One of the most controversial questions about Windows 10 is an entirely new way the operating system manages updates. The system gathers updates, and they are installed automatically when Windows decides to do it. This can be highly inconvenient for the users as they often face the situation when their computers need to be restarted at the wrong time. If you are fed up with constant and annoying updates coming from Windows, keep reading.
However, before proceeding, remember that some of the automatic updates concern security or significant system improvements that you will need to be installed on your computer. It’s essential if you’ve decided to switch automatic updates off for a long time.
Method 1. Disable the Windows Update Service
Windows Update Service is basically another Windows component and can be switched off the same way as other services.
To stop Windows 10 updates, follow the steps below:
1. Launch the Run command (Win + R). Type in “services.MSC” and press Enter button.
2. Choose the Windows Update service from the Services list.
3. Then click the “General” tab and switch the “Startup Type” to “Disabled.”
4. Restart your computer.
When you need to enable automatic updates again, just follow the same way. But it is necessary to choose “Automatic” when selecting the “Startup Type.”
Method 2. Set Up a Metered Connection
If you use a WiFi connection for your Windows 10 device, you can set up a metered connection. In a metered connection, the system downloads and installs automatically only priority updates.
To set up the metered connection:
1. Press (Win + I) to open the Windows Settings application.
2. Open the “Network & Internet” section.
3. Click “WiFi” and then open the “Manage known networks.”
4. Choose your network, and in the tab “Properties,” switch on the “Set as metered connection” option.
Indeed, this option is only available if you are using a WiFi connection. If you’re connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable, you will not be able to switch to a metered connection.
Method 3. Group Policy Editor
You can change the Group Policy Editor only if you have Windows 10 Pro, Education, or Enterprise editions. Unfortunately, Windows 10 Home users can’t follow this way to disable Windows 10 updates.
If you are going to apply this method, remember that security updates will still be installed automatically. The system will notify you that they are ready to be installed on your computer. As for today, Microsoft wants to make it impossible for new users to manage updates, but at the same time allow to make changes for more advanced users.
Follow these steps to make changes to your Group Policy Editor:
1. Press (Win + R) to open the Run command. Type in “gpedit.MSC” and press Enter to open a new window with the group policy editor.
2. In a drop-down menu called “Computer Configuration,” click “Administrative Templates.”
3. Choose “Windows Components” and then click “Windows Update.”
4. From the list of the options, select “Configure Automatic Updates.”
5. Choose the option named “Notify for download and auto-install.”
6. Select “Apply” and “OK.”
7. Open the Start menu and enter “Windows Update,” then choose “Windows Update Settings.”
8. Restart your PC to complete the procedure.
Once you’ve done that, you may be notified by Windows if it finds any updates. However, they will not be installed automatically, and it’s up to you to decide whether you need them or not.
Method 4. How to Disable Automatic Updates with Registry
You can also deactivate automatic updates by changing the Registry, like using the Group Policy Editor.
Disclaimer: Remember that editing the Registry is high-risk and can cause severe problems to your PC if you do it incorrectly. It’s necessary to make a full backup of your computer before proceeding.
To disable Windows 10 updates permanently due to the Registry changing, follow these steps:
- Click “Start.”
- Type in “Regedit” and select the top result to launch the Registry Editor.
- Follow the path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
- Right-click the “Windows” key, choose the “New” menu, and then select the “Key” option.
- Name the new key “WindowsUpdate” and press Enter.
- Right-click the recently created key, select the “New” menu and choose the “Key” option.
- Name the new key “AU” and press Enter.
- Right-click the “AU” key, choose the “New” menu, and select the “DWORD (32-bit) Value” option.
- Name the new key “NoAutoUpdate” and press Enter.
- Double-click the recently created key and change its value from 0 to 1.
- Press the “OK” button.
- Restart your computer.
Why Should I Know How to Disable Windows 10 Updates?
The main question that may arise here is why Windows users need to know how to disable updates. Indeed, some system updates may cause unusual behavior of the PC on which they are installed. One way to protect yourself and your device from future problems is to make a backup before installing updates to your computer.
Unfortunately, when updates are being installed automatically without your permission, you cannot take this preventive measure if you need to go back past the update.
Many updates need to restart your computer when finished, and besides, they engage bandwidth while downloading. This can cause longer response time and unexpected restarts that can wreak havoc in the workflow.
So there are justified reasons to switch off automatic updates in your system. Just make sure not to turn the service off and forget to check for updates from time to time. While automatic updates can cause inconvenience, making your system lag behind critical updates can also have significant consequences.
What Happens if I Don’t Want Microsoft Updates to Be Installed?
You should be aware of some drawbacks of switching off the update feature for Windows and other Microsoft software.
The updates coming from Microsoft usually include the most recent bug fixes applied by the developers. If you decide not to install these updates and leave your system “as it is,” you may have some issues that will get on your nerves. These bugs may concern anything from a missing item to a specific problem that makes the program misbehave.
Updates are usually aimed at optimizing your Windows operating system and making Microsoft software tools run faster. Developers constantly do their best to make mainstream programs released by Microsoft more streamlined and efficient.
Many software programs and hardware devices are regularly updated with new components. That’s why Microsoft’s updates often have new code to keep Windows and its other parts compatible with the other software and hardware tools. It can be anything from a new keyboard or a new version of an email client. Without these updates, your new hardware device or software tool may not become compatible with your system.
Some Other Automatic Update Problems You Need to Be Aware of
Sometimes while dealing with the Windows Update system, you might encounter other problems that we think you need to be aware of. The most typical issues that users may face:
Windows Update is not working on Windows 10.
This is a typical problem that can happen to Windows 10, and it usually depends on the work of your antivirus, so be sure to disable it.
Windows 10 Automatic Update error.
Many automatic update errors can appear on Windows 10, and if you face them, just launch the Windows Update troubleshooter to find the solution.
Windows 10 Automatic Update is stuck.
Stuck updates are a common issue on Windows 10, and if waiting for the update process to complete doesn’t help, you can try to disconnect the external storage.
The Automatic Update service is not launching.
This problem can happen if there’s an issue with Windows Update components. Nevertheless, the solution to the problem is to restart the necessary parts and try again.