Packaging Explorer Deployment ConfigurationVisual Studio 2012 lets you use Packaging Explorer to configure WSP solution deployment. So to change them within the properties tab I set "Activate on Default" to False, but VS 2012 just ignored it and still tried to activate the feature and threw an error - which is another story,
Did some research and figured out these properties within Packing Explorer are set to be used when we deploy the solution by command line or using Power Shell only e.g. VS ignores them. Ummm so does this means we can't change solution deployment configuration when deploying using VS 2012 then.... Answer is Yes, you can but at VS project level !!
Visual Studio Deployment Configuration
While deploying a WSP solution VS follows steps provided within project specific deployment configuration setup for SharePoint as shown below,
Just select the deployment steps you want VS to follow when deploying a WSP solution for a project and it should all work fine...