How to disable, pause or delay automatic updates in Windows 10

This tutorial will show you step by step how to disable, pause or defer (delay) automatic updates in Windows 10 in a few different ways.

Windows update

Windows Update is a service from Microsoft that automatically downloads and installs available software updates for the Windows operating system.

These updates can contain new features, fixes for common bugs (problems) or important security patches.

Keeping Windows updated is very important.

But:

If you often experience problems after an update you might want to take control of the updates and stop Windows from downloading and installing updates automatically.

How to pause or defer (delay) automatic updates in Windows 10 via settings

1. Click on the Windows start menu button.

2. Click on the Settings button (gear icon).

open windows 10 settings

The “Windows Settings” window will appear.

3. Click on Update & Security.

4. Click on Advanced options.

windows 10 update advanced options

Now you will have the following options:

5. Choose the option you want.

To pause updates for up to 35 days, you will need to click on the Off toggle button to switch it to On.

pause updates in windows 10

To defer a feature update, you click on the selection box/button and select the number of days you want to delay a feature update.

defer / delay a feature update in windows 10

To defer quality updates, you click on the selection box/button and select the number of days you want to delay quality updates.

defer / delay quality updates in windows 10

6. When you're finished you can close the settings window.

How to turn off automatic updates in Windows 10 via settings

1. Click on the Windows start menu button.

2. Click on the Settings button (gear icon).

open windows 10 settings

The “Windows Settings&rduo; window will appear.

3. Click on Network & Internet.

4. Click in the left menu on Wi-Fi.

5. On the right side, click on the name of the Wi-Fi network you're connected to.

wi-fi network

If you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network on the moment, then click on Manage known networks, click on the name of the Wi-Fi network, and then click on Properties.

6. Under Metered Connection, you can turn on the Set as metered connection option.

set wifi network as metered connection

7. Close Settings.

Windows will not automatically download most updates on Wi-Fi connections which are set as Metered Connection.

You will get a Download button you can click whenever you want to install updates.

On the Creators Update, Microsoft has given Windows Update permission to only download critical security updates, even if your connection is marked as metered.

How to turn off automatic updates in Windows 10 via Administrative Tools

1. Open Windows Control Panel.

Four ways to open Control Panel in Windows 10:

2. Click on System and Security.

3. Click on Administrative Tools.

4. Double click on Services.

open windows services

5. Scroll down to Windows Update.

6. Right-click on Windows Update and then click on Properties.

windows update properties

A “Windows Update Properties” window will appear.

7. At Startup type, you select Disabled.

disable windows update

8. Click on the Apply button at the bottom of the “Windows Update Properties” window.

9. Click on the OK button.

Automatic updates are now disabled.

How to turn off automatic updates in Windows 10 using the Local Group Policy Editor

1. Open the Windows “Run” dialog.

Two ways to open the “Run” dialog:

2. Type gpedit.msc into the “Run” dialog.

open windows local group policy editor

3. Press Enter or click on the OK button.

The “Local Group Policy Editor” window will appear.

4. Under Computer Configuration, you double-click on Administrative Templates to expand.

Or click on the ❱ icon located next to Administrative Templates to expand.

5. Double-click on Windows Components to expand.

6. Click on Windows Update.

7. On the right side, you double-click on Configure Automatic Updates.

configure automatic updates in local group policy editor in windows 10

Now the “Configure Automatic Updates” window will appear.

8. Check the Enabled option to enable the policy.

enable configure automatic updates policy

9. Under Options (bottom left), you will need to select one of the following options to configure automatic updates:

select a automatic updates option

Your best option is probably the following option: 2 - Notify for download and auto install, because this option will prevent Windows 10 from downloading updates automatically.

When you use option 2 and Windows has updates for your computer, you will receive a notification that the updates are ready to download.

But:

The updates will not download and install until you open Settings, Updates & Security, and then click on the Download button.

Anyway...

You can select any option you want, but as I said before, your best option is probably option 2.

If you select option 4, then you can specify exactly when to install new updates.

If no schedule is specified, the default schedule for all installations will be used.

If any updates require a restart to complete the installation, Windows will restart the computer automatically (If a user is signed in to the computer when Windows is ready to restart, the user will be notified and given the option to delay the restart).

You can also set updates to install during automatic maintenance instead of a specific schedule.

Automatic maintenance will install updates when the computer is not in use, and avoid doing so when the computer is running on battery power.

If automatic maintenance is unable to install updates for 2 days, Windows Update will install updates right away. Users will then be notified about an upcoming restart, and that restart will only take place if there is no potential for accidental data loss.

Automatic maintenance can be further configured by using Group Policy settings here: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Maintenance Scheduler.

10. When you're ready, you click on the Apply button at the bottom of the “Configure Automatic Updates” window.

11. Click on the OK button.

12. Close the Local Group Policy Editor.

How to turn off automatic updates in Windows 10 using the Registry

Important! These steps will show you how to make changes to the Microsoft Windows registry. If done incorrectly, serious problems might occur.

Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully.

And:

It's important to create a backup of the Windows registry first, so if something goes wrong, you can double-click on the backup file to restore the Windows registry.

Just follow my steps carefully.

How to Backup and Restore the Windows Registry

1. Open the Windows “Run” dialog.

Two ways to open the “Run” dialog:

2. Type regedit into the “Run” dialog.

open windows registry editor

3. Press Enter or click on the OK button.

The “Registry Editor” window will appear.

4. Click on File located at the top left and then click on Export.

5. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the backup file.

6. Enter a name for your backup file at File name.

7. Click on the Save button.

To restore the backup, just double-click on the backup file.

How to Disable Automatic Updates in Windows 10 using the Registry

1. Open the Windows “Run” dialog.

Two ways to open the “Run” dialog:

2. Type regedit into the “Run” dialog.

open windows registry editor

3. Press Enter or click on the OK button.

The “Registry Editor” window will appear.

4. Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, you double-click on SOFTWARE to expand.

Or click on the ❱ icon located next to SOFTWARE to expand.

5. Double-click on Policies to expand.

6. Double-click on Microsoft to expand.

7. Right-click on the Windows folder, go to New and then click on Key.

create a new key in windows registry editor

8. Name the new key WindowsUpdate and press [Enter].

9. Right-click on the new WindowsUpdate key, go to New, and then click on Key.

create a new key in windows registry editor

10. Name the new key AU and press [Enter].

11. On the right side of the new AU key, you right-click, go to New and then click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

create a new dword value key in windows registry editor

12. Name the new key AUOptions and press [Enter].

13. Double-click on the new AUOptions key.

14. Enter one of the following options in the Value data field:

You will only need to enter the number (e.g., 2).

enter a key value

Your best option is probably the following option: 2 - Notify for download and auto install, because this option will prevent Windows 10 from downloading updates automatically.

When you use option 2 and Windows has updates for your computer, you will receive a notification that the updates are ready to download.

But:

The updates will not download and install until you open Settings, Updates & Security and then click on the Download button.

15. Click on the OK button.

16. Close the Registry Editor.


References:

The Windows Club: How to disable or turn off Windows update in Windows 10

Windows Central: How to stop Windows 10 auto updates