Unlike the previous versions of Windows, Microsoft made it a lot harder to manage the updates in Windows 10 and later. In fact, there are no built-in options to hide the unwanted updates. One way to do it, though, is to use the official troubleshooting app to temporarily hide the updates you don’t want to install.
Alternatively, you can also hide updates using PowerShell in Windows. Unless otherwise noted, the steps below work for both Windows 10 and 11.
If you need troubleshooting help for Windows update problems, turn to SetupDiag.
Note: none of the commands covered below are case sensitive.
Accessing PowerShell in Windows
While Windows 10 listed PowerShell in the power users start menu, it’s noticeably absent in the Windows 11 power users start menu. However, it’s still easy to get to by doing the following:
- Press Win + X and select “Windows Terminal (Admin).”
- Windows Terminal lets you access both PowerShell and Command Prompt from a single interface. By default, it’s set to PowerShell. Alternately, you can install PowerShell separately from Microsoft.
Odds are, you might still be using Windows 10, especially since less than 3% of devices are running Windows 11. If so, use the steps below to access PowerShell instead.
Older versions of Windows 10 didn’t include PowerShell. However, if your system is up to date, PowerShell is already installed. If you need to install it, visit Windows Update (Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update) to install the latest version of Windows 10. If you need help along the way, our troubleshooting guide for the latest Windows 10 problems will help you.
Press Win + X or right-click the Start menu. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin). This option allows you to execute commands with admin rights. Of course, this only works if your Windows 10 account actually has admin privileges.
Tip: customize your Windows Terminal to make the most of it.
By default, your user account will have restricted access, and you won’t be able to run any external scripts in PowerShell. To run external scripts, you need to set the execution policy to Unrestricted using the following steps.
- Enter the below command in PowerShell and press the Enter button.
- As soon as you execute the command, you will be asked for a confirmation. Press the A key followed by Enter on your keyboard. From this point onward, your user account will have unrestricted access.
- You can check the current execution policy of your user account using the below command. As you can see in the screenshot below, I have unrestricted access.
After changing the execution policy, you are free to use PowerShell however you want.
Install Windows Update Tool
By default, Windows PowerShell doesn’t include the commands to manage Windows Updates. Instead, you have to install the PSWindowsUpdate module. You can do this directly within PowerShell as long as you have unrestricted admin access.
- Open PowerShell and enter:
Install-Module -Name PSWindowsUpdate
- Type “Y” to confirm that you also want to also install NuGet, which is required to use PSWindowsUpdate. Please note that you must be connected to the Internet to do this.
- If you get a warning about an untrusted repository, type “Y” to confirm you want to continue.
The installation process should only take a few minutes in most cases. You’ll return to the normal PowerShell prompt once everything’s complete.
Hiding Updates Based on Title
Before you can hide updates using PowerShell, you need to see a list of what’s currently pending and the name of the update to hide it.
- Use the below command to get a list of all of the available Windows updates.
- Find the update you want to hide and note the title of the update – you’ll need the title if the update doesn’t have a KB number. You can also use the KB number. (See the next section.) Enter the following command and press the Enter button to hide the update. Don’t forget to replace
UpdateName*with the actual title.
Hide-WindowsUpdate -Title "UpdateName*"
We can use the wildcard (*) before and after the title as long as part of the title is correct and unique. If you don’t want to bother with the wildcards, just enter the full update title.
In PowerShell, you can highlight and copy a section of text to avoid having to type everything. This also prevents mistyping errors.
- PowerShell asks you to confirm your action. Press the A key followed by Enter on your keyboard.
- This action hides the target Windows Update. Confirm that by looking at the letter
Hunder “Status.” The letter H stands for “Hidden.”
Hiding Updates Based on KB Number
Alternatively, you can hide a Windows update using its KB Article ID with the command below. Don’t forget to replace “KBNumber” with the ID of the update you want to hide.
Hide-WindowsUpdate -KBArticleID KBNumber
Again, PowerShell will ask you for confirmation. Enter the letter A and press the Enter button.
In the future, if you want to unhide the update, you’ll need to display the update list using a different command. The original
Get-WUList doesn’t show hidden updates.
- Use the following command to display the update list:
- Type L to say “No” to all. Otherwise, you’ll view details about each individual update, then see a list of all updates, including hidden ones.
- Use one of the following commands to unhide them, replacing “KBNumber” with the actual KB number or “UpdateTitle” with the title. Only use one command or the other, not both at the same time.
Show-WindowsUpdate -KBArticleID KBNumber Show-WindowsUpdate -Title UpdateTitle
- The above action will again ask you for confirmation; simply confirm the action, and you will have your update back.
If you’ve hidden numerous updates and want to show them again, use the following command:
Type A to show all updates, including any you’ve hidden. This is a quick way to restore all hidden updates at once versus entering individual titles or KB numbers.
To wrap it up, change your execution policy back to Restricted using the below command. Having your user account run the scripts with unrestricted access could leave your system vulnerable.
To further manage your Windows updates using PowerShell, enter the following:
Get-Command -module PSWindowsUpdate
This gives you a list of all available update management commands within this module.
What You Can and Can’t Do via PowerShell
Before you get too excited about being able to hide updates using PowerShell, there are a few things to keep in mind. This shouldn’t be seen as a way to stop all Windows updates. As you can see in the steps above, you’re hiding individual updates one at a time, not all updates at once.
Plus, you’d need to visit PowerShell likely weekly to check for any new updates that may have been released. This will get tedious quickly, and you’re likely to miss some.
Use PowerShell only as a method to hide certain updates that you know you don’t want at all, or use it as an indefinite pause on specific updates, such as those where users are reporting issues after updating.
If you need to pause all updates and don’t want to enter each one manually in PowerShell, you have two other options. One of them is “Settings -> Windows Update -> Pause Updates.”
To pause updates longer than the five weeks listed within Windows Update, you can also set your Internet connection to metered. By default, Windows won’t download updates automatically on metered connections.
- Go to “Settings -> Network & internet -> Wi-Fi” or “Settings -> Network & internet -> Ethernet,” depending on your connection.
- Select your network name.
- Set “Metered connection” to On.
You’ll receive notifications about new updates, but you have to manually choose to download them. This also gives you a longer window to review updates and see whether there are any you want to hide via PowerShell.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any other ways to stop Windows updates that I don't want?
Depending on the version of Windows you have, there are multiple ways to pause and stop updates completely. From registry edits to third-party tools, try these methods to control which updates run on your PC. After all, sometimes Windows updates don’t always work as intended, so if you’d prefer to wait and see if there are any hiccups from other users first, these methods should let you do so.
Is it safe to hide updates?
Outside of security updates and critical fixes, it is safe to hide updates. Perhaps you like Windows the way it is and don’t want or need certain new features. For instance, maybe you like Paint the way it was before Microsoft updated the UI. Not having such features isn’t going to break Windows, but always install the latest security fixes to keep your system safe.
Why can't I change my account to unrestricted?
Even if you’re running the admin version of PowerShell or Terminal, if your user account doesn’t have admin rights, you may not be able to grant yourself unrestricted access. Instead, you’d need the PC’s admin account to grant your account these rights.
Image credit: Unsplash
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