How to Turn Off Automatic Windows 10 Updates?

by Jake Doe - -
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Question

Issue: How to Turn Off Automatic Windows 10 Updates?

To put it straightforwardly, is it possible to prevent Windows 10 from downloading updates automatically? I have when after leaving my PC on overnight I find it restarted due to the auto updates. I’m using Windows 10 Pro.

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Solved Answer

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Microsoft wants all devices running Windows 10 OS to be fully supplemented with security patches and the latest improvements to keep the best performance. Consequently, Windows 10 updates are set to be downloaded and installed automatically. This Microsoft’s choice is praiseworthy from the IT specialists’ viewpoint because Windows users often forget to check and install the latest updates manually, thereby putting the system at the risk. Nevertheless, many people opt for deferring or completely disabling automatic Windows 10 updates due to the errors that updates call out, unwanted changes, forced system shutdowns or other reasons. Although IT specialists highly recommend keeping automatic Windows Update service enabled, it’s up to you whether to keep it or not. The problem is that Microsoft does not allow all Windows 10 OS users to take control over the updates. Currently, only Windows 10 Pro and higher versions have an option to disable auto-updates using Local Group Policy Editor or the Registry. If you are determined to turn off auto Windows Updates and the OS type you are using allows this, the instructions below will explain what you should do.

How to prevent Windows 10 from downloading and installing updates automatically?

Solution 1. Disable forced restarts after the updates

If you are not using Windows Professional, Enterprise, or Education, you will not be allowed to disable automatic Windows Update service. However, if the main problem you want to restrain updates from installing is forced shutdowns that frequently cause data loss and similar inconveniences, at least you can disable forced reboot using the Registry Editor.

  • Click Win key + R, type regedit, and hit Enter.
  • Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU directory.
  • The part WindowsUpdate\AU has to be created manually. For this purpose, click Windows key, go to New -> Key.
  • Type WindowsUpdate and press Enter.
  • Then right-click on the WindowsUpdate key, navigate your mouse on New -> Key.
  • Type AU in the opened window and press Enter.
  • Then, select AU Key from the left pane, right-click on the right pane, navigate to New, and select DWORD (32-bit).
  • Type NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and press Enter afterward.
  • Change the value of the new key to 1.
  • Finally, click OK and reboot your PC.

Solution 2. Modify Windows Update settings using the Local Group Policy Editor

If you are using Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education, you are free to stop automatic Windows updates via the Local Group Policy Editor:

  • Press Windows key + R, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.
  • Navigate to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update.
  • Locate the Configure Automatic Updates policy on the right pane and double-click it.
  • Select Enabled and then find the following Options:
    • 2 – “Notify for download and notify for install.”
    • 3 – “Auto download and notify for install.”
    • 4 – “Auto download and schedule the install.”
    • 5 – “Allow local admin to choose setting.”
  • Select the option that you prefer and click Apply.
  • Press OK to save the changes.

Experts highly recommend sticking to the option 2. This option will keep you aware of the available updates, but none of them will be installed unless you open Updates & Security via Settings and install the updates manually.

In case you would decide to enable automatic Windows Updates, follow the instructions above and Disable  Configure Automatic Updates policy.

IMPORTANT: Automatic updates ensure that your OS is fully up-to-date, therefore, preventing security vulnerabilities and patching the existent Windows 10 bugs. Therefore, carefully weigh all pros and cons before disabling automatic Windows 10 updates.

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