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.

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:

stop-service wuauserv
set-service wuauserv –startup disabled

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

get-wmiobject win32_service –filter "name='wuauserv'"

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:

set-service wuauserv –startup manual
start-service wuauserv

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.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX]
"IsConvergedUpdateStackEnabled"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings]
"UxOption"=dword:00000000

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

avatar
73 Comments
  1. Keith 8 years ago

    You can also get the old Windows Update Control Panel applet back through a couple of registry tweaks. SAM-R posted the solution here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_update/need-the-old-windows-update-not-the-new-windows/35bc83a7-3aa9-4408-b189-4aa2777e4e11

  2. Keith, thanks a lot! That was exactly what I was looking for. I updated the article accordingly.

  3. Sumon 8 years ago

    Thank you very much!

  4. Ettercap 8 years ago

    For some reason Windows liked to try to install the “updated” windows 7 version of my graphics driver for my laptop that was incompatible so every time it automatically updated I had to reinstall the windows 8.1 version of the driver. You have no idea how thankful I am that someone figured out how to select what was being updated and to notify me to install so much credit to the author for figuring this out. Any idea how to get the security and maintenance flag back down in the notification area icons? I know it was replaced by the notifications but id still like it back down there. Greatly Appreciated!!

  5. mohammad ali 8 years ago

    Hat’s Off sir! I have been searching in the internet for the solution, fortunately I found a solution in your website and that works for me

  6. Jack 7 years ago

    A great article on disabling Windows Update service. I discovered much to my dismay that this service will automatically turn back on after a certain length of time. To prevent this: Disable Windows Update service as described. Then click on the Recovery tab at the top of Windows Update Properties. Set all 3 failure options to: Take No Action.

  7. Leandro 7 years ago

    Sorry gentlemans, in english:

    I recently received a message that the Windows system will reboot at random times after the 15th of this m

    How to avoid this?

  8. Jack 7 years ago

    I have not seen that message yet. It sounds like microsoft is forcing us to update to a newer build.

  9. Pravin 7 years ago

    Thanks for the multiple choice options. Its really irritating that about 1 GB of bandwidth is used every month without users knowledge and it keep updating without fixed time. The limited snail speed of my internet is eaten by the update and I was getting very slow browsing speed.
    Finally got the solution. Thanks.
    I will download the complete ISO of new build and dont download every update.

  10. Diamant 7 years ago

    thank you very much 🙂

    I had the same issue like #Ettercap

    graphiccard Drivers wasn’t compatible

    I was about to downgrade to w8

    thank you

  11. gui 7 years ago

    any Lucky with the Windows update in control panel in recent builds?

  12. Nikita 7 years ago

    Thank you You made life easier dealing with in numerous virtual machines

  13. Wolfgang Pfeiffer 7 years ago

    Michael, Keith: Thanks a lot …. 🙂

    A few minutes ago I found an article on German bild.de, telling their readers they might not be able to switch off automatic updates on W10. From that moment on it was clear for me I’d probably never ever upgrade from 8.1 to 10, given the MS update history until just a few months ago …

    So you can imagine how much you really saved my day … 🙂

    Again: Thank you very much, to everyone involved to fix of the issue …

  14. Kein Bild 7 years ago

    That’s the problem with reading Bild Zeitung!!!!!

  15. danwat1234 7 years ago

    Does disabling the Windows Update service work for Windows 10 home edition? A lot of articles are saying that you can’t disable the updates but doesn’t mention this basic method. Maybe they are all newbs and haven’t tried it?
    If that isn’t available, we could just delete the WIndows Update executable?

  16. Wolfgang Pfeiffer 7 years ago

    @Kein Bild:

    It isn’t, obviously, the problem with bild.de. Because I owe bild.de at least the info about the problem, that in the end let me find the article here ..

    @everyone:
    But meantime: even with the registry hack mentioned here W10 will be relatively sure a no-go for me – until MS clearly and explicitly explains that all users of W10 will have a system-provided choice of selecting or deselecting updates at their own discretion. Forcing the status of a lab rat onto software users won’t fly with me ….

    And how can I be sure that with the next W10 update – no matter whether done automatically or manually by the user – the registry solution mentioned here will not be disabled?

  17. Komado 7 years ago

    thanks man you helped me out alot

  18. Chris 7 years ago

    I don’t have enough palms to facepalm at Microsoft …

  19. Koen 7 years ago

    When I try to execute the reg-file I get a notification that either the key is being used by system processes or that I am not allowed to make such a change. Can anyone help me how to get around this? I am an enthousiastic user but I must admit I’m quite new to these things… Thanks!

  20. Someone 7 years ago

    Registry hack does not work in RTM (Access denied).

  21. Stan Rames 7 years ago

    While that works…if 10 has the “log in” option still working, I learned on XP and later the hated 8 series, to go there and disable the profile, Only way I ever found to stop them from forcing updates down your throat…and you may recall the day I figured this out, when Redmond decided WGA was “critical update” and wrote it to overwrite your settings.
    After 8, there is no way I would use a newer OS from them clowns.
    Playing with Ubuntu.
    Stan

  22. Noodle 7 years ago

    It appears the general release (at least the home edition…) has been guarded against registry hacks pretty heavily. It denies access when attempting to run the script, and gives a different error when attempting to manually change the values in regedit, even when running regedit as administrator. The values are there in regedit, but the system won’t allow them to change.

  23. Caleb 7 years ago

    Installed W10 Pro yesterday.
    Not sure if its just my “genius fiddling” for a long time or because they installed some updates returning the option for “Pros” today, but I have managed to turn the selection of “Notify before download and notify before reboot” on in Windows Update.. I have yet to see if it actually adheres to it or not (no new updates to be downloaded yet).

    Run gpedit.msc and change Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update -> Configure Automatic Updates to enabled, and select option 2 (Notify for download and notify for install).

    Your suggestion for the preview version (option 5 – allow admin to pick, which I would prefer) no longer works of course, but will instead make Windows Update switch to fully automatic.

    But option 2 seems to work as “Notify to download” is suddenly what my Settings screen is now showing as my option (greyed out so it can be changed ONLY through the policy editor or registry.).

    Notice, that the setting under Advanced Options only update after you click “check to updates” after making a policy change in gpedit. Before that, it looks like nothing changed.. Probably because it needs to run the Windows Update background service to update/recognize to the new policy.

  24. Dinn 7 years ago

    I managed, in the general release, after some shenanigans with registry permissions and ownership, to successfully merge the registry edits. Despite this, I’m still not seeing the WU applet in the control panel. Does anyone know if there’s any hope to this?

  25. Someone413 7 years ago

    Dinn, could you tell us how exactly did you change the registry permissions?

Leave a reply to danwat1234 Click here to cancel the reply

Please enclose code in pre tags

Your email address will not be published.

*

© 4sysops 2006 - 2022

CONTACT US

Please ask IT administration questions in the forums. Any other messages are welcome.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account