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.

How to Disable the Windows 10 Update From Downloading Permanently

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. So, 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 for 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, 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:

  1. Using the Win+R keyboard shortcut type “services.msc” to access your PC’s service settings.

    Run Program - services.msc
  2. Next, scroll down and double click on Windows Update to access the General settings.

  3. Now, select Disabled from the Startup type dropdown menu.

  4. 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:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and click on the Settings cog.

  2. Now, within the Settings page click on Update & Security.

  3. Next, click on the Advanced Options tab.

  4. 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 about 6 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:

  1. Open the Start menu, type “regedit“, and then click on Registry Editor. (TOP TIP: Alternatively you can simply hold Windows key + R to bring up the Run window) and then type “regedit“.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. You’ll see that a new value is created called New Value #1, rename it AllowOSUpgrade.

  5. The last step in Registry Editor is to make sure that the OS Upgrade feature is turned off. To do this, double-click the file and check that the value is 0, making sure that the hexadecimal box is checked. To complete the process, refresh the page and then close regedit.

Many users have stated that this method does not take affect or work immediately. One (albeit strange) workaround for this is to open the Settings again and click on ‘Check for Updates.’ Doing this should force the changes to take affect.

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:

  1. Open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon.

    Windows Start Menu
  2. Now, click on Network & Internet.

    Windows Settings Menu
  3. Then, click on Wifi on the left-hand side of the screen.

4. Next, click on Manage known networks. On this new page that opens, click on the wifi network you use and click on Properties.

5. 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 backup 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.

  1. Either open the Start menu or hit the Windows key + S and type “gpedit.msc” and click on the top result, “Edit group policy.”

  2. Next, click on Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Updates.

  3. Now, locate Configure Automatic Updates and double-click it.

  4. 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 and 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:

  1. Click Delivery Optimization in the right menu list and then click View Update History.

2. 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.

27 thoughts on “How to Disable the Windows 10 Update From Downloading Permanently”

Christopher Smith says:
Thank you, this article is very useful. Our broadband is extremely slow, so an important update downloading or installing at a video conference period does cause our computer to pause operations. Thank you again for this article.
Bill says:
Windows updates are so disruptive, persistent and destructive to my ability to use my computer that as soon as I can I’m switching to Linux. The last time windows updated it stopped disabled my ability to download files and I had to pay to fix it.
David says:
Lol that exact thing happened to me. I uninstalled this update and I think I have to do the july 6th one as well. Windows- they are hiring people who have no business programming computers. H1b visas need to be ended.
Neil says:
These do not work long term… as of 2020, Windows 10 will restart update service and will ignore metered connection for OS updates. They just don’t care anymore.
I get better results with “net stop wuauserv” and “net stop bits”
Alex says:
There updates are COMPLETELY EVIL. I got a blue screen after one of the updates with no recovery option. I wish I knew how to disable them.
I wish Microsoft would listen and let people permanently turn them off! They cause major damage! Major!
JA says:
Clear and concise, just the way I like it, thanks Cassandra!

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