How to disable automatic updates Windows 10: Updating the operating system of your PC is a fundamental operation: it allows you to protect your computer from the most recent security holes and to take advantage of new features that can speed up and / or improve your daily work. That said, we should not underestimate the small-big problems that can arise when installing updates for complex systems such as Windows.
In some cases, in fact, updates for Windows can lead to the appearance of unwanted errors on the PC, the failure of some devices (for driver-related issues) and the occurrence of other problems that, especially on computers used in a professional context, can represent a very ugly cat to peel. Unfortunately even Windows 10 , the latest version of the Microsoft operating system, is not exempt from this risk and its updates can represent a potential problem.
If you have a PC equipped with Windows 10, you use it mainly for work and you don’t want to take unnecessary risks related to the installation of updates, you can temporarily block the activity of Windows Update and disable automatic updates of Windows 10 in a few clicks. I repeat: this is a highly discouraged operation: for security reasons, in fact, you would do well to install every single update released by Microsoft, but if you have specific needs in this regard, I can help you. Below you will find all the information on how to block, postpone or slow down the automatic updates of Windows 10: I recommend, make good use of it!
Windows Update settings
If you use Windows 10 1903 (update of May 2019) or a later version of the Microsoft operating system, you can disable the automatic updates Windows 10 , or better, postpone the installation continuously by acting directly from the Windows Update settings. This possibility is offered on all editions of the system, including the Home one . Other more advanced options, however, as we will see shortly , are reserved for Pro / Enterprise editions.
To pause Windows Update, simply press the Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and click on the gear icon in the menu that opens, in order to access the PC Settings panel . On the next screen, select the Update and security item and you will immediately find yourself in the presence of the Windows Update management menu with, among the many options, also the one called Suspend updates for 7 days : click on it and Windows will stop the activities related to updates for 1 week.
If you want to postpone the break, you can click on the item Suspend updates for another 7 days , for a maximum of 5 times (therefore for a maximum of 35 days). If, however, you change your mind and want to resume Windows Update activities, you must click on the Resume updates button .
Alternatively, you can postpone the download and installation of Windows updates up to a specific date (always max 35 days from the current day), by clicking on the Advanced options item and selecting the date of your interest from the Select date drop-down menu (in at the bottom of the page that opens). Comfortable, right?
Alternative procedure (Windows 10 Pro / Enterprise only)
If you use Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise , you can take advantage of specific settings that allow you to disable automatic updates, or better, to postpone them for months, if not even for a year.
To adjust the Windows Update settings and postpone the installation of Windows 10 Pro / Enterprise updates, click on the Start button (the Windows flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and access the Settings menu by selecting gear icon located on the left.
In the window that opens, go to Update and Security , select Windows Update from the left sidebar, click on the Advanced Options link located at the bottom and adjust the settings related to Windows Update according to your preferences.
- Using the Choose when to install updates drop-down menu , you can choose whether to install the semi-annual or semi-annual (targeted) channel updates . The difference lies in the fact that the updates of the “half-yearly channel” are tested to be used in a widespread manner in companies (therefore they are released a little later than those of the “targeted half-yearly channel”, which concerns consumer users).
- Via the drop-down menu A feature update includes new features and improvements. It can be postponed for the following number of days , you can set the number of days ( max 365 ) for which to postpone the installation of updates that include new functions, such as the Creators Update or the Fall Creators Update.
- Via the drop-down menu A quality update includes security improvements. It can be postponed for the following number of days , you can set the number of days ( max 30 ) for which to postpone the installation of security updates. Personally, I do not recommend that you postpone this kind of updates for a long time.
Finally, in the final part of the screen, there is the Suspend updates lever which, if activated, allows you to suspend all updates for the device in use for a period of 35 days. If you want to disable the reception of any type of update for 35 days, move the lever to On and you will be able to sleep peacefully about Windows Update activities.
Some updates, such as those related to Windows Defender, will continue to be installed to ensure system security.
If you want, you can postpone the installation of quality updates and feature updates also by using the Local Group Policy Editor .
Then press the combination of Win + R keys on the computer keyboard, to call up the Run … window , type the command gpedit.msc and enter . This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
At this point, use the left sidebar to go to Local Computer Policy> Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Windows Update> Windows Update for Business and double-click the Select the time to receive updates icon qualitative . In the window that opens, put the check mark next to the Activated option and use the field After the release of a qualitative update, postpone receiving it for the following number of days (bottom left) to specify the number of days for which you intend to postpone the installation of quality updates ( max 30 ) and click on the OK button to save the changes.
Next, double-click the Select the time to receive preview versions and feature updates icon . In the window that opens, put the check mark next to On , and use the menu located at the bottom left to select the type of updates to be received (eg. Semiannual Channel , semi-annual Channel (targeted) or Version Preview to receive the non-final versions of Windows) and the number of days of their postponement ( max 365 ). Finally, click the OK button to save the changes.
Utility Show or Hide Updates
Microsoft has released a utility, called Show or Hide Updates , which allows you to select “unwanted” system updates and prevent their installation by hiding them from Windows Update.
To use it, connect to this page on the Microsoft website and click on the download item of the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooting package . When the download is complete, open the wushowhide.diagcab file by double-clicking on it and, in the window that appears on the screen, click first on Next and then on Hide updates .
Then add the check mark next to the names of the updates you want to hide from Windows Update and click on Next and then on Close to save the changes.
In case of second thoughts, you can make a previously hidden update available again in Windows Update by starting the wushowhide.diagcab program , clicking on the Next and Show hidden updates buttons and selecting the update to “unlock”. Then click on the Next and Close buttons and you’re done.
