By default, you can’t change the Windows Update settings in Windows 10 Technical Preview. In this post, I explain how you can disable Windows Update and set it to “Never check for updates” with a little PowerShell script.

Michael Pietroforte

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor in chief of 4sysops. He has more than 35 years of experience in IT management and system administration.

 

Update: This article about the Preview version of Windows 10. In the final release things are different. Please read my new articles about the topic:

Stop automatic updates in Windows 10 RTM (build 10240)

Disable Windows 10 Update in the Registry and with PowerShell

Windows 10 default setting ^

From Microsoft’s point of view, it makes sense to force testers of the Windows 10 Technical Preview to always install the latest updates. Feedback about bugs is only valuable if the installation has the latest updates. I suppose this is why the Windows Update settings are grayed out and configured to Install updates automatically (recommend).

Even if you sign in with administrator privileges, you’ll see the message “Some settings are managed by your system administrator” in the Windows Update setting Control Panel applet.

Windows Update - Some settings are managed by your system administrators

Windows Update - Some settings are managed by your system administrator

The PC settings in the modern interface don’t look much better.

Choose how updates get installed

Choose how updates get installed

When I am testing software, I usually work with linked clones in VirtualBox. If a test takes several days, Windows will automatically install updates if your virtual machine is online. Whenever I am finished with a test, I delete the linked clone and create a new one to ensure that I have a fresh test environment. It can get on your nerves if Windows Update then starts installing updates again. Thus, I always disable Windows Update in my virtual machines and update my master image manually.

With Group Policy ^

A Group Policy setting exists that allows system administrators to change the Windows Update configuration. However, as you will see shortly, this doesn’t bring us much closer to our goal to disable Windows Update. The Configure Automatic Updates setting can be found at Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update.

Group Policy - Configure Automatic Updates

Group Policy - Configure Automatic Updates

As you can see in the screenshot above, you can’t really disable Windows Update here and, if you change the Group Policy setting to Allow local admin to choose setting, you will only get the Control Panel options you see in the screenshot below.

Windows Update settings local admins can change

Windows Update settings local admins can change

The configuration Never check for updates is missing. If you choose Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them, Windows will get on your nerves with update messages during your tests.

With Registry ^

Update: In Windows 10 build 9926 (January build), the Windows Update applet in the Control Panel disappeared. To bring it back you have to copy the text below to a file with the extension REG and then launch the file.

If you want to completely disable Windows Update, you can do this by changing the Registry setting:

If you set AUOptions to “1”, Windows 10 will never check for updates. This is, of course, not recommended. Notice that this will only work if you keep the default configuration of the above-mentioned Group Policy setting.

Never check for updates

Never check for updates

If you choose this setting, please make sure that you update your Windows master image regularly.

With PowerShell ^

The little PowerShell script below shows you what other values exist for AUOptions and allows you to quickly switch between the Window Update settings. Make sure that you launch the REG file I mentioned above first.

Please let me know if you know of other ways to change the Windows Update settings in Windows 10.

Update: This article about the Preview version of Windows 10. In the final release things are different. Please read my new articles about the topic:

Stop automatic updates in Windows 10 RTM (build 10240)

Disable Windows 10 Update in the Registry and with PowerShell

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71 Comments
  1. nishant yadav 5 years ago

    Thankyou sir... your idea for editing registry worked perfectly.....

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  2. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Glad to hear. I guessed I wouldn't be the only one who needs to turn off Windows updates.

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  3. Shubham 5 years ago

    Thanks for your help editing registry worked and by editing AUOption i was able to change setting into any of following four

    Set AUOptions to
    "1 -> Never check for updates (not recommened)"
    "2 -> Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them"
    "3 -> Download updates but let me choose whether to install them"
    "4 -> Install updates automatically (recommended)"

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  4. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Shubham, thanks. The PowerShell script does nothing else than changing AUOption. Spares you the time to navigate to the Registry key.

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  5. Ankit kumar 5 years ago

    Thanks master.you are genius.it works

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  6. Caleb Stevens 5 years ago

    I was unaware that the update block was related to the operating system itself, although that certainly does make sense. I rarely completely disable Windows Update, but I am working on something in a game that I figure will take a year or 2 to complete. If the computer restarts or shuts down while the game is running, I will have to restore the data from a backup. That is inconvenient. Do note that I have set up a macro that plays the game for me so that it can progress while I am away from the computer. 🙂

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  7. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Ankit, I am not a genius, I am just fighting with Windows Update for ages. 😉

    Caleb, unplanned reboots are certainly the biggest problem with automatic updates. I usually also set Windows Update to "Check for updates but let me choose.." on mobile machines. I am often using a mobile WiFi router and mobile data plans are not what you want to use for downloading Windows updates.

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  8. Kelvin Karungu 5 years ago

    Thanks, worked like a charm. The updates are consuming bandwidth & resources unnecessarily. Now I can control when to update or not.

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  9. Hoang Nguyen 5 years ago

    Thanks master. That is what I'm looking for.

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  10. Anonymous 5 years ago

    It works...

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  11. Reinaldo C. Filho 5 years ago

    Thank you sir, the first method for me works like a charm since I only want to leave settings to "Check for updates but let me choose wheter to download and install them" since when my Windows 10 TP X64 was updating itself, it rebooted several times while I let my HD in a defrag or downloading games at Steam or Origin and that was too annoying since when I woke up by morning I saw everything stopped due automatic reboot.

    You sir really made my day, thank you so much.

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  12. Amruth 5 years ago

    Works fine...!!

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  13. M.Ghozali 5 years ago

    Work Fine With Registry Setting.. Thanks

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  14. maddy 5 years ago

    Works perfect am good with manual update rather than never check..

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  15. Gajendra 5 years ago

    works fine....thanks for the help 🙂

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  16. Jean Creed 5 years ago

    Thank you very much! It helped me a lot. I was having problems with a Windows update Technical Preview.

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  17. Cody 5 years ago

    awesome! will it block it from installing new "builds"? trying to stay on 9841

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  18. Umam 5 years ago

    how to edit AUOption?I don't now...

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  19. Amit 5 years ago

    Registry Edit worked...!! Thank you… your idea for editing registry worked perfectly…..

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  20. Nostromov 5 years ago

    Hey, I'm NOT trying to spam the comments; but, WTH is wrong with the Micro$oft engineer who said:

    "0k let's deploy the Windows Technical Preview Build 9841 ISO, but we better make DARN sure that nobody can use Windows Update - and should they try to configure it: 1) completely mess up the manual check that had always worked in all Windows versions and 2) let's scr3w around with all of its options, you know, just for fun."

    (Currently - unsuccessfully, to my satisfaction - testing variant 254. of the above procedure and - oh, yea - I'm certified MS 2012 Server admin, lol, btw. :))

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  21. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Nostromov, I don't think MS did this just for fun. It the nature of a Technical Preview that it is unstable and therefore updates are important. The point about a Preview is that user report bugs, but if they don't have the latest updates these reports become useless.

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  22. Arnav 5 years ago

    A big thanks it worked great !!!!

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  23. Robin Paulose 5 years ago

    I am using windows 8.1. How to stop windows update permanently. I disabled Windows update service, but after 2 days it automatically starts. How to stop the update permanently? Help me...

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  24. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Robin, perhaps the update settings are centrally managed by the admins of your network?

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  25. Robin Paulose 5 years ago

    Sir, how the service can be stopped permanently

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