How to prevent Windows 10 or 11 from automatically downloading updates





Windows 10/11 logo

Windows 10 and 11 PCs automatically check for updates and install any updates they find. You can take some control over this and have Windows install updates on your schedule, but those options are hidden. Windows Update really wants to update automatically on Windows 10.

The Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10 and Windows 11 have access to Group Policy and Registry settings for this, but even the Home editions of Windows 10 and Windows 11 allow you to prevent updates from downloading automatically. day.

Prevent updates from automatically downloading on a specific connection

RELATED: What you need to know about Windows Update on Windows 10

When you set a connection as “metered”, Windows does not automatically download updates to it. Windows will automatically set certain types of connections – cellular data connections, for example – as metered. However, you can set any connection as a metered connection.

So if you don’t want Windows 10 or Windows 11 to automatically download updates over your home network connection, just set it as a metered connection. Windows automatically downloads updates when you connect your device to an unlimited network or when you change the network it’s connected to back to unlimited. And yes, Windows will remember this setting for each individual network, so you can disconnect from that network and reconnect as much as you want.

Do you have an internet connection with limited data? Just mark it as measured and Windows 10 won’t automatically download updates to it. If your connection offers unlimited downloads at a specific time, for example in the middle of the night, you can mark the connection as unlimited occasionally at those times to download updates and mark it as metered after downloading updates. day.

RELATED: How to Set an Ethernet Connection as Metered in Windows 8 and 10

To change this option for a Wi-Fi network, open the Settings app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, then click the name of the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to. Click the switch for the ‘Set as metered connection’ option on the properties page if you’re on Windows 10. In Windows 11, click the switch next to ‘Measured connection’. This option only affects the Wi-Fi network you are currently editing, but Windows will remember this setting for each individual Wi-Fi network.

To change this option for a wired Ethernet network, open the Settings app, go to Network & Internet > Ethernet, then click the name of your Ethernet connection. Enable the “Set as metered connection” option on the properties page.

Set the Teal connection to metered.

After enabling this option, Windows Update will say “Updates are available. We will download updates as soon as you connect to Wi-Fi, or you can download updates using your data connection (Charges may apply.) “By marking a connection as metered, you’ve tricked Windows into thinking it’s a data connection – for example, you can connect your PC to your smartphone. You can click the Download button to download and install updates as you like.

Update status page.

Prevent Windows Update from automatically restarting your computer

RELATED: How to set “active hours” so Windows 10 doesn’t restart at the wrong time

So maybe you don’t mind automatic downloads, but you just don’t want Windows restarting while you’re in the middle of something. Windows 10 and 11 can help – each lets you set a window of time each day called “Active Hours”, during which it won’t automatically restart.

To set active hours on Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click or tap “Change active hours” under Update settings. From there, you’ll set the times you don’t want Windows to restart automatically.

In Windows 11, go to Settings > Update & Security > Advanced options and choose an option under “Active hours”. By default, Windows 11 will automatically set your PC active hours based on your actual PC usage, but you can change this if you want.

Edit active hours page.

You can also override these active hours to schedule some restarts when an update is ready. You can learn more about how to do this here.

If you’re using Windows 11, you can pause updates for up to five weeks at a time.

Prevent Windows Update from installing specific updates and drivers

RELATED: How to Uninstall and Block Updates and Drivers on Windows 10

If Windows 10 or 11 insists on installing a specific update or driver that is causing problems, you can prevent Windows Update from installing that particular update. Microsoft does not provide a built-in way to prevent updates and drivers from downloading automatically, but it does provide a downloadable tool that can block updates and drivers from being downloaded by Windows. This gives you a way to disable specific updates – uninstall them and “hide” their installation until you see them.

Select the specific update you want to prevent, then click "Following."

Use Group Policy to disable automatic updates (Professional editions only)

RELATED: Should you upgrade to Windows 10 Professional Edition?

Update: This option, while still there, seems to no longer work as of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but we’ve left it here in case anyone wants to try it out. Proceed at your own risk.

You should really consider leaving automatic updates enabled for security reasons. However, there is an option that will let you choose how updates are installed on your own schedule, but it’s buried in Group Policy. Only Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10 have access to the Group Policy Editor. To access the Group Policy Editor, press Windows key + R, type the following line in the Run dialog box, and press Enter:

gpedit.msc

Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.

Locate "Configure automatic updates."

Locate the “Configure Automatic Updates” setting in the right pane and double-click it. Set it to “Enabled” and then select your preferred setting. For example, you can choose “Automatically download and notify for installation” or “Notify for download and notify for installation”. Save the change.

Drop-down menu with update configuration choices.

Visit the Windows Update pane, click “Check for updates”, then select “Advanced options”. You should see your new setting applied here. You’ll also see a note that says “Some settings are managed by your organization,” letting you know that these options can only be changed in Group Policy.

To disable it later, go back to the Group Policy editor, double-click the “Configure Automatic Updates” setting, then change it from “Enabled” to “Not Configured”. Save your changes, visit the Windows Update pane again, click “Check for updates”, then select “Advanced options”. You will see everything return to the default setting. (Windows Update only seems to notice the setting change after clicking “Check for updates”.)

Advanced options window indicating that update settings are applied by Group Policy.

Use registry to disable automatic updates (Professional editions only)

Update: This option, while still there, seems to no longer work as of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but we’ve left it here in case anyone wants to try it out. Proceed at your own risk.

This setting can also be configured in the registry. This registry hack does the exact same thing as the group policy setting above. However, it also seems to only work on professional editions of Windows 10.

Download our registry hack Disable Automatic Updates on Windows 10 and double-click on any of the included .reg files to have Windows Update notify for download and notify for installation, automatically download and notify for installation , or automatically downloads and schedules the installation. There is also a .reg file that will remove the registry value created by the other files, allowing you to return to the default settings. It only worked when we tried it on Windows 10 Pro, not Home.

After changing this option, visit the Windows Update pane in the Settings app and click “Check for updates”. You can then click on “Advanced Options” and you will see your new setting here. (You must check for updates before Windows Update notices your changed setting.)

Group Policy modifying update behavior with a registry hack

If you want to do this yourself, the exact setting you’ll need to change is under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdateAU – you’ll need to create the latest keys there. Create a DWORD value named “AUOptions” under the AU key and give it one of the following values:

00000002 (Notify for download and notify for install)
00000003 (Auto download and notify for install)
00000004 (Auto download and schedule the install)

There is another “trick” that does the trick for this. This involves disabling the Windows Update system service in the Windows Services Administration Tool. This is not a good idea at all and will prevent your computer from receiving even crucial security updates. While it would be nice if Microsoft offered more choices about when to install updates, you shouldn’t opt ​​out of security updates altogether. To prevent Windows from automatically downloading updates to any PC, simply set its connection as metered.





Leave a Comment

x