How to Fully Stop Automatic Updates in Windows 10

If you don’t want Windows 10 to install updates automatically and cause problems, follow these steps to disable or stop automatic updates.

When updates are available, Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs those updates without any user intervention. One of the biggest benefits of automatic updates is that your system will be up to date both in terms of features and security.

On the flip side, automatic updates can cause problems and negatively affect your daily work. This is especially true for older Windows laptops or desktops. 

If you don’t like this behavior and not interested in taking chances with machine critical systems, you can completely disable automatic updates. Let me show you how.

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Steps to Disable Automatic Updates with Settings App

The settings app lets you stop automatic updates for up to 35days. Generally, 35 days is plenty enough from Microsoft to iron out any bugs in the updates. So, if you want Windows to update automatically but not right away then use the Settings app.

Steps you should follow to turn off automatic updates using the Settings app.

  1. Press “Windows Key + I” to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to “Update & Security → Windows Update“.
  3. Click on the “Advanced options” button on the right page.
  4. Scroll down and select a date from the drop-down menu under “Pause updates”.
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To postpone updates for as long as possible, select the last possible date. Doing so will stop automatic updates for 35 days. After that, Windows will automatically install the available updates.

Disable Feature Updates Only:

A feature update is a new major version of Windows 10 that is released twice a year. If you just want to delay feature updates and allow only security updates, you can do that too.

  1. Press “Windows Key + I” to open the Settings app.
  2. In the app, go to “Update & Security → Windows Update“.
  3. Click on the “Advanced options” button on the right page.
  4. Now, select the number of days from the drop-down menu under the “Feature update” section.
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If you just want to delay the security updates then all you have to do is select the number of days from the drop-down under the “Security improvements/updates” section.

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Turn off Automatic Update using Group Policy Editor (GPO)

By configuring a GPO (Group Policy Object) you can stop automatic updates. The best thing about this method is that it will notify you of any available updates but will not install them unless you give explicit permission.

These the steps you should follow to stop automatic updates using Group Policy

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for “Edit Group Policy” and click on the result to open Group Policy Editor.
  3. In the GP Editor, go to the following folder.
    Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Update
  4. Find and double-click on the “Configure Automatic Updates” policy.
    Stop automatic updates open policy
  5. Select the “Enabled” option.
  6. Select “2 – notify for download and auto-install” from the drop-down menu under “Options”.
  7. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons.
    Stop automatic updates set policy settings
  8. Close the Group Policy Editor.
  9. Reboot Windows.

After rebooting, the policy will be applied to the system. From now on, Windows 10 will notify you of any available updates but will not download or install them automatically.

To manually trigger the update, go to “Update & Security → Windows Update” in the Settings app and click on the “Check for updates” button.

To revert back, select the “Not configured” option in the policy properties window (look step 5).

Steps to Disable Windows 10 Automatic Updates Using Registry Editor

If you cannot access the Group Policy Editor, you can make the exact same change using the Registry Editor. Create a full registry backup and follow the steps listed below.

  1. Press “Windows Key + R” to open the Run window.
  2. Type “regedit” in the blank field and click “Ok“.
  3. In the registry editor, go to the below location.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  4. Right-click on the “Windows” folder and select “New → Key“.
  5. Name the new folder as “WindowsUpdate“.
  6. Right-click on the “WindowsUpdate” folder and select “New → Key“.
  7. Name the new folder as “AU“.
  8. On the right panel, right-click and select “New → DWORD value‘.
  9. Name the empty value as “NoAutoUpdate“.
  10. Double-click on the value and set its Value Data as “1“.
  11. Click on the “Ok” button to save changes.
  12. Close the Registry Editor.
  13. Reboot Windows. 

The “NoAutoUpdate” value is equivalent to the “notify for download and auto-install” option in the Group Policy Editor.

After configuring the registry and rebooting, Windows will only notify you of any available updates. To download and install those updates, you have to manually trigger them from the Settings app.

To revert back and enable automatic updates, delete the “NoAutoUpdate” value.

Disable Windows Update Service to Stop Automatic Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 uses the Windows Update service to download and install updates. So, if you don’t want Windows to install updates automatically, all you have to do is disable the service. Doing so will completely stop Windows 10 automatic updates.

Follow the below steps to disable Windows update service and stop automatic updates.

  1. Press “Win + R” to open the Run window.
  2. Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
  3. Scroll down and find the “Windows Update” service.
  4. Right-click on the Windows Update service and select “Properties“.
    Stop automatic updates select windows update service properties
  5. In the “General” tab, click on the “Stop” button.
    Stop automatic updates stop windows update service
  6. Select “Disabled” from the drop-down next to “Startup type“.
    Stop automatic updates select disabled
  7. Go to the “Recovery” tab.
  8. Set all three drop-down menus to “Take no action“.
    Stop automatic updates select take no action
  9. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons.
  10. Close the Services window.
  11. Reboot Windows.

After rebooting, Windows 10 will no longer install updates automatically due to Windows Update service not running in the background. If you want to install the update, either enable the Windows Update service or download offline Windows Update installers from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

Do keep in mind that disabling the Windows Update service can have unintended consequences if some application is using it to update itself. A good example would be the Office software.

Enable Windows update service:

If you see any odd behavior due to the above steps, enable the Windows Update service and everything should be back to normal.

To enable the service, go back to step 5 and select “Automatic” from the drop-down menu. Next. Go to the Recovery tab and set “First failure” drop-down menu to “Restart the service”. Save changes and reboot Windows.

Wrapping Up

In general, I encourage you to let Windows update automatically for better security, bug fixes, and new features.

But if you are facing problems with Windows 10 automatic updates then following the above methods should effectively stop those automatic updates. Though they are workarounds for what should be a readily available option in the Settings app, the methods work as they should. So, there shouldn’t be any problems.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

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