In Windows 10 build 9926 (January build), Microsoft removed the ability to turn off Automatic Updates. The registry setting that allowed you to disable Windows Update in the previous build of Windows 10 no longer works. However, it is still possible to deactivate Automatic Updates.

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

If you read my recent blog post, you know that I support an aggressive update policy. However, I also think that forcing users to download updates is a very bad idea, even in a Technical Preview. I hope Microsoft will offer the option to disable Windows Update entirely in Windows 10 RTM. I don’t want to go into arguments again; let’s just discuss the options we have to get rid of the Automatic Updates.

If you are searching for the Windows Update applet in the old Control Panel, you will search in vain. Windows Update is now available only as a modern app (should I really call this a Windows Store app?). (Update: There is a way to bring back the old Update applet. See end of text.) You can find it by typing “windows update” in the new search box on the Windows taskbar. To change the update behavior, you have to click Advanced options.

Windows Update in Windows 10 build 9926

Windows Update in Windows 10 build 9926

Windows Update applet in Control Panel missing ^

It appears Microsoft is fiercely determined to force Windows 10 users to always install the latest updates. The latest build, 9926, only offers two update options: Automatic (recommended) and Notify to schedule restart. The latter option won’t download updates over a metered connection, and you will be asked to schedule a restart to finish installing updates.

Advanced Windows Update options

Advanced Windows Update options

Changing the network settings to turn off updates ^

The easiest way to turn off Automatic Updates is to simply unplug the network cable or, if you are testing in a virtual environment, to assign the virtual network adapter to an internal network. If you want to access the Internet with your Windows 10 machine, this option is not really the one you want.

If you connect your Windows machine through a WiFi network, you can set the connection to a metered connection. (Click the network symbol in the systray and then right-click the connection.) This should prevent Windows 10 from downloading updates. A downside of this method is that it will affect the behavior of other applications, such as OneDrive.

The registry hack I outlined in a previous post no longer works. The corresponding registry settings are still available; however, they appear to have no effect on the update behavior of Windows 10 build 9926. I am unaware of a new registry setting that works in the January build. If you do, please post a comment. (See end of text)

Disabling the Windows Update service ^

However, we have another option to turn off Automatic Updates altogether. All we need to do is stop the Windows Update service and make sure that it won’t start again. I recommend to first check if updates are currently downloaded; if so, wait until all updates are installed. Then, type “services” in the Windows 10 search box and click View Local Services.

Windows Update service

Windows Update service

Scroll down to Windows Update and double-click the service. Set the startup type to Disabled. If the service is already running, click Stop. After the service has stopped, click OK.

Disable the Windows Update service

Disable Windows Update service

If you now click Check for Updates in the Windows Update app, you should see a reassuring error message:

Error message -There were some problems installing updates

Error message: There were some problems installing updates

Yup, that is all we wanted: “some problems installing updates.”

If you want to later enable Automatic Updates again, you have to first set the startup type of the Windows Update service to Manual and then start the service.

If you plan to switch Automatic Updates on and off frequently, you can do so with this tiny PowerShell script, which you have to run with administrator privileges:

If you want to verify if the service is really disabled, you need the Get-WMIObject cmdlet:

Stop Windows Update service with PowerShell

Stop Windows Update service with PowerShell

Amazingly, the Get-Service cmdlet in PowerShell 5 still doesn’t support reading the startup type.

To enable Windows Update, you need these commands:

Start Windows Update service with PowerShell

Start Windows Update service with PowerShell

Please let me know if you know of another way to deactivate Automatic Updates in Windows 10.

Registry hack for bringing back Windows Update in Control Panel ^

Update: The registry setting that Keith mentioned in a comment works. Copy the text below to a REG file and then launch the file. This will bring back the old Windows Update applet in the Control Panel. You can then follow the procedure in my previous post to disable Windows Update.

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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73 Comments
  1. rameez 4 years ago

    I am getting a problem in window 10 my play store, outlook and skype is not responding.

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  2. Dj 4 years ago

    Thank you......like a million times!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Saif 4 years ago

    Well Nice Article..
    But i Found some thing which adds an option in the update settings "Never Check For Updates" as it was in previous Windows. By this Windows doesn't check for updates Automatically so it doesnt installs.

