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. Mohammad H 5 years ago

    hi
    if i use registry setting , can i sure no updates will be downloaded?

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  2. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Mohammad, the registry setting no longer works in Windows 10 build 9926 (January build). I am currently working on a new article that explains how you can turn off automatic updates in build 9926.

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  3. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    I just published the new guide for build 9926.

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  4. regexaurus 5 years ago

    Hi Michael, thanks for sharing your informative posts. Over the years, I've found myself returning to 4sysops for answers and to improve my not-so-mad Windows skillz. 🙂
    I'm running the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a Dell Precision M2400. Yeah...
    This problem isn't new to Windows 10 (had the same problem with Windows 7 on this system), but the system is unusable with the "appropriate" Nvidia graphics drivers. With Microsoft's generic Basic Display Adapter driver, the system runs pretty much flawlessly. But something (Windows Update, I think) persists in installing the Nvidia drivers. With the Nvidia drivers installed, usually within seconds of signing in, I get an nvlddmkm.sys related VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE Windows stop error. To get around, I reboot to safe mode, uninstall the various NVIDIA driver components from Programs and Features, and reboot. This time I did a Cortana search for 'device installation settings' and selected the local 'Change device installation settings - Control Panel' search result. I selected the options 'No, let me choose what to do' and 'Never install driver software from Windows Update' and unchecked the option 'Automatically get the device app and info provided by your device manufacturer.' Hopefully that takes care of the persistent-but-problematic video drivers.

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  5. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    regexaurus, thanks! You can also disable automatic device driver installation in the Devices and Printers Control Panel applet. You have to right-click the computer icon.

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  6. brazilianstranger 5 years ago

    Thank you very much, Michael. I had upgraded my Windows 8.1 install to the tech preview, and it automatically installed unwated Office updates for programs I don't even have (an old Microsoft bug they don't care enough to fix).

    Thanks to your guide, I'm giving Windows 10 another try. I've successfully disabled and hidden the those updates.

    Now my only complaint is that I can't disable web searches from the new start menu. I've installed Classic Shell to search only locally.

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  7. Shisho 5 years ago

    Thank you very much, Michael. It's rare to see professional like y. Help me with this.My build is 9926. I receive upd Realtek High Definition Audio and error 0x800705b4. I uninstall Eset Smart Sequrity 8 check that Win Defender is on, try again install and take the same error. Where is the problem?

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  8. Stephen 5 years ago

    Is there a way to revert back to the previous settings?

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  9. Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

    Stephen, I think you can just delete the Registry key that you created.

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  10. hakim mia 5 years ago

    thanks you but let me tell you that i am not computer student but i have installed win 10 built 9926 and i am now iritated with win update and ur article is so soothing and i tried following ur fist method and yes it didn't work but problem it that i don't get ur second method and i don't know how to edit registry and how to do it ..do you have any video showing these steps or can you rcecoment further for any video tutorials ..thank you please sent it to my email hamikmia506@gmail.com

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  11. mithilesh chaurasiya 5 years ago

    wow it worked ..hey i am from nepal and i found it very useful and once i done it looks not working but once i restarted my lappy it showed the same way ...i could stop these downloads ..thanx
    lots of love from #nepal

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  12. Yaniv 5 years ago

    Thanks dude.
    reg file worked great. i've exported it to 2 reg files one for disabling autoupdate and another for re-enabling autupdates. and try to play with it it works any time great!

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  13. Florin 5 years ago

    I`m ok with updates i just don`t want to update my drivers with the ones supplied by MS. Too bad that the old settings that blocked driver updates doesn`t work anymore in 10.

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  14. Ross 5 years ago

    Thanks for this article. It seems as though setting the group policy to "Disabled" will disable the automatic updates without changing the registry settings.

    Might be worth adding in for those who want to disable updates but aren't comfortable with registry edits.

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  15. Dedee 4 years ago

    wow............thank you dis is da best site ever for disabling
    der are lots of viedeos though but der only touch da surface thank you....thank you...!!1

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  16. Aldrin 4 years ago

    how to go to control panel and change the Windows Update setting once done in Group Policy

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  17. cengiz 4 years ago

    Nice , works great
    thanks

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  18. a 4 years ago

    just disable windows update service in msconfig

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  19. bobbi 4 years ago

    1. Just because I bought Windows does *not* mean Microsoft own's my machine, Bill's W10 minions notwithstanding.

    2. "Bill Knows Best" is *not* "Truth" with a Capital-T, and that rhymes with "P", and that means "Problems", right here in Windows City! (h/t Robert Preston)

    3. Once I've built a stable image and deployed boxes with that image, I'll be hornswaggled if Bill gets final say on the risks I'll tolerate in my environment of applying patches or so-called "upgrades" against the value I assign to a stable, consistent and well-defined platform.

