If you want to prevent
Windows 10 from downloading and installing updates automatically, here are some ways to do it.
Nothing lasts forever, though, and Windows – like a lot of software these days – is updated automatically. Microsoft considers Windows more of a service than a piece of traditional software, and you can’t put off updates forever, and nor should you. Plenty contain important security patches and bug fixes..
Things are a lot better now thanks to various changes in the way updates are delivered, plus the fact you can defer updates even in Windows 10 Home. There’s also a feature called active hours that lets you set a period of time each when Windows won’t restart. We’ll also explain how to use this.
Can you stop Windows 10 automatically updating?
One way to stop updates being downloaded is to set your internet connection as ‘metered’. This is a common setting on phones – although it’s usually called “Download on Wi-Fi only” – where you wouldn’t want app updates eating up all your data allowance. And you can do a similar same thing in Windows 10.
To do this, open the Windows 10 Settings (the cog icon on the Start menu) and click Network & Internet.
Click on Wi-Fi in the left-hand menu (you’ll only see this if your device has Wi-Fi!), then select the network name to which your laptop, tablet or PC is connected (sadly, you can’t do this for wired Ethernet connections).
Click Properties when it appears beneath your network name and you’ll see the option for Metered connection, and below it the switch to turn it on.
Since this setting is made per wireless network, you can choose whether to allow updates to download on some networks and not others – you may even find the setting useful if you use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
These settings are all remembered by Windows, so once you’ve set them up the rules will then automatically apply every time you connect to that network. If you ever want to revert back to your normal state, then just turn off the Metered connection option.
This will reduce data usage and stop Windows updates from being downloaded, so long as the ‘Automatically download updates’ option under Update & Security > Advanced options is set to Off:
In the past, Windows 10 Home didn’t offer the option to Pause updates as Pro owners could, but now, you’ll find this setting under Advanced options (shown above).
Enabling this will stop updates being installed for a week, and you then can’t enable it again until any pending updates have been installed.
How to stop Windows 10 automatically restarting after installing updates
If you haven’t done this already, it’s well worth setting up active hours. In the Settings app choose Update & security, then scroll down and click ‘Change active hours’.
Between the hours you choose, Windows won’t automatically restart. And even outside those hours, it will check to see if you’re using your computer and warn you of the impending shut down.