    You can check that here. http://www.mytechalbum.com/how-to-disable-automatic-updates-in-windows-10/

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  4. mln 4 years ago

    Thanks a lot

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  5. Paula 4 years ago

    The "metered" solution is no solution to those of us in rural communities who are barely scraping by with a satellite connection (i.e., Ethernet! NOT "WiFi" or mobile!!!!). Or to many others (some of whom commented above) who do NOT have WiFi/mobile as their primary (or even possible) Internet access.

    On my satellite connection, I get 10GB of data a month. Period. I work from home, and that is NOT a lot of data. There is a "free data" period every night from midnight to 5 am, and that is when I have generally downloaded any software that I need, including Windows updates. I have always regularly updated Windows, but I have my system set to let me choose when -- specifically because of the serious data caps I deal with. To have Microsoft now tell me that *IT* will choose when to chew up vast amounts of my limited data allowances because I can't even be allowed to specify that unstoppable automatic updates be done during an off-peak, non-metered period is offensive, insulting, and financially damaging to me.

    Are you listening, Microsoft? Do you understand that not everyone is on a WiFi connection? Do you GET that you don't HAVE to be on a WiFi connection to be effectively "metered"?!?!?!

    Please add Ethernet/LAN connections to those that users can mark as "metered." If you're going to take away our freedom and flexibility and treat us like 4-year-olds for your convenience, could you at least give us the laughably minimal control over WHEN in a 24-hour period you push a ton of unwanted data at us?

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  6. Mo'men 4 years ago

    Thanks 🙂 it worked

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  7. kevin 4 years ago

    Thx a lot. its really help me Since i have a limited quote on my modem. if this were not show Online, my monthly use of 5Gb will end up in just 1 day bcs of the Update. Thx a lot. Your The Best (y)

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  8. Elly D 4 years ago

    Thank you for this article. It was really helpful. I now disabled the updates as it was very annoying to let them run without my consent.

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  9. Rajesh Thakur 4 years ago

    Thanks for overcoming the compulsion imposed by Microsoft. Directions were helpful.

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  10. Atik khandoker 4 years ago

    Thank you So much. Really work well.

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  11. basit 4 years ago

    thankx  alot

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  12. Panah 4 years ago

    IT WORKS.

    thanks a lot mate. you helped me out

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  13. Rene 3 years ago

    Thank you so much for this advise. I live in an area with intemittent internet, hence updates are interrupted and never completed. It messed up all my Microsoft Office 2016 licenses.

    Your little trick to turn automatic update off is a lifesaver.

    BIG thanks!

    Rene

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  14. Alex Shong 3 years ago

    Not everyone needs Windows updates. Sometime updates do more harm than help. Windows 10 disallow disabling the updates. They take time and have some unexpected effects. However, Windows 10 allow the uninstalling of the updates. Why? Time means money and who can afford spending time in vain?

    Alex

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  15. Len 3 years ago

    hi, any way to schedule the update downloads  to run only between certain times, over a Ethernet connection?

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  16. Jubilee G. 3 years ago

    Thank you for writing this BEAUTIFUL article! After having several lags with these automatic Windows 10 updates...then the blue screen of death shortly after it restarted itself after an update, I decided ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH! I even had to re-install windows...

    ^_^ Thank you for helping me to stop these automatic updates. Sometimes they don't work and we should always have a choice of what updates we allow on our PC.

    Take care!

    ~Jubilee G.

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  17. Tomley 3 years ago

    Got to hand it to you. So far so good. Got the free Windows 10 (from Windows 7) in July. Worked fine for about a month. Then I had to refresh a website or page change 4-5 times before it would come up. Every time! Uninstalled every update that came after the original Windows 10 download except for one. No matter what it would not go away. It was a Windows "Anniversary Build". I forget the number. Rolled back to the original Windows 10 install and disabled Windows Updates. People at Microsoft community told me it wouldn't stay disabled for long so I pinned a shortcut to Local Services to task bar and check it every day. Almost 4 months now and everything still working fine and Windows Updates still disabled. Thank you.

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  18. John 3 years ago

    Thanks. I'm old and don't understand much about these things you call "computers" but your instructions were easy to follow.

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  19. Xen 3 years ago

    On the Latest Windows 10, I have the service disabled.

     

    It *still* installs updates.

     

    I have now blocked wuauclt.exe and svchost.exe. Hope it works.

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  20. Neil 3 years ago

    I found below video and tested, it worked like charm.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23CgW7ycd5I

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  21. Walter 2 years ago

    Windows Update in Services keeps switching to manual after I Disable.  Same with Update Orchestrator  Service. Anyway to keep it off permanently?

    1+

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