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  20. Jerry D. Trolinger 4 years ago

    Afte (and possibly r or even earlier)o erking with IBM mainframe operating
    Systems since around 1967, I would never allow any operating system updates to be installed automatically. I currently have 3 Windows 8.1 Systems, 2 Windows 7 systems, 3 Windows XP systems, and 1 Windows 95 SE2 systems. I also use virtual systems (e.g. DOSBOX and VirtualBox in order to be able to run various versions of LINUX as well as various versions of very old MS (and other versions) of DOS. (In addition I also run emulators for some game console emulators .as well as Apple Ii emulators.
    (In case anyone is interested, I also have the necessary equipment for Betamax and VHS tapes, as well as vinyl discs (ranging from 78 45 , 33 1/3, to 16 2/3 transcription discs,, as well as sizes from 5 inch to 16 inchas) various speed reel-to-reel magnetic tapes, various speed audio cassette tapes (including the mini size), and even the mini disc used by Sony at one time. And in addition I deal with Blu-ray as well as regular DVDs, and SACD's as well as regular DVDs. And as a final complication, I want to support NTSC, NTSC4.3, SECAM, ME-SECAM,all DVD region codes 1-9 and 0. and Blu-ray various regions. (and, oh yes older 12" laserdiscs).
    Finally, various 5 1/4 inch floppy discs, 3 1/4 floppy discs, and even a few 8 inch floppy discs.
    In other words, I need to retain a way to access any electronic (etc.) media that dates from as early as 1950 (or even earlier).
    So, any automatic updates that could cause some kind of impact (breaking any access to any media) could cause a problem for me.
    All I really want/need IA a way to maintain my current approach to updates such that nothing is automatic, other than a simple notification that updates are now available and I can download and install them as/when/how I wish to.
    A computer of any type is not a 'toaster' that can be operated by anyone that is not willing to spend at least a minimum of time to study and learn enough to at least be literate in the use.
    All I can say.

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  21. Vince 4 years ago

    Thank you Michael for this solution which would have been a deal breaker for upgrading to Windows 10. One of the things that Microsoft doesn't realize is that most development teams in vertical markets can keep up with the stream of updates and testing of their software against Microsoft's changes. More often than not an update will "break" many things to fix a security issue or other flaw. In a production environment it is critical to have stable systems and updates can break those systems once applied. Having the ability to roll out updates after they have been thoroughly tested with production apps is critical for business. Thanks again for this hack that will save many users from the headaches of update bugs. Cheers - Vince

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  22. BitFracture 4 years ago

    Unfortunately this doesn't seem to work on the Home version of the official release. Modifying the registry made no change to the UI or the update behavior. I wonder if the home edition now has a safeguard against this?

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  23. Blair 4 years ago

    I do not see this on my W10 setup! The only thing I can do, Is disable updates from the services section! This is insane! Not long ago, Actually just last year! Microsoft released a update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 that caused many people's computers to become unstable! And they had to turn off auto updates because of that! So why is Bill Vaccine Gates suddenly pushing auto updates? Also 90% of all gamers only use manual updates, Because windows update can sometimes pull heavy on the CPU while gaming! This is just absolutly absurd! Something tells me Windows 10 is going to be a even bigger failure than Windows 8!

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  24. Pietro 4 years ago

    Hello Michael,

    unfortunately this workaround doesn't seem to be working on 10240 RTM Windows 10 Professional.

    Is there another way we can get back the feature to be notified when a new update is available and to let us decide whether to download and install the update or not?

    I am often on the go I use phone data plan. This new way of receiving updates is a major pain in the butt.

    Thanks

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  25. Pietro 4 years ago

    For all those who are looking to bring back the future that lets you decide when to download and install updates on 10240 RTM, follow this very simple tutorial and you will be good to go. http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/8013-windows-update-automatic-updates-enable-disable-windows-10-a.html

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