks to the developer "Quppa" for sharing it with us...

Microsoft has removed many useful features from Windows 8 but thanks to 3rd party software developers, we can get them back in the OS.

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Posted in: Software, Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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