Google Chrome on Windows and Mac auto-updates itself on a regular basis. The auto-updating procedure is performed by Google Update, which is based on the open-source Omaha project. Auto-updated provide fixes to sometimes critical issues, limiting exposure.
Turning off Auto-Updates on Windows
To turn off auto-updates of Google Chrome on Windows, you need to instruct Google Update to not update it. To do this, you can either:
Warning: To prevent abuse of this policy, if a device is not joined to an Active Directory domain, and if this policy has been set to 0 or to a value greater than 77 hours, this setting will not be honored and replaced by 77 hours after August 2014. If you are affected by this, and still want to disable Chrome updates (NOT RECOMMENDED), you may do so by using 'Update policy override' as described here.
More information about Google Update's group policy support is here.
If you run into this error while trying to push an MSI over an existing MSI:
You will need to update your group policy settings by following the instructions here.
Turning off Auto-Updates on Mac
More information about turning off auto-updates on a Mac network is here.
Turning off Auto-Updates on Linux
Google Chrome and Chromium are not auto-updated automatically on Linux; your package manager handles this.
Frequently Asked questions
Q: Does Chrome on Linux auto-update too?
A: Google Chrome on Linux does not auto-update itself; it relies on your package manager to update it.
Q: Does the open-source Chromium browser auto-update like Chrome?
No. Chromium does not have its own auto-update process, so if you are deploying Chromium, do you not need to worry about turning off auto-updates.
Q: How do I know if there is an auto-update happening soon?
A: You can subscribe to the blog at http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com, which lists every dev, beta, and stable release of Google Chrome. Chromium does not auto-update.
Q: How often do auto-updates happen? How many can I expect this year?
A: Major version updates to the stable channel of Google Chrome tend to happen about every six weeks, although security fixes can come at any time. See Release Early, Release Often for more information.
Q: Do you have release notes with each version?
A: On googlechromereleases.blogspot.com, we try to have useful posts about what changed and links to a lists of all the fixes made.
Q: Why would I not want to turn off auto-updates?
A: Turning off auto-updates means you may miss an update that includes security fixes, leaving your users at risk.
Q: Can I turn auto-updates back on?
A: Yes. Just set the value of the registry key you changed back up to a reasonable number of minutes between update checks (greater than "0").
Q: How would I update my users without turning auto-update back on?
A: You can deploy the latest MSI, which is available here.
Q: I need auto-updates off so I can test new versions of Google Chrome / Chromium before everyone else gets them. What do you suggest I do?
A: Turn off auto-updates via the steps above, and push the group policy to your network. Then download the latest MSI here. Deploy it on your test machines, and do your verification. Once it is certified, deploy that same MSI on the rest of your network. And watch for updates on http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com for new versions of the MSI to test and deploy.