Although not recommended, In previous Windows versions you could completely turn off windows updates but with Windows 10, you really don’t have much control over windows updates. Starting with Windows 10 Creators Update, there is no option available from windows settings that can completely disable windows 10 updates. But there are different workarounds that let you turn off windows 10 updates either temporarily or permanently, depending on what you are trying to achieve.
Windows 10 Updates Explained
There are two types of Windows 10 updates, Feature updates, and Quality updates.
Feature updates are released twice per year, around March and September. These updates add new features to Windows 10, delivered in small sizes (Like 2017 Creators Update) compared to the previous practice of Windows releases every 3-5 years.
Quality updates are released monthly and they include security and non-security fixes. Quality updates are cumulative, so if you will install the latest quality update, it is sufficient to get all the available fixes for a specific Windows 10 feature update.
Quality Update provides fixes without any new functionality while Feature Update provides new features.
How To Temporarily Pause Windows Updates
If you want to disable windows 10 updates temporarily, then you are in luck because Windows 10 creators update added an option to pause all windows 10 updates for 7 days.
It temporarily pauses updates from being installed on your device for 7 days but when updates resume, your device will need to get latest updates before it can be paused again. There is also an option to defer either ‘feature’ or ‘quality’ updates for up to a year. Here’s how to pause windows 10 updates.
- Go to Windows 10 Settings from start menu or search
- Once in Settings, Go to Updates & Security
- From here select Advanced Options
- From here you can either pause all windows 10 updates for 7 days or you can defer quality or feature updates for a specified amount of days. Feature update can be deferred up to a year while quality updates can be deferred up to a month.
Prevent Forced Automatic Windows 10 Updates
It is strictly not recommended to completely turn off all windows updates but you can, however, schedule them. Certain Windows 10 updates are important security updates which keep you safe from cyber attacks and vulnerabilities. Windows 10 now works on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, which means to get updates with new features and security fixes you have to keep your Windows 10 updated.
You can easily prevent forced automatic updates and schedule them if you have Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). Local Group Policy Editor is only available on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions so if you are using Windows 10 Home, this will not work for you.
- Press Windows Key + R on your keyboard to open Run Box and type ‘gpedit.msc’ in the run box and hit enter
- Navigate to: Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update
- On the right side, double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy.
- Click the Enabled option on the left side to enable the policy
- After enabling you will have four options, select whichever you want after reading the help guide on the right side. These options will give you more control over when windows 10 install updates.
Another method to stop Windows 10 from automatically downloading and installing all updates is to set your wifi connection type to ‘metered’. This way Windows 10 will only ‘download and install those updates which are required to keep Windows running smoothly’. This will work even if you aren’t actually on a metered connection. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Windows Settings
- Navigate to: Network & Internet>Change Connection Properties
- Here toggle on ‘Set as metered connection‘
Manually Install All Windows 10 Updates
Another option is to manually install windows updates. This method is not guaranteed to work due to continuous changes in Windows 10, which is why it is better to stick with above methods. This will prevent Windows 10 from automatically checking for, downloading, or installing any updates. This method also uses Local Group Policy Editor and will only work on either Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise edition. Here’s how to do it.
- Once again press Windows Key + R to open Run box and type gpedit.msc and hit enter
- Navigate to same path: Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update
- Double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy from the right side
- Select Disabled option from the left side
- Now press Windows Key + R to open Run box and type ‘services.msc’ and hit enter
- Find Windows Update and all related services to windows update from the list, double-click it to open and select ‘manual’ from the startup type to manually check & install updates or select ‘disable’ to completely disable all windows updates.
- With these options, you have to manually check for updates in the Updates & Security settings and then install them.
If anything goes wrong or you start getting windows update errors, just reset all windows update settings.