How to stop Windows 10 updates

How to stop Windows 10 updates that automatically download and install on your computer? Often, you wish you had a way to stop them because the forced update happens when you are in the middle of something critical. The unexpected timing leaves you with no option but remains cut off from whatever you are working on. You don’t even know how long the updates will take, and the computer needs to restart multiple times leaving you to wait and watch. 

These updates happened way too frequently for me in recent times to explore the option of pausing automatic updates and building a schedule around it. I strongly recommend not stop updates permanently because they are essential to keep your device safe, secure, and stable. You may want to review these FAQs on Windows Update by Microsoft Support.

How to stop Windows 10 updates temporarily with the Settings app

You can pause windows updates from being automatically installed for a max of 35 days (currently). Below are steps you can follow to use the Windows Settings to schedule a date.

  1. Press the Windows button or click on Windows Search and type “Settings.”
  2. Open Settings app.
  3. Choose Update & Security.
Step 3

4.Select Windows Update and click the Advanced Options button.

Step 4

5.Within the Pause Updates section, use the drop-down and choose which date you’d like. updates to run again.

Step 5

After you complete these steps, updates for Windows 10 will be disabled until the day/date you specify. Do note that when your device reaches the pause point, you must install the latest updates available to pause again. 

You can change the settings with the same steps mentioned here. But at step No. 5, choose the new Select date option. Another way to make changes is to click the Resume Updates button on the Windows Updates page.

Other ways to stop Windows 10 updates

The steps enumerated in the previous section are for basic end-users and can be easily accomplished. This section is for advanced users and is highly recommended that a trained Desktop administrator perform them. It is presented for informational purposes and at a high level only since administrators know their way around. 

  1. The Local Group Policy Editor is one place to permanently disable automatic updates or change policies to decide when you want the updates to be installed. You can launch the Local Group Policy Editor using gpedit.msc and configuring the Windows Update policy.
  2. Another option is editing Registry settings to disable automatic updates. A reminder that this approach is risky and, if done incorrectly, can cause irreversible damages to your installation. 
  3. The third option (which I would not recommend, though easy to accomplish) is changing the Network Settings of your Wi-Fi connection to a Metered Connection. Windows 10 updates are designed to not run on these types of connections. But this may also affect other apps like Onedrive, which will not sync files on this connection.

When you are done, automatic updates will stop on the device. Manually checking updates can still be done by navigating to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update. On this page, click the Check for Updates button to download and install new updates.

how to stop windows 10 updates

A final word

In a usual scenario, it is never recommended to continue using a computer without the latest updates. But there are some situations when pausing updates would be a good thing to do. For example, if you want to have full control of when to apply updates (as demonstrated in this article). Or when you are working with software that isn’t critical or doesn’t depend on the latest & greatest updates. Or you are ok with the risk of missing essential updates that address potential security threats until your next update schedule. 

I go with the premise that updates are vital, but not necessarily on the day, they are released. I would want it to happen when I plan it rather than let it stall my time at work.  You should make an informed call on convenience and control vs. needing the latest feature/security update.  For other interesting Windows 10 features that will help you leverage the software better, check out this article

Do share your experience with Windows 10 updates in the comments section.

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Prashant S
Prashant is a Technology Industry Veteran with experience of over 20 years in the field. He loves reading and music, and when he has time, he blogs about all things technology and life. He loves his cup of sugarless black tea and is a religious 5k runner.

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