Updates are daily, sometimes more often, otherwise your protection would lag too far behind the influx of new malware.
You can turn off automatic updating if your wish but you will then have to deal with warnings from the Security Center.
Double-click the taskbar icon to open Security Center
Click Advanced Menu (bottom left)
Click Configure (left)
With SecurityCenter highlighted (top left)
Click Advanced (right)
Click Update Options (left)
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At first I thought that my computer wasn't keeping track of the updates and would "forget" that it updated and repeat. I made sure that the cookies were kept from mcafee. I kept seeing an updated DAT file and was unsure of its purpose. Thanks ex_brit for the information concerning the update frequency. I had already set the system to update manually and still was frustrated . Like the previous person, my computer was spending time and memory on the update process. Thanks.