How To Prevent Windows 10 From Automatically Download Updates
Windows 10 PCs automatically check for updates and install any updates they find. You can take some control over this and have Windows 10 install updates on your schedule, but these options are hidden. Windows Update really wants to automatically update on Windows 10.
Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows 10 have access to group policy and registry settings for this, but even Home editions of Windows 10 give you a way to stop updates from automatically downloading.
Prevent Automatic Downloading of Updates on a Specific Connection
When you set a connection as âmetered,â Windows 10 wonât automatically download updates on it. Windows 10 will automatically set certain types of connections â cellular data connections, for example â as metered. However, you can set any connection like as a metered connection.
So, if you donât want Windows 10 automatically downloading updates on your home network connection, just set it as a metered connection. Windows 10 will automatically download updates when you connect your device to an unmetered network, or when you set the network itâs connected to as unmetered again. And yes, Windows will remember this setting for each individual network, so you can disconnect from that network and reconnect all you like.
Do you have an Internet connection with limited data? Just mark it as metered and Windows 10 wonât automatically download updates on it. If your connection offers unlimited downloads at a specific time â for example, during the middle of the night â you could mark the connection as unmetered occasionally at these times to download updates and mark it as metered after the updates are downloaded.
To change this option, open the Settings app, select Network & Internet, scroll down, and select âAdvanced optionsâ below the list of Wi-Fi networks. Enable the âSet as metered connectionâ option. This option only affects the Wi-Fi network youâre currently connected to, but Windows will remember this setting for each individual Wi-Fi network.
After enabling this option, Windows Update will say âUpdates are available. Weâll download the updates as soon as you connect to Wi-Fi, or you can download the updates using your data connection (charges may apply.)â By marking a connection as metered, youâve tricked Windows into thinking itâs a mobile data connection â for example, you might be tethering your PC to your smartphone. You can click the Download button to download and install updates at your leisure.
Stop Windows Update From Automatically Rebooting Your Computer
Windows 10 normally schedules reboots for when you arenât using your computer. For example, it might try to schedule a reboot at 3 a.m. after installing updates. This is an improvement from previous versions of Windows, which wanted to reboot as soon as possible.
You can tell Windows Update to reboot on a schedule you choose instead. To change this setting, open the Settings app, select Update & security, select âAdvanced optionsâ at the bottom of the Windows Update pane, and select âNotify to schedule restartâ instead of âAutomatic (recommended).â Windows will ask you when you want to reboot after it installs updates.
Prevent Windows Update From Installing Specific Updates and Drivers
If Windows 10 insists on installing a specific update or driver thatâs causing problems, you can prevent Windows Update from installing that particular update. Microsoft doesnât provide a built-in way to block updates and drivers from automatically being downloaded, but it does offer a downloadable tool that can block updates and drivers so Windows wonât download them. This gives you a way to opt out of specific updates â uninstall them and âhideâ them from being installed until you unhide them.
Use Group Policy to Disable Automatic Updates â Professional Editions Only
Editorâs Note: You should really consider leaving automatic updates enabled for security reasons.
Thereâs actually an option that will let you choose how updates are installed on your own schedule, but itâs 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 into the Run dialog, and press Enter:
Navigate to Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsWindows Update.
Locate the âConfigure Automatic Updatesâ setting in the right pane and double-click it. Set it to âEnabled,â and then select your preferred setting. For example, you can choose âAuto download and notify for installâ or âNotify for download and notify for install.â Save the change.
Visit the Windows Update pane, click âCheck for updates,â and then select âAdvanced options.â You should see your new setting enforced here. Youâll also see a note saying âSome settings are managed by your organization,â informing you that these options can only be changed in Group Policy.
To disable this later, go back to the Group Policy editor, double-click the âConfigure Automatic Updatesâ setting, and then change it from âEnabledâ to âNot configured.â Save your changes, visit the Windows Update pane again, click âCheck for updates,â and then select âAdvanced options.â Youâll see everything change back to the default setting. (Windows Update only seems to notice the setting change after you click âCheck for updates.â)
Use the Registry to Disable Automatic Updates â Professional Editions Only
This setting can be configured in the registry, too. This registry hack does exactly the same thing as the above Group Policy setting. However, it also only seems to work on Professional editions of Windows 10.
Download our Disable Automatic Updates on Windows 10 registry hack and double-click one of the included .reg files to make Windows Update notify for download and notify for install, auto download and notify for install, or auto download and schedule the install. Thereâs also a .reg file that will delete the registry value the other files create, allowing you to go back to the default settings. This 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 âCheck for updates.â You can then click âAdvanced optionsâ and youâll see your new setting here. (You have to perform a check for updates before Windows Update notices your changed setting.)
If youâd like to do this yourself, the exact setting youâll need to change is under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdateAU â youâll need to create the last few keys there. Create a DWORD value named âAUOptionsâ under the AU key and give it one of the following values:
00000003 (Auto download and notify for install)
00000004 (Auto download and schedule the install)
Thereâs another âtrickâ making the rounds for this. It involves disabling the Windows Update system service in the Windows services administration tool. This isnât a good idea at all, and will prevent your computer from receiving even crucial security updates. While it would be nice if Microsoft offered some more choice of when to install updates, you shouldnât opt out of security updates entirely. To prevent Windows from automatically downloading updates on any PC, just set its connection as metered.