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How to Disable Automatic Updates in Windows 10

Windows 10, unlike its predecessors, will download and install updates automatically. From a security point of view it make sense to keep the workstations up-to-date and fully patched. However, Microsoft has a history of pulling buggy Windows updates that breaks computers. It might be a good idea to wait for some time before installing all the updates. Unfortunately, there are no easy way to achieve this In Windows 10 (even for power users). In this article we’ll discuss a few workarounds you can use to defer Windows updates and install them at your convenience.

Windows 10 Home Edition

The Windows 10 Home edition users can trick Windows Update in to thinking that the device is on a Metered connection. But you’ll need to be on a WiFi connection to do this.

  1. From Start Menu click Settings. This will open the Settings app.
  2. Click Network & Internet and click Advanced options below the list of available Wi-Fi networks.
  3. Switch the to Set as metered connection option to ON as shown below.
    Windows 10 Set Metered Connection
  4. Navigate back to the Settings app’s launch screen and click Update & Security.
  5. Windows update will now check for update but will not download or install them automatically. Instead it will display a message: “Updates are available. We’ll download the updates as soon as you connect to Wi-Fi, or you can download the updates using your data connection (charges may apply.)”.
    Windows 10 Download Updates on WiFi

Windows 10 Professional / Enterprise Edition

Windows 10 Professional, Education or Enterprise edition users have the power of Group Policies to block the automatic download and installation of Window updates.

Using Group Policy Editor

  1. In the Windows Search box type in gpedit.msc and press Enter. You’ll need to be an Administrator user to do this.
    Windows 10 Open gpedit.msc
  2. From the left-pane, expand Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update.
  3. In the right-pane find the setting named Configure Automatic Updates and double-click on it.
    Windows 10 Configure Automatic Updates Policy
  4. In the new window set the policy to Enabled and then select the option 2 – Notify for download and notify for install. In case if you’re interested details of the other settings are available at the end of this guide.
    Windows 10 Configure Automatic Updates Policy Settings
  5. Click OK to save the setting and exit the Group Policy Editor.
  6. Restart the computer to activate the policy.
  7. Now, open the Settings app and navigate to Windows Update  and click Check for updates.
  8. Click Advanced options to confirm that the new policy is indeed activated.
    Windows 10 Update Automatic Download Disabled

Using Windows Registry Editor

  1. In the Windows Search box type in regedit and press Enter (You’ll need to be an Administrator user to do this). Click OK if a UAC prompt appears. The Registry Editor
    will open.
  2. From the left-pane expand to the location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
  3. On the right-pane create a DWORD value called AUOptions and set a value of 2.
    Windows 10 Registry to Disable Automatic Updates
  4. Close the Registry Editor Restart the computer to activate the setting.

Bonus – Other GPO Settings for Automatic Updates

2 = Notify before downloading and installing any updates.When Windows finds updates that apply to this computer, users will be notified that updates are ready to be downloaded. After going to Windows Update, users can download and install any available updates.

3 = (Default setting) Download the updates automatically and notify when they are ready to be installed

Windows finds updates that apply to the computer and downloads them in the background (the user is not notified or interrupted during this process). When the downloads are complete, users will be notified that they are ready to install. After going to Windows Update, users can install them.

4 = Automatically download updates and install them on the schedule specified below.

5 = Allow local administrators to select the configuration mode that Automatic Updates should notify and install updates.

With this option, local administrators will be allowed to use the Windows Update control panel to select a configuration option of their choice. Local administrators will not be allowed to disable the configuration for Automatic Updates.

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