Setting up a consumption connection
If the method to disable automatic Windows 10 updates that I have already proposed has not particularly attracted your attention and if you are therefore still looking for a solution to cope with what I suggest you activate the option dedicated to consumer connections , or that particular feature that Microsoft has decided to include in its latest operating system and which winks at all those who have a connection with limited data (e.g. the connections of 4G keys or portable modems ).
By activating the function in question, the download of background data is blocked both for the operating system and for the apps (in order to avoid unexpected costs for the user) and thus also the download of updates is postponed. Comfortable, right? So let’s see now how to use it.
To disable automatic Windows 10 updates using the function dedicated to connections on consumption, the first step you need to take is to press the search field located next to the Start button on the taskbar. Then type settings and click on the first result in the list, the one placed under the item Best Match (or presses the gear icon located on the left of the menu).
In the new window that will open, click on Network and Internet , then locate the entry Wi-Fi or Ethernet from the sidebar located on the left (depending on the type of connection you use) and click on it.
In the screen that at this point will be shown to you, click on the name of the connection in use or on the item Advanced options located under the name of the Wi-Fi network to which your PC is connected, locate the item Set as consumption connection and click on relative switch so as to turn it ON .
In addition to performing these steps it is necessary to “instruct” the computer on what to do when the connection is consumed. To do this, go to Settings again , click on Devices and then on Printers and scanners . Next make sure that the Download with pay-as-you-go option and you’re done.
Another operation that I advise you to do is to go to the Settings> Update and security menu , select the Windows Update item from the left sidebar and check that the option If you enable this policy, updates will be downloaded automatically, even in connections according to consumption is disabled in the Advanced Options menu . In this way you will be sure that Windows Update will not “bypass” the settings related to consumption connections and will not start.
Clearly, in case you think about it and in case the trick just seen to disable automatic updates Windows 10 no longer interests you, know that you can always retrace your steps.
To disable the function that allows you to disable automatic updates Windows 10, all you have to do is access the Network and Internet section of the Windows 10 settings again, press the Wi-Fi item located on the sidebar, click Advanced options , select the wireless network to which the computer is connected and turn the switch present under Set as consumption connection to OFF .
Disabling the Windows Update service
If you want to completely disable Windows Update, and therefore the automatic download of updates for Windows 10, you can stop the service that manages the latter.
To do this, press the combination of Win + R keys on the computer keyboard, to call up the Run … window , type the services.msc command and press Enter . The Windows services management panel will open.
At this point, double-click the icon for the service Windows Update and in the window that opens, set the dropdown menu Startup type to Disabled . Then click on the Apply button to save the settings and press the Stop button to immediately stop the service related to Windows updates.
Now you need to make sure that Windows does not restart the Windows Update service without your consent. Then move to the Restore tab , set the drop-down menus First attempt , Second attempt and Subsequent attempts to No action , type the value 9999 in the fields Reset the count of failed attempts after and Restart the service after (this field will be gray if you choose ” No action “in the” First attempt “field) and click Apply and OK to save the changes.
Mission accomplished! Now the service related to Windows Update is completely disabled and Windows should not restart it (except in exceptional cases). In any case, I advise you not to adopt this measure as it also blocks the receipt of security updates, which, as has been repeated several times, are of fundamental importance.
To check if the Windows Update service is actually stopped, you can go back to the service management panel, double click on the Windows Update item and check the status of the service (which should be on Stopped ).
To restore the correct operation of Windows Update, set the startup type to Manual or Automatic and click Start . Then go to the Restore tab and configure the default values that were there before you made the changes to the service.
Changing the restart schedule notification (older versions of Windows 10)
If you are using a version of Windows 10 prior to 1709 (Fall Creators Update) , you can take advantage of the notification function for the restart schedule, which allows you to install the updates only after a notification of their availability and having the possibility to postpone the installation of some updates for several months.
To take advantage of this solution, the first step you need to take is to press the search field located next to the Start button , on the taskbar, type Windows Update settings and click on the first result that is shown to you, the one placed immediately below the item Best Match .
In the window that will open at this point, press the Advanced options item , then click on the menu under the Choose how to install updates item and select the Notify option for the restart schedule .
Considering the fact that on Windows 10 there is no function that allows you to disable automatic updates completely, keep in mind that selecting this option the updates available for the operating system will be downloaded equally but in a more “soft” way. In other words, selecting this option you will be asked to schedule a restart to complete the installation of the updates and in the case of a non-flat Internet connection they will not be downloaded.
To further intervene on Windows updates I suggest you then put a check mark on the box located next to the item Delay updates . Some of the new features available for the operating system will not be downloaded and installed for several months.
In addition to automatic Windows updates, it is also possible to interrupt the automatic update download procedure for other Microsoft products. To do this, just make sure that there is no check mark on the box located next to Download updates for other Microsoft products during the Windows update .
Obviously, if you have to think again and if it is your intention to cancel the procedure to disable automatic updates of Windows 10, you can always retrace your steps. To restore everything to the default settings, go back to the Windows Update Settings section , click on Advanced Options , select the Automatic (recommended) item from the drop-down menu located under the Choose how to install updates item and remove the check mark that you added next to the item Download updates for other Microsoft products during the Windows update and next to the item Delay updates .
Change of business hours
If your purpose is not to disable automatic updates of Windows 10 completely, but to avoid restarting the computer during the times you usually work, you can take advantage of the Change time of activity function , which is present in all editions of the Microsoft operating system.
To access it, click on the Start button (the Windows flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and go to the Settings menu by selecting the gear icon located on the left. In the window that opens, go to Update and security , select Windows Update from the left sidebar and click on the link Change business hours .
Now, use the Start and End Time fields to set the times you usually start and finish working on the PC, click on the Save button and Windows Update will not disturb you in that time slot for installing updates and / or restarting the PC.