Windows 10 Will Soon Stop Forcing Updates

Windows Manual Updates Featured

One of Windows 10’s most reviled “features” since its release is its update schedule. People frequently reported that the operating system would restart itself during sensitive actions with no easy way to stop it. There are unofficial methods, but Microsoft was always adamant that automatic updates were for the best.

This move was to help users keep their systems secure, offering better protection against zero-day viruses and exploits as they were found. If users were given the choice to delay updates, they may have put it off to the point their PCs got infected by the malware – such was the idea.

The Problem with Automatic Updates

Windows Manual Updates Time

However, we saw Windows Updates causing problems instead of fixing them. The October Update was a notorious example: it saw delays several times because it caused problems with people’s computers. Unfortunately, people found it hard not to download the update because Windows 10 was so keen to get it and automatically download it.

As such, it has become clear that having Windows automatically update itself is a bad thing. Right now Microsoft can’t really be trusted to supply an update that actually works, and people may even ditch the operating system if they continuously get updates that lock up their PCs.

How Microsoft Will Fix It

Windows Manual Updates Technician

Microsoft has announced they’re finally giving users the power to control their updates. It’s scheduled for the May 2019 update, which will see a lot of extra scrutiny being the (hopefully!) last automatic update for the system.

Once it’s out, you can review and download updates manually. You can still check for updates whenever you please, but unlike the current system, this doesn’t automatically download and install the update. At the end of the day you have control over when the update is installed.

Windows Manual Updates Delay

Not only that, but Microsoft promises their updates will be “smarter” with regard to when they’re installed:

“The active hours feature, introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, relies on a manually configured time range to avoid automatically installing updates and rebooting. Many users leave the active hours setting at its 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. default. To further enhance active hours, users will now have the option to let Windows Update intelligently adjust active hours based on their device-specific usage patterns.”

And finally, Microsoft has stated that they’re shifting a focus toward quality updates in the future. With the recent updates leaving a sour taste in users’ mouths, hopefully, Microsoft will follow through with this statement and begin providing quality updates.

Can You Delay Updates Indefinitely?

If you’re looking to prevent updates from happening at all, you’re unfortunately out of luck. You can only put off an update for thirty-five days, after which you need to update the OS in order to re-activate pausing. Still, thirty-five days should be long enough to discover if an update is harmful or not, so there isn’t much reason to keep putting the update off.

Updates on Updates

With Microsoft’s reputation for Windows Updates currently at a very low point, they have to disable automatic updates to give people a chance to avoid bad updates. In the May update, we’ll be able to have more control over when Windows Updates happen.

Does this rebuild your trust in Windows Updates? Or does Microsoft need to do more? Let us know below.

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.


  1. Nope – it really doen’t help out with the Windows Update scenario,
    – folks still wish for the ability to Freeze Updates Completely.

    anything less, will be UN-acceptable.

    most folks won’t care about the differences, if any .. they just wish to use thir machine:
    – that’s why they bought the thing – isn’t it ?.
    ie: updates are Just an Nuisance.

  2. This article perplexes me. The way it is written, it sounds like the coming Feature Update will actually take away some of the flexibility that already exists when it comes to applying updates! I am currently running Windows 10 Pro version 1809, but even when I was running 1803 (May 2018, I believe), I had the ability under “Advanced Options” to postpone a Feature Update up to 365 days, and to postpone a Security Update up to 30 days. In addition, I could select to have feature updates installed when they were considered safe for business, rather than when they were released for “most people”. So, how will the upcoming change be an improvement upon this? Is this only dealing with the Windows 10 Home user segment?

  3. I bought a refurbished PC for the purpose of running Virtual Machines. It came with Windows 10 Pro. After Windows 10 continued to crash my VMs without notice, I installed another OS on that hardware. I just can’t have an operating system that I can’t control reboots.

  4. But what is Microsoft doing? Why do these sheep force us to go through so many options? Why not just a simple option which allows us to have automatic updates or not. Windows 7 was just fine. Why not have the same option? I wish I could hang those who chose to change the option like this.

  5. A delay of 35 days isn’t good enough for mission critical computers that are on 24/7. For example, the SCADA computers I’m working with now use Windows 7 instead of Windows 10. Why? Because they control entire wastewater and freshwater facilities. You can never shut those down because if a pipe bursts spewing wastewater everywhere you need the computer to safely shut it down. You also have legal requirements for residual chlorine levels in freshwater systems that are likewise controlled by a computer.

    Do you want your water to stop working on your home once a month? Probably not.

    For hospitals they probably have similar problems. They can’t upgrade or they risk not having access to patient records when needed.

    For my personal computer I destroyed its ability to update by taking ownership of the folders used by update, then renaming the files with a .bak extension to inactivate, then used a task blocker to listen for and stop processes used by windows update as a precaution. As a result I was never affected by the bad updates, but neither can I get a good update. I find that I updated more on Windows 7 and XP and 9X and I was safe because I got to choose if I updated and when.

Comments are closed.