One of the controversial thing about Windows 10 is its automatic updates. This automatic update feature is applicable to both general and feature updates along with driver updates. If you don't like this behavior, you can pause automatic updates on Windows 10.
Though automatic updates are not a big deal, for the most part, it can be a huge inconvenience under certain circumstances. For instance, when you are actively using your internet connection, downloading updates in the background can hog all the bandwidth and make your internet browsing slow and painful. Not to mention, when using mobile data, downloading Windows updates can quickly become costly.
Moreover, if you haven't configured active hours, Windows 10 will automatically restart to install the updates.
In those situations, it is better to pause Windows 10 updates temporarily so that you can browse the internet at full speed and save the data if you are on a mobile connection. When you are done, you can resume automatic updates. Let me show you how to do it.
There are multiple ways to pause updates. Click on the jump links below to go to the method of your choice.
1. Pause Windows 10 Updates from PC Settings App
The PC Settings app allow you to pause automatic updates for up to 35 days. This includes both improvement and security updates. Feature updates won't obey this setting, though. After 35 days, the updates will resume automatically.
The best thing about this method is that you just have to click a single button. No need to mess with registry edits, commands, or policy settings.
1. First, open Settings app either by searching for it in the Start Menu or by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win + I. Power users can open Settings app from command prompt or PowerShell too.
2. After opening the Settings app, go to "Update and Security -> Windows Update." On the right panel, click on the "Pause updates for 7 days". This action will pause the updates for 7 days.
You can click on the button multiple times. Every time you click on the button, the pause state is extended by 7 days. In total, you can pause updates for 35 days.
3. If you want to pause update up to a specific date, you can do that too. First, click on the "Advanced Options" button appearing on the same page.
4. In the Advanced Options page, select a date from the drop-down menu under Pause Updates section. Again, just like before, the upper limit is 35 days.
That is it.
As I said before, this is not a permanent way to pause automatic updates. If you don't manually resume updates, Windows will resume updates automatically after 35 days.
2. Windows 10 Command to Pause Updates
If you want to pause Windows 10 updates for very short periods of time (like for a few minutes or hours) then the best way to go is Command Prompt.
The trick is simple, we just have to stop the Windows Update service along with a couple of other services called Background Intelligent Transfer service and Delivery Optimization service. By stopping these services, you are removing the essential elements that are required to download updates for Windows 10 from Microsoft.
To resume updates, start the stopped services manually or by restarting the system
1. First, search for "cmd" in the start menu, right-click on Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator". As soon as you click on the option, Command Prompt will be opened with admin rights.
2. In the Command Prompt window, execute below commands one by one.
net stop wuauserv net stop bits net stop dosvc
If you are curious, the first command is stopping Windows Update service, the second is stopping the Background Intelligent Transfer service, and finally, the third command is stopping the Delivery Optimization service.
As soon as you stop these services, Windows 10 will stop downloading automatic updates immediately.
To Resume Updates:
As I said earlier, you can easily resume Windows update by simply starting the three stopped services.
1. For that, open Command Prompt as admin just like before.
2. After opening Command Prompt as admin, execute the below commands one by one.
net start wuauserc net start bits net start dosvc
If you look closely, these commands are very similar to the ones you used to stop the services. The only difference is that we replaced stop with start.
As soon as you execute the above commands, Windows update should work normally. It may not download Windows update immediately but it will start downloading them eventually.
3. Turn on Metered Connection to Stop Windows 10 Automatic Updates
The metered connection setting is generally used to limit background internet activity while using mobile data. Simply put, when you enable a metered connection, Windows will not download any update to conserve your mobile data. The good thing is, you can set any type of internet connection as a metered connection and restrict Windows 10 from downloading automatic updates.
1. First, open the PC Settings app either by searching for it in the Start Menu or by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win + I. You can also open it from the Notification Center. Just click on the Notifications icon and then click on the button "All Settings".
2. Go to "Network and Internet -> Status". On the right panel, you will see your active connection. Click on the "Change connection properties" link.
3. Now, scroll down a bit and toggle the switch under "Metered Connection" to On.
That is it. You've successfully enabled metered connection and paused Windows 10 updates.
When you want Windows to start downloading updates, toggle the switch back to "Off" position. Windows will eventually check for updates and download them.
4. Turn on Flight Mode to Pause Automatic Updates (Works with Wireless Connections only)
If all else fails and you don't need an active internet connection then you can simply turn on Flight mode to temporarily stop Windows from downloading updates. As you can guess, Flight mode blocks all wireless communications including WiFi and mobile data. This is hugely helpful when you are playing games that don't need an active internet connection.
Note: This method doesn't work if you are using the regular wired connection to access the internet.
1. The easiest way to enable flight mode is from the Notification Center. Just click on the "Notifications" icon appearing on the bottom right corner and then click on the "Flight mode" button.
This action will instantly enable the Flight mode and blocks all the wireless network activity. Since there is no internet activity, Windows cannot download updates.
To resume Windows 10 updates, click on the "Flight mode" button again. This will turn off the flight mode and unblocks all wireless connections.
If you cannot find the Flight Mode button in the Notification Center for whatever reason, you can enable it from the Settings app.
1. First, open Settings app either by searching for it in the Start Menu or by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win + I. You can also open it from the Notification Center. Just click on the Notifications icon and then click on the button "All Settings".
2. Go to "Network and Internet -> Flight mode".
3. On the right panel, toggle the switch under Flight mode to On to turn on airplane mode.
That is it. You've enabled the flight mode and paused Windows 10 automatic updates. If you want to enable the wireless network connection the simply toggle the button to "Off" and you are good to go.
Hope that helps. Comment below sharing your thoughts about pausing updates in Windows 10.