A workaround to Turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10

There is no option to turn off Windows Updates using the Control Panel or Settings app in Windows 10, as it used to be with earlier versions of Windows. But there is a workaround to disable or turn off Windows Update in Windows 10, that we’ll talk about in this post.

First, let us take a look why people may want to turn off Windows updates.

With Windows 8.1 and earlier versions, we had Windows Update giving us options to:


  1. Install updates automatically (Recommended)
  2. Download Updates but choose when to install them
  3. Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
  4. Never check for updates (Not Recommended)

These options provided a way to defer updates until we had enough time to download and install them or to have them downloaded automatically and then install them at a time we wish. These options are not present in Windows 10 Update & Security Settings.

Turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10

Microsoft has explained that it will provide updates in two distinct methods for its two distinct types of clients.

First are the home users who will not have the option to defer upgrades. The updates will download and install even if they are working on something, making the computer slow in some cases. The PC however would restart only if you are not doing anything or it would restart at the scheduled time, if you have et one. Where a reboot would be required, the user might have to save his or her work and then reboot before going back to the work he or she was doing. Of course, Windows 10 will let you defer restart, but that is not enough because a download in background might slow down your browsing in some cases.

The other ring of users are the enterprise users who will have the option to delay updates, so that they can hold it to the time when they are free. Microsoft said it will push updates to such users less frequently, so that they are faced with a minimum down time. These are the corporates and real-time users such as hospitals and ATMs etc.

Coming back to Home users and Professional users, there is not even the option to delay the updates. They will be downloaded as soon as they are available. Availability of Windows Updates for normal users means that the updates have already been tested by Windows Insiders. If you are a Windows Insider, running Windows 10 Home or Pro, you will be in first priority to receive updates. After few days of you testing the updates and if it doesn’t pose any problems, it will be released to the normal ring of users.

Thus, you are stuck. Windows 10 will keep on downloading updates as soon as they are available and will occupy your computer resources, when you may not want it too. Some of us will want to keep the automatic downloads to be stopped so that we can install the updates manually when free – when we are not working on something urgent. That is to say, some users would want the liberty and option to download and install updates when they want and not when Microsoft provides it.

Since there is no option to turn off Windows updates from Control Panel or PC Settings, here is a workaround.



Turn off Windows Updates in Windows 10

You can do this using the Windows Update service. Via Control Panel > Administrative Tools, you can access Services. In the Services window, scroll down to Windows Update and turn off the process. To turn it off, right-click on the process, click on Properties and select Disabled. That will take care of Windows Updates not being installed on your machine.

Fig 2 - Turn off Windows Update in Windows 10

But since Windows is a Service now onwards, you have to keep your computer updated. To be able to install the next set of features or a newer build, you will require the earlier updates to be installed. That’s why if you use the above workaround, you will have to go to the Services and turn it on once in a while to download and update your copy of Windows.

After you turn on the Windows Update service, when you open Windows Update in PC Settings, you will see a message that updates were not installed because computer was stopped. You will have to click on Retry so that all the available updates are downloaded and installed. This may take two or three “Check for Updates”. You will have to keep on clicking “Check for updates” until it says your computer is up to date. Then you can go back and turn off the Windows Update service until next time you feel you are free enough to spend time updating your copy of Windows 10.

If your version of Windows 10 has Group Policy, you can also change some settings using the Group Policy Editor. Run gpedit and navigate to the following policy setting:

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

On the right-side, double-click on Configure Automatic Updates and change its settings to suit your requirements.

We do not recommend that you disable automatic Windows Update in Windows 10. If your computer is fine with downloads in background and doesn’t affect your work, it is not advisable to do it. But if you face slowdown of computer due to updates downloading and installing in the background, the above tip to turn off Windows updates in Windows 10 will be of some help.

Setting your network connection to ‘Metered’, can also stop Windows 10 from automatically downloading the Updates. You can do it as follows – Settings app > Network & Internet > WiFi > Advanced options. Move slider to On position for Set as metered connection. See how to set Metered Connection in Windows 10.

Incidentally, Microsoft has released a tool called Show or Hide Updates that allows users to hide or block specific unwanted Windows Updates in Windows 10. Using it, you can stop Windows 10 from downloading specific updates.

You can also make Windows 10 notify you before downloading Updates. How to configure Windows Updates using Registry in Windows Server may also interest some of you. Learn how to stop automatic Driver updates. See how you can Stop Windows 10 from upgrading your computer automatically.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN