Since its genesis, Microsoft has been trying to improve the Windows Operating System and the whole thing has been a trial and error. While Windows Vista was quite okay, its successor, the Windows 7 was at the peak and was known as the best offering from Windows. The Windows 8, however, managed to hit the lowest of the Windows OS rating ever and critics and people alike trashed it. The much anticipated Windows 10 that released back in 2015 brought the Start Menu back which the Windows 8 completely ignored. And a few more updates fixed what its predecessor made worse.
Every coin has two sides and whilst we consider Windows 10 the best OS yet, it too has its fair share of problems. A simple search would tell you that ‘disabling automatic Windows 10 updates’ is the topmost concern of Windows users which is galling. No matter which version of Windows 10 OS you are on, updates has always been a concern. Whether you are working at the office or preparing for a presentation at home, the OS will irritate you with its ‘Restart needed’ notifications. And then, you’ll have to figure out how the heck should I stop these updates! After a new update is installed, restart is mandatory and essential for the smooth functioning of the computer (or any device, for that matter).
The Windows 10 May 2019 Feature update gives the user more authority on how and when to update their personal computer, including an option to pause the downloads. Probably most of you haven’t updated to the latest version or it hasn’t reached you, whatever the reason, we’ll guide you step-by-step on how to disable or turn off updates on your Windows 10 PC.
How to Turn Off Updates in Windows 10
Amongst the methods, you won’t find a way to turn off these updates using Control Panel or Settings app in the Windows 10, unlike the earlier Windows versions. Instead, options like Windows Services Manager, Local Group Policy Editor, and Registry Editor are in the driver’s seat, so this article will focus on them to get the job done.
Method 1 – Windows Services Manager
Windows Services Manager takes a technical turn when it comes to editing a few options. The option comes in handy to start or stop a service, disable some services or pause the Windows Service. This is a built-in and effective tool to solve all your Windows-related problems. As mentioned earlier, this option focuses on the technical aspects of Windows which starts at the boot-up and runs in the background. So don’t attempt to change settings without proper guidance.
To use Windows Services Manager, hit the Windows Logo + R key combo to call up the Run command. Type services.msc to open the Services Manager.
Once Services is opened, you’ll see a whole list of options.
Scroll down until you find Windows Updates. Double click on it to open the advanced options.
Under the Startup type drop-down menu, select Disabled. In the Service status, there are additional options like Start, Stop, Pause, or Resume the Service. Once you’ve decided your actions, click on Apply and then hit OK. Doing so, you will never receive updates from Windows unless you turn it on again.
Method 2 – Local Group Policy Editor
Local Group Policy Editor gives you the control to sign-in and shutdown processes, settings and applications that users can change or use. You won’t see it just lying around. The Local Group Policy Editor is made for power users who love to tweak Windows as they deem fit. If you have a Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise edition, put this method to the right use by following the instructions. Windows 10 Home edition users can download third-party apps like Policy Plus to integrate Group Policy support as Home editions doesn’t support Local Group Policy Editor natively.
Disabling the updates:
Open the Start menu and search for gpedit.msc. Click on the top-most search result.
Once in the Group Policy Editor, navigate to Windows Update by clicking on Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.
Double-click on Configure Automatic Updates. Select Disabled to turn off the policy. Click on the Apply button and hit OK. Windows will now stop automatic updates.
Limiting the updates:
If turning off the policy isn’t working for you then you should move on to the next option in the Group Policy itself. Here, we’ll try customizing the Windows Update settings using Group Policy that will limit the updates on your PC.
To use this option, navigate to Windows Update in the Local Group Policy Editor. Double-click on Configure Automatic Updates.
Select Enable to turn on the policy. Click on the Apply button and hit OK. Windows will now stop automatic updates.
In the options, you’ll find various commands. Select 2 – Notify for download and auto install option, as it comes close to disabling the updates. But then again, you can select any other option that suits your situation. Click on Apply and hit OK.
After you have successfully completed steps to limit the updates, it will stop downloading automatically. Keep in mind that when a new update will be available, you will receive a notification whether or not to download and install it from the Windows Update settings page.
Method 3 – Metered Connections
Windows 10 Professional version has tonnes of features that the basic edition, known as the Windows 10 Home version lacks, which is quite obvious. Options such as blocking an update is much more pronounced in the Pro version but the Home edition isn’t insipid either. If you are not crazy about the May 2019 Update, there is an option called metered connection, which allows you to minimize the data usage of Windows 10 where the limit is capped. This particular feature is the holy grail for the people who dislike updating their PCs on some random and irritative notifications.
To opt for this method, open Settings and click on Network and Settings. Now select Wi-Fi or Ethernet, depending on which connection you are using. Click on your connection.
Now within the connection, there’s an option called Metered Connection. Turn it on by flicking the switch.
Now click on the Home button next to Network and go to Update & Security and select Windows Update or type Windows Update in the search bar. Once in the Windows Update settings, click on Advanced options.
Here, you’ll see plenty of option but to turn off these updates, you’ll need to toggle off the option ‘Automatically download updates even over metered data connections.’
Following the above steps, you won’t receive any quality updates or feature updates unless you flick the toggle on. However, if your PC is running on a supported version of Windows 10, you will still get critical updates notwithstanding the newly tweaked settings.
Method 4 – Registry
Before you scroll down hastily, a friendly warning – the Registry is risky and if you don’t know what you are doing, the changes you make can cause irreversible damage to your PC. But if you want to proceed anyway, take a full backup of the PC and we know just the software to do that. Also, create the backup file on the cloud or on an external device if in case the local backup is destroyed or gets corrupted.
Registry will help you disable Windows 10 PERMANENTLY so follow the steps wisely. Open the Start menu and search for Registry in the search bar. Hit Enter.
Click on Yes to allow the Registry Editor to run. Now the Registry will open.
Type the following command in place of Computer highlighted in the image above:
Now, right-click on the Windows key, select New, and then click on Key. Enter the name of the key as WindowsUpdate and then hit Enter. Now, right-click on the newly created key, select New, and select Key. Rename the new key as AU and hit Enter. Right-click on an empty right side, select New and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name the new key NoAutoUpdate and hit Enter. Now, double click the newly created key and then change its value from 0 to 1. Click OK and restart your PC to let the changes sink in.
If you’ve followed the steps accurately, Windows Update won’t download and install updates automatically on your personal computer.
Method 5 – Scheduling and Pausing Updates
Scheduling the updates:
Feature updates like the May 2019 bring a lot of new goodies but for reasons best known to you, pausing or scheduling the update seems a wise decision. This option is better than entirely turning off the updates. Keep in mind that you can postpone such huge updates for just a week but until then, read on.
Press the Start button and select Settings. Click on Update & Security. Now select Windows Update. If there’s an ongoing download, you can see two options. Select Schedule the restart.
Under this option, you can schedule the said restart. You can pick a time when you aren’t working on your PC so the restart won’t affect you.
Pausing the updates:
If scheduling doesn’t work for you, then there’s another great option to turn a deaf ear to the updates – Pausing them. This feature is available only on the May 2019 Feature Update bearing the version 1903. If you haven’t updated yet, try scheduling, which is the only option you have if you don’t want to disable the updates. Users who have already updated and are on version 1903, this can be your sweet option.
Open Settings and click on Update & Security. Search for Windows Updates and then click on the Advanced options.
You’ll see a few options. Navigate to the “Pause Updates” section and switch on the toggle. Doing this, your PC won’t receive any updates, quality or feature ones, for up to 35 days. The days are depending on the available settings.
We wouldn’t suggest turning off the updates on your Windows 10 PC permanently as those are crucial and essential aspects of any PC which protects it and enhances the user experience. Apart from new features and enhancements, the updates are aimed at fixing bugs and giving the latest security patches so that your personal computer works in a stable manner. If your annoyance is with the updates and how sporadically it restarts, you can simply schedule or pause the updates.