Windows 10 is a great operating system, and Microsoft keeps on making it better by installing cumulative updates. Updates are an important part of your system, for security and stability reasons. However, the Windows 10 policy of forced updates has become a subject of controversy and one of its least liked features.
While Microsoft aims to make Windows 10 more efficient by pushing updates, the idea of forced updates may have caused problems for users. That’s because some of the updates are so huge (over 4GB) and they download automatically. This can be very frustrating if you have a limited data plan.
Worst of all, Windows 10 will force updates every time you try to restart and/or shut down your computer. This can put your PC into an endless booting loop. In this tutorial we’ll show you the three workarounds that will help you stop the Windows 10 forced updates permanently.
1. Mark Your Wi-Fi Connection as Metered
Marking your Wi-Fi connection as metered bars all background activities. Since Windows 10 updates are a continuous process that keeps running in the background, setting your connection as metered is the easiest way to stop forced updates.
It’s worth noting that this option will only delay the updates. The moment you toggle the Metered connection button to “OFF,” Windows 10 will start downloading updates automatically. But as long as the metered connection button is set to “ON,” Windows 10 will never download any update without your permission. To set your connection as metered, follow the steps below.
1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app.
2. Click the “Network & Internet” option.
3. Under Wireless Network Connection, scroll down and click on the “Advanced Options” link.
4. A page will open with more options to configure your wireless networks. Look for the “Metered Connection” option. By default, this option is set to Off. Click and toggle it to On.
That’s it. Now Windows will not download anything in the background.
Note: Setting your connection as metered will affect Bluetooth connectivity. If you often use Bluetooth, this might not be the best option for you. Also, this method will not work if you use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to the Internet.
2. Disable the Windows Update Service
The Windows Update Service can detect, download, and install Windows updates and applications. Once disabled, it stops the Windows automatic update feature. Since the Windows Update service is another Windows process, you can stop it by following these simple steps.
1. Press the Win + R keys to open the run command. Type in
services.msc and click OK.
2. From the Services list that appears, locate and click the “Windows Update” option to open it.
3. A Windows Update Properties box will open. In the Startup type (under the “General” tab), and you’ll find the option to configure how you’d want the updates delivered. By default, this option is set to Automatic. You can disable it or change it to manual.
4. Lastly, head over to the “Recovery” tab, and click on it. In the “First failure section,” select “Take no action.” This will help prevent the Update Service from restarting and potentially resetting itself to automatic (default) after it fails to push updates.
5. Click “Apply,” then restart your PC.
Note: if you disable the Windows Update Service, your computer will not be able to download any updates. This will stop all future updates, and the programs will not be able to use the Windows Update Agent (WUA) API.
To re-enable the Windows Update service, repeat the above process but change the startup type to “Automatic.”
3. Stop Automatic Updates by Making Changes in the Group Policy Editor
The Windows 10 Group Policy also has a hidden feature that you can use to disable automatic updates. By tweaking some settings in the Group Policy Editor, you’ll be able to choose how you want the updates delivered. Here’s how to do it:
1. Press the Win + R keys to open the Run command. Type in
gpedit.mscand press “OK” to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.
2. Find the Computer configuration option and click on it. Then navigate to the Administrative Templates folder and click to expand it.
3. Under Administrative Templates, select the “Windows Components” folder and click on it.
The system will open a very long list of the Windows components. At the bottom of the list you’ll find the Windows Update folder. Double-click on the folder to expand it.
4. Look for the “Configure Automatic Updates” option in the services list that will open up. Double-click on it to open more Windows Update configuration settings.
5. A new window will open with more options to configure the Windows updates. Select “Enabled,” then scroll down to the available options and select the “Notify for downloads and notify for install” option from the dropdown list.
6. Click the “Apply” button and exit.
This way, whenever updates are available for your computer, Windows will be notifying you that updates are available for downloads, rather than downloading and updating automatically. You can head over to “Settings -> Windows Update,” and choose to download and install the updates at your most convenient time. Windows will not be able to download or install updates without your permission.
To confirm whether the changes have been effected, launch the Settings app and head to “Updates & Security -> Windows Update -> Advanced options.” You should see a “Notify to download” button that has been grayed out.
If you don’t see a grayed out “notify to download” button, you may have missed a step or used the wrong settings.
The Windows 10 updates are a good thing, as they can help to boost system efficiency and security. But at times, stopping the updates can come in handy, especially when you want to stop a troublesome update from automatically reinstalling.
We hope these workarounds will help you to delay or completely stop Windows 10 forced updates. Feel free to comment and share.