How to Disable the Windows 10 Update from Downloading Permanently
There are few things that inconvenience us more than software updates. Windows users often make jokes about the updates they receive because they take so long to complete (yes, you should initiate your update overnight). As with any good software, updates are a vital part of our computer’s health and security. But sometimes, it just isn’t practical to perform right now, and other times it can cause problems for other software you’re running.
Like most technology these days, Windows updates are automatic. The basis for this is that developers really love the software they design, and they don’t exactly have faith that end-users will perform the updates themselves. Automatic updates were implemented to make your life easier while keeping your system operating smoothly.
An improperly timed automatic update can really cause a headache. Whether the update causes problems and glitches with your PC or it is initiated while you’re working, this article will walk you through everything you need to know about stopping an update and reversing it if need be.
How to Disable Windows 10 Updates
Although disabling Windows 10 Updates isn’t permanent unless you’re disconnected from the internet, there are a few ways that you can temporarily disable the Windows updates. We’re not here to discuss Windows 10 aggressive approach to updates; after all, it’s the most used OS in the world, which also makes it the most targeted by malicious hackers.
Even with Windows 10 having a knack for allowing updates to occur even after changing the settings, follow along for the best current solutions for preventing them. Note that you might want to create a script or batch file to automate one of these temporary solutions.
Disable Windows 10 Update using Services.msc
You can disable Windows 10 updates by following these steps:
- Using the Win + R keyboard shortcut, type services.msc to access your PC’s service settings.
- Next, scroll down and double-click on Windows Update to access the General settings.
- Now, select Disabled from the Startup type dropdown menu.
- Once done, click OK and then restart your PC.
Performing this action will permanently disable Windows automatic updates. If you’d like to enable it again, follow the same steps as above and toggle the option to Automatic.
Disable Windows Updates Via the Settings Menu
Another, more familiar option would be to change the Windows Update settings through your PC’s actual Windows Settings. This option may be simpler for some, depending on how tech-savvy you are, but it is not a permanent solution.
To disable your updates through the settings, do this:
- Go to your Windows Start menu and click on the Settings cog.
- Now, within the Settings page, click on Update & Security.
- Next, click on the Advanced options tab.
- Then, you can choose a date from the dropdown that you’d like to pause automatic updates to. Note: As of this edit, Windows only allows you to pause updates for 35 days or 5 weeks.
As stated above, this is not a permanent solution, but it’s great to know if you only need to pause your updates for a while. Pausing your updates means there is no worry that your PC will go severely out of date as the automatic updates will eventually turn back on by themselves.
How to Stop Windows 10 from Downloading Via the Registry
The initial instructions largely depend on which version of Windows you’re using, but the method is essentially the same. To stop automatic updates using the Registry, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu, type regedit, and then click on Registry Editor. (TOP TIP: Alternatively, you can simply hold the Windows key + R to bring up the Run window) and then type regedit.
- Now that the Registry Editor is open, you can check the key that records whether your system is ready to download Windows 10. Using the options on the left side, double-click as follows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > WindowsUpdate > OSUpgrade.
- Once you’ve navigated to the right key, you’ll need to add a value that tells the system you don’t want to download Windows 10. To do this, right-click on the key name, select the New submenu, and then select DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- You’ll see that a new value is created called New Value #1. Rename it AllowOSUpgrade, and then double-click on it and set the Value data to 0.
- To complete the process, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.
One (albeit strange) workaround for not having to restart your computer is to open up Settings > Update & Security again and click on Check for Updates. Doing this should force the changes to take effect.
Now you should be able to use Windows Update without having to check whether the Windows 10 Upgrade has sneaked into the Optional upgrade list and ticked itself for download. Result!
Set a Metered Connection to Stop Windows 10 Updates
Another option that might temporarily prevent your Windows 10 PC from updating is to set a metered internet connection. Automatic updates will usually not take place. To set a metered connection, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon.
- Now, click on Network & Internet.
- Then, click on Wi-Fi on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Next, click on Manage known networks. On this new page that opens, click on the Wi-Fi network you use and click on Properties.
- From here, toggle Set as metered connection to On.
This may not be a perfect solution for you because other systems like OneDrive will also fail to update or back-up information. But it should stop automatic updates on your PC.
Using Group Policy to Stop Windows 10 Updates
For those that have a version of Windows 10 that isn’t the Home Edition, this section will work for you.
- Either open the Start menu or hit the Windows key + S and type gpedit.msc and click on the top result, Edit group policy.
- Next, click on Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Updates.
- Now, locate Configure Automatic Updates and double-click it.
- Then, check Disabled and click Apply, and then OK.
How to Uninstall a Windows 10 Update
Perhaps you’re here because you’ve realized that an Update is already installed, and you aren’t happy with the outcome. Unlike other operating systems, Windows does give you the option to uninstall an update as you see fit.
Following the same steps as above, access your PC’s Settings, then click on Update & Security. Once there, follow these steps:
- Click Delivery Optimization in the right menu list and then click View Update History.
- Now, click Uninstall updates.
From here, you can choose to uninstall the updates as you need to. If you’re doing this because the newest update is causing issues with other software on your computer, it’s worth researching before going straight into an uninstall frenzy.
Check your driver and other updates to see if the culprit lies somewhere other than Windows OS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Permanently Disable Windows 10 Updates?
There is a lot of dispute regarding the ability to permanently disable Windows 10 updates. Some users have stated that Microsoft is so incredibly persistent there is no way to do it. Once you restart your computer, the updates turn back on.
While this may be the case for some software versions, this worked for our tests in December of 2020 on Windows Home version 10.0.19041. If, for some reason, the method that you are using isn’t working, try another one of the methods we’ve listed above, or try uninstalling any problematic updates per the instructions we’ve provided.
Should I Disable Updates?
As mentioned earlier, operating system updates are vital to the health and security of your machine. But many updates cause more harm than good when first released. If you prefer to wait and install updates on your own time, disabling updates shouldn’t be an issue.
While updates are vital, they aren’t necessarily vital the day they’re released.
Windows 10 Updates and Disabling Them
For whatever reason you need to halt Windows 10 Updates, this article has provided you with the best solutions, temporary though they may be, to prevent them from occurring. Even if the only permanent solution is to constantly roll back to a previous version of Windows 10 or remain disconnected from the internet, one does exist.
Do you know of a more permanent solution to disabling Windows 10 updates? Share your experience in the comments below.