Disable Windows 10 Update in the Registry and with PowerShell

In this post, you will learn how to disable Windows Update in Windows 10 with Registry settings. I also posted a little PowerShell script that allows you to quickly switch between the five (hidden) automatic update options.
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Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in IT management and system administration.
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It appears blogging about Windows Update in Windows 10 has become my new passion. This is my fourth post about the topic, and I am sure it won’t be the last.

With Group Policy ^

A previous post explained how you can disable Windows Update with the Group Policy Editor (Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update).

After I published the article, I learned that disabling the policy is equivalent to option 1 (Never check for updates [not recommended]) in previous Windows versions.

Disable Automatic Updates in the Group Policy Editor

Disable Automatic Updates in the Group Policy Editor

This inspired me to look for the corresponding Registry keys. For some reason, Microsoft keeps moving the location of the settings with every new Windows release.

In the Registry ^

In Windows 10 (final release), the Registry settings for automatic updates can be found here: HKLM:SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\. However, the WindowsUpdate key will only be created after you change the settings with the Group Policy Editor, and Windows will delete the key if you set the policy to “Not Configured.”

If you take a closer look at the Registry key, you will notice that it is in a Policies folder. Because Windows 10 Home doesn’t support Group Policy, these settings can’t be used for this Windows edition. Thus, you can use the procedures described here only with Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise.

If you really need to turn off automatic updates in Windows 10 Home, you can disable the Windows Update service as I described in my previous post. If I learn about the Registry settings for Windows 10 Home, I will post them here.

To disable Windows Update in the other Windows 10 editions, you have to set NoAutoUpdate to 1 in
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU.
If the corresponding keys don’t exist, you have to create them.

You can also copy the contents of the code below to a file with the extension .reg and then double-click it.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for what my guide will do to your computer. These changes are not documented, and you follow my instructions at your own risk!

Note that new settings become active in the Windows Update app only after you check for new updates. Even rebooting the computer does not activate the settings.

The Never check for automatic updates settings in Windows 10

The “Never check for automatic updates” setting in Windows 10

As you can see in the screenshot above, you will no longer be able to change the automatic update settings in the Windows Update app. If you want to enable automatic updates again, you simply have to delete the WindowsUpdate key with its sub keys. This is what the REG file below will do when you double-click it.

With PowerShell ^

Group Policy offers more options than the Windows Update app offers in Windows 10. If you want to quickly switch between the different settings without navigating to the corresponding folder in the Group Policy Editor, you can run the little PowerShell script below. Make sure that you have admin rights and that you configured the PowerShell execution policy accordingly.

I didn’t implement all settings that the policy offers. For instance, I didn’t include the fifth option (Allow local admin to choose setting) because it has no effect on standalone machines.

I added the options for the scheduled time to configure when Windows will reboot after installing the updates, but you have to edit the values in the script if you want to use this feature. Note that these settings only have meaning if you use option 4 (Auto download and schedule the install). You can find out what the values mean if you in the Group Policy Editor. Also note that the scheduled time only affects updates that have not yet been downloaded and installed.

The script essentially mimics the actions of the Group Policy Editor when you choose between the different options or when you disable the policy. I added the values ScheduledInstallDay and ScheduledInstallTime to options 2 (Notify for download and notify for install) and 3 (Auto download and notify for install) because the Group Policy Editor does the same when you select these settings. But I guess it is not required.

Note that the script always deletes all previous automatic update settings including those that you configured with the Group Policy Editor.

As always, use at your own risk!

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18 Comments
  1. avatar
    Jack 2 years ago

    Thanks for all this! Working great for me! Question: After doing a "Check for Updates", is there an option to chose WHICH updates one wants to install? I'm currently up to date with all my updates so I have nothing to choose at this time anyway. Just wondering if I'll get that option when there is something?

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  2. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte
    Michael Pietroforte 2 years ago

    Jack, you can’t really choose which updates to install on a standalone machine. However, if you have Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise you can defer upgrades, that is, updates that bring new features. You can also prevent that particular updates are installed (such as faulty drivers) with Microsoft’s show-or-hide update tool. If the machine is part of a corporate network, you have more options as I explained here.

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  3. avatar
    Jack 2 years ago

    Thanks, Michael!

    Yeah, I don't like the deferral option very much. It's only temporary and the updates WILL get installed eventually. As for the MS tool, I have that as well. Unfortunately it only works AFTER an update has been installed for the first time. Can be a little inconvenient as well.

    I suppose minor points, but IMO are the worst things about Windows 10. I have it on three stand alone machines and am enjoying it so far (after a couple work-arounds like this one and fixing title bar colors :>))

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  4. avatar
    mastapat 2 years ago

    Great article! Is there a reg key or PS script for Windows 10 update to set "how updates are delivered" so that you can pick the 'PCs on my local network' option. I've also been looking to find if there is a GPO I can set to do this?

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  5. avatar
    Name Undisclosed 1 year ago

    It doesn't work for me on powershell or registry.
    Thanks.

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  6. avatar
    Tony 1 year ago

    hi there Michael, i tried many ways already and still cant manage to disable the windows update. i am using windows 10 currently. So is it rewally impossible to disable the automatic update function like in previous win 7, XP and etc ?? If i disable and stop the windows update in the "sevices" will it stop downloading the update for my win 10 ? And will it also stop updating my other program like flash player those things ? Cause i actually just want to stop updating my win 10 only and not other program .... Hope to hear from you asap ya , thanks bro ..

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  7. Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte

    Tony, disabling automatic updates in Windows 10 only affects Windows and not the software of third party vendors.

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    • avatar
      Bob Kwasny 2 months ago

      Michael,

      Do you paste the whole line in PowerShell?

      Write-Host "0 -> Change setting in Windows Update app (default)"

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      • Profile gravatar of Michael Pietroforte Author
        Michael Pietroforte 2 months ago

        Bob, you shouldn't paste the script line by line into a PowerShell console. You have to save the script as file with a .ps1 extension and then execute the entire script from a PowerShell console.

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  8. avatar
    Mike M 1 year ago

    Since I installed win 10 on 3 system, i've been going over my limited cap of 400GB a month.
    Win 10 maybe fast and small but the continuously dl daily, sucks the big one...
    Win 10 Failed!!! and I disable all the wincrap updates. Something is hidden and wrong with it 🙁
    not happy. maybe i should go back to win 7, if not drop windows.

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  9. avatar
    Dustin 1 year ago

    How do you disable/re-enable changing defer upgrades option in windows 10 pro? I'm only looking to gray this option out via registry vs group policy.

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  10. avatar
    Ben 1 year ago

    How do I change this back to enable updates?

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  11. avatar
    Rom 1 year ago

     

    Thanks for this article !

    The Group Policy option works perfectly.

     

    Now i have the “Never check for automatic updates” setting, but manual update still works !

    What can i do to prevent manual updates ?

    (Disabling the Windows Update is not a good solution because it's used to install ".msu" packages...)

     

    Thanks

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  12. avatar
    Rom 1 year ago

    Disabling the Windows Update Service *

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  13. avatar
    Harshana 7 months ago

    Maintaining a WSUS server

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  14. avatar
    Manoj 3 weeks ago

    Thank you very much Michael. I am using a limited plan and was fed up with the automatic update of Windows. Now I know how to resolve the issue. Thanks again.

    Happy Sunday !

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  15. avatar
    Frank 4 days ago

    Thank you very much. Worked for us on Windows 10 Enterprise x64 1607 very well! Looking forward to test the script on Win10 1703 or later!

    Best wishes!

    0

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