- Why Should I Block Windows Updates?
Windows updates often frustrate users, as they take a long time to complete and may interfere with other software applications. However, updates are essential for maintaining the health and security of our computers. Despite their importance, sometimes it may not be practical or convenient to perform updates, and they can cause problems for other software.
Automatic updates, in particular, can be problematic if they occur at an inopportune time. This article will guide how to stop and reverse updates if they cause issues with your PC or disrupt your work.
Why Should I Block Windows Updates?
Someone might want to block Windows Update on their PC for a few reasons. Here are some possible causes, each with a brief explanation:
- Personal Preference: Some people prefer control over their system updates and disable automatic updates.
- Limited Internet Connection: Automatic updates can consume a lot of bandwidth and data, which can be problematic for those with little or metered Internet connections.
- Compatibility Issues: New updates may not always be compatible with specific software or hardware configurations, which can cause issues for users who rely on these programs or devices.
- Potential for System Errors: Occasionally, new updates can introduce bugs or other errors that cause user problems. As a result, some people may choose to disable automatic updates to avoid these issues.
- Security Concerns: While regular updates are essential for maintaining system security, some users may be concerned about potential vulnerabilities or exploits introduced by new updates. As a result, users sometimes prefer to wait until an update has been thoroughly tested before installing it.
While disabling automatic updates can be a good choice for some users, keeping your system up to date is generally recommended to ensure it remains secure and stable.
Method 1: Disable Windows Updates Via the Settings Menu
You can modify the Windows Update settings by accessing the Windows Settings on your PC, which may be more familiar to you. This method may be more straightforward for some users, but remember, it is a temporary solution.
To temporarily disable updates through the Windows Settings, follow these steps:
- First, tap on the Start menu and select Settings.
- Then, click Windows Update on the Settings page.
- Next, click on the Advanced options tab.
- From the dropdown menu, select the date you would like to pause automatic updates. Please note that Windows only allows you to pause updates for up to 35 days or five weeks.
Although this method is not permanent, it is an excellent solution if you only need to pause your updates briefly. Then, you don’t have to worry about your PC becoming severely outdated because automatic updates will eventually turn back on themselves.
Method 2: Disable Windows Update Using Services.msc
To disable automatic updates on Windows, follow these steps:
- First, use the Win + R keyboard shortcut to start the Run dialog box and type in “services.msc” to access your PC’s service settings.
- In the Services window that appears, scroll down and locate Windows Update, then double-click on it to open its settings.
- Under the “Windows Update Properties”, select Disabled from the “Startup type” dropdown menu.
- Click OK to save the changes, and then restart your PC to apply the new settings.
By following these steps, you can permanently disable Windows automatic updates. Then, if you later decide to enable updates again, follow the same steps and change the “Startup type” to “Automatic”.
Method 3: Stop Windows from Downloading Via the Registry
The method to stop automatic updates using the Registry is essentially the same, regardless of which version of Windows you’re using. Follow these steps:
- Hold the Windows key + R to bring up the Run window, and type “regedit“.
- In the Registry Editor, look for the key that records whether your system can download Windows. Use the options on the left side and navigate to the following location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > WindowsUpdate > OSUpgrade.
- Right-click on the key name and select “New” > “DWORD (32-bit) Value“.
- A new value called “New Value #1” will be created. Rename it to “AllowOSUpgrade”.
- Double-click on AllowOSUpgrade and set the “Value data” to 0.
- Exit the Registry Editor and restart your PC to complete the process.
Note: You can also open “Settings” > “Update & Security” and click on “Check for updates” to force the changes to take effect without having to restart your computer.
Although the initial instructions may vary depending on your Windows version, the method remains the same.
Method 4: Set a Metered Connection to Stop Windows Updates
Setting up a metered Internet connection temporarily prevents your Windows PC from updating. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- Click on “Wi-Fi” on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Click on “Manage known networks“.
- On the new page that opens, click on the Wi-Fi network you use and click “Properties“.
- Toggle “Set as metered connection” to “On”.
Note that there may be better solutions than setting a metered connection for you, as it might cause trouble in other processes too. For example, features such as OneDrive may fail to update or back up information. However, it should prevent automatic updates on your PC.
Blocking Windows updates is a personal choice that some users may make for various reasons. For example, they may have limited internet access, want to avoid potential compatibility issues, or prefer more control over their system. However, it’s important to remember that by disabling updates, users may miss out on essential security patches and bug fixes, leaving their system vulnerable to attacks or malfunctions.
Ultimately, the decision to block Windows updates should be made carefully considering the potential risks and benefits. In addition, users should always ensure their system is adequately protected against known security vulnerabilities.
Can Windows Updates be permanently disabled?
The topic of permanently disabling Windows updates is a controversial one. Many users have reported that Microsoft is so persistent that updates can’t be disabled permanently. They seem to turn back on even after disabling them. However, there are various methods to stop or pause updates temporarily, and we have listed them above. Alternatively, you can uninstall any problematic updates following our provided instructions.
Should you consider disabling updates?
Updates are essential for maintaining your computer’s health and security. Some may cause more harm than good when initially released. If you prefer to wait and install updates on your own time, disabling updates temporarily should not be an issue. Updates are essential for maintaining your computer’s health and security.
Can I pick and choose which updates to install?
In general, it’s not recommended to pick and choose which updates to install, as updates often contain important security fixes and bug patches. However, some updates may not be relevant to your system or cause compatibility issues with other software. You can hide specific updates in these cases so they won’t be installed automatically.