A deadline is approaching and you need to get all the work done right on time. Unfortunately, a message has just popped on the screen of your machine “Installing Updates in 10 minutes”. This is the time that you realize that your PC has been asking for you to download the updates which you have ignoring for a while.
We all have been there in a situation when we need the computer direly but the installation process won’t let us do anything. Ironically, Windows always picks the worst time to install these updates.
With Windows 10, Microsoft has introduced the obligatory updates which mean that you just cannot opt out of them. In its defense, Microsoft says that this update is necessary to fix all the vulnerabilities and to enhance the performance and security of the operating system.
Fortunately, there are a number of hacks which one can use to turn off the automatic updates or at least schedule them for a later time.
1. Metered Connection
Windows 10 has the ability to work optimally on an unlimited internet connection. However, Microsoft has added the “Metered Connection” feature for all the data capped connections. It is for the people who use the internet over satellite internet connections, mobile hotspots, dial-up connections etc. that is limited in terms of data consumption.
Metered Connection basically helps in turning off or limiting the internet usage for all the essential services one use on the computer. This feature also allows to turn off the automatic updates and go for the manual ones by clicking on the “Download” button.
You can set a Wi-Fi connection and also your Ethernet connection as metered in Windows 10.
How to set Wi-Fi as a Metered Connection?
- Go to Settings.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- Click on Wi-Fi and connect to that particular Wi-Fi connection which you want to set as metered.
- Click on that Wi-Fi connection.
- Scroll down and flip the “Metered Connection” switch to On.
The Ethernet connection can also be set following the same steps. Remember that turning on the Metered Connection for a particular network will only turn off the automatic updates for only this connection.
Note: With Windows 10 Creators Updates, Microsoft allows to download all the critical security updates even if you have marked the connection as metered.
2. Stop the Windows Update Service
This works like any other Windows service and can be stopped at any time at system-level. Here are the steps you need to follow to do it:
- Open the elevated command prompt. (Press “Start”, type “Run”, right click on it and then click on the option “Run as administrator”.
- Type the command “net stop wuauserv” and press Enter.
Afterward, the screen should display “The Windows Update service is stopping”, followed by “The Windows Update service was stopped successfully.” If these messages aren’t displayed for some reason then you have made a mistake in typing the command or haven’t opened elevated command prompt successfully.
There are times when the Windows Update restarts automatically. If such a situation arises, run the following command:
Sc config wuauserv start= disabled
You can even restart Windows update by entering the command.
net start wuauserv
3. Group Policy Editor (Windows 10 Education, Pro and Enterprise)
You will get a notification from The Group Policy Editor about the updates but they won’t be installed automatically. However, the security updates cannot be stopped.
- Press Start and type “Run” to open Command Prompt.
- Type “gpedit.msc” and press enter.
- Go to Computer Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Windows Update.
- Change the Configure Automatic Updates setting to “2 – Notify for download and notify for install”.
- Open Settings and click on the option “Update & Security”.
- Click on “Check for Updates” only once so that you are able to apply for new settings.
- Finally, restart your computer.
4. Editing the Registry
There is another way of changing the automatic updates settings in your PC. If you opt for editing the registry then remember that it is a really powerful tool and comes with a lot of risk factors. One must only proceed at their own risk and it is recommended to back up your PC before going ahead.
Follow this guide at How-To-Geek to get this done.
5. Update the Windows Manually
If you don’t want to turn off the updates, you can choose to do it manually at a time when you are free and there is no urgent work.
- Go to Settings.
- Click on “Update & Security”.
- Click on “Check for Updates.”
Windows will check for all the updates and will update if any is available.
6. Scheduling the Active Hours
If you don’t have an issue with the updates but don’t like it when it needs to restart, Microsoft has the right built-in feature for you. Set your computer not to restart during your active hours.
- Open Settings.
- Click on “Update & Security”.
- Click on “Change active hours”.
By doing so, you can pick hours during which the Windows will not update itself.
7. Stop Windows from Installing Specific Updates/Drivers
Download and run this tool to block specific updates or drivers. When you will run this tool by Microsoft, it will search for all the available updates and you can select which one you want to hide and which you want to go with.
By using these hacks, you will be able to get rid of or at least control the automatic updates on your Windows 10 PC.