How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11. Windows 10/11 updates download and install automatically when they become available. This ensures your devices receive bug fixes and security updates, bring improvements and enhance performance with minimal user interaction. Although this approach has its obvious advantages, most people prefer to have more control over how their Windows devices update. 

This is because some updates negatively impacts the overall user experience. For example, they could present driver and application compatibility issues, break already existing features, or cause the much dreaded Blue Screen of Death. They do disrupt the progress of your work as they need the system to restart for installation to complete.

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to use a laptop or desktop without updates, you disable automatic updates in several ways.

Let’s start with article blog How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11

Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to disable automatic updates on Windows 10/11:

Pause Updates

All in all, permanently disabling the auto update feature on Windows 10/11 may lead to stability and security problems, an alternative would be to “pause” them so that they can install at a time of your choosing. First, make sure you are logged into your computer as an administrator then follow these steps.

  1. Open the settings app. To do this click on the Start button and select the gear icon. Once the settings window opens, select update security.

2. Select Windows update on the left hand menu. To disable the auto update feature for one week, click on the pause updates for 7 days option.

3. Windows 10 will inform you when updates will resume. If you wish to enable auto updates manually before then, select resume updates.

4. You can also extend the “pause automatic updates” period beyond seven days by clicking advanced options.

Navigate to ‘Pause updates’ and choose a date from the pause until drop down menu. This period can be pushed up to 35 days. Once you reach the target date, you’ll be required to install the latest Windows updates before you pause them again.

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates: With Windows Services

If you are okay with the risk of missing out on fixes and potentially leaving your computer vulnerable to attacks for a longer period, you disable automatic updates in Windows 10/11 permanently or until you want to install them manually.

  1. Press Windows + S to open the search box and type Services.
  2. Select  Services once it appears in the search results.

3. When the Services window opens, scroll down to Windows update, right click on it and choose Properties.

4. Once the service window opens, scroll down in the services list to the Windows update entry. Right click this option and select properties.

5. Next to the Start-up type option, under the general tab click on the drop down menu and set it to  “disabled”. Select Apply then OK to disable automatic Windows update.

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates Using the Registry Editor

It is also possible to disable automatic updates on Windows by editing the Windows registry. Editing a registry is risky, so you should back up Windows registry before proceeding. In case something does go wrong, you conveniently restore the registry restore the registry settings on your device.

  1. Press Windows + R, type regedit.exe, and press enter to open the registry editor on Windows.

2. Select Yes on the user control prompt.

3. Copy the following string – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

4. Paste this string in the Registry Editors address bar and click Enter.

5. Right-click on – Windows and select – New > Key.

6. Name this new key – WindowsUpdate.

7. Next, right click on “WindowsUpdate” and select – “ New > Key”.

8. Now replace New Key #1 with AU.

9. Right-click in the right-side pane and select – DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this entry – NoAutoUpdate.

10. Double-click this new value and enter 1 in the Value data field then select OK.

11. Reboot your computer to implement the changes.

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates Using the Group Policy Editor

You can also use the Windows group policy editor to disable Windows automatic updates. Here is the process:

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run Window then type in gpedit.msc and click OK.
  2. From the left side pane, move to Administrative Templates → Windows components → Windows Updates

3. Next, in the right-hand pane navigate from settings to find the “Configure Automatic Updates” option. Right-click on this option and select Edit.

4. Select “Disabled” in the policy settings window.

5. Select Apply and OK and you are done. You are not required to reboot your computer with this method.

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates by Setting Up a Metered Connection

A metered connection is an inbuilt feature that you use to stop or postpone automatic Windows updates temporarily. Setting up metered connection helps to prevent Windows from slowing your Internet speeds or consuming vast chunks of your bandwidth data.

Below are the steps to setting up a metered connection:

1. Press the Windows + I keys to open Windows settings.

2. Once the Windows settings app is open, click on the Network & Internet option from the left pane.

3. On the right, click Properties of the WIFI network you are using.

4. On the following page, navigate to Metered connection and click on the toggle switch to turn the setting on.

5. If you are using a wired network, select Properties for the Ethernet. On the Metered connection section click the toggle button to turn this setting on.

Why Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11?

Here are some of the reasons to disable automatic Windows updates:

You Can Check the Changes that Come With Each Update

Some updates have nothing to do with vulnerabilities and are instead focused on improvements like fixing an issue that is affecting the functionality of a particular device model without making a large difference to the performance of the app. If you turn auto updates off, you get to decide whether an update is useful to you before updating.

It is important to keep in mind that some updates come with important fixes to security vulnerabilities that attackers can actively exploit. So when you have auto-updates disabled, ensure you are up to date with the app developer’s announcements about security fixes.

You Decide When Apps are Updated

When auto updates are enabled there are not that many settings to manage auto updates. The key one is choosing for updates to happen at any moment or only when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. Otherwise, the only way to control when updates happen is by turning the auto updates off and manually updating.

Automatic Updates Create a False Sense of Security

Automatic updating tends to create a false sense of security. Even the most up to date system is vulnerable to cyber attacks so it is unwise to assume that your system is impervious to breaches just because you have enabled automatic updating.

It Can Negatively Affect Productivity

Typically, updates require time to download and install. This causes disruptions to your schedule and workflow. With automatic updates, you can’t choose when the update takes place. So even if it happens during working hours, you just have to wait.

This is it! Thank you for reading How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11. We shall conclude the article now. 

How to Disable Automatic Windows Updates on Windows 10/11

The above processes help to disable windows updates. Disabling updates via Windows service is perhaps the most popular way, but you can still use the other methods. You can choose to update later, schedule windows updates, or disable permanently. 

To read more of Windows WSUS content, please navigate to this section of the blog. 

Avatar for Dennis Muvaa
Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is an expert content writer and SEO strategist in cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. He's also experienced in cybersecurity, big data, and AI.

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