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This content is part of the Essential Guide: How to solve Windows 10 updates problems
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How to stop Windows 10 updates temporarily

A poorly timed Windows 10 update can cause a major headache for an end user. Fortunately, users can pause updates or IT can take steps to halt updates using Group Policy.

Updates may be necessary to keep Windows 10 healthy and secure, but there is no denying that the update process can sometimes be disruptive.

Windows 10 updates seem to have a way of occurring at the most inopportune moments. Most users have experienced an update installing right in the middle of an important project or when they are trying to shut down their computer so they can go somewhere. Some people have even been prompted to install updates in the middle of high-profile presentations.

All of these less than ideal situations make users want to know how to stop Windows 10 updates and if it is possible at all.

How to stop Windows 10 updates

Yes, users can stop Windows 10 updates. No, they cannot stop Windows 10 updates indefinitely.

Windows 10 allows users to pause the update process for a maximum of seven days. When the update process does eventually resume, Windows 10 will force the user to install any available updates before he can pause the update process again. In other words, a user can't just keep clicking the Pause button and avoid updates forever.

To show users how to stop Windows 10 updates, IT should instruct them to click on the Settings button and then on Update & Security. When the Windows Update screen appears, click on Advanced Options. The Advanced Options screen contains the option to pause updates.

IT professionals may also want to know how to stop Windows 10 updates on an organization-wide basis.

As nice as it is to pause updates on a single device, IT professionals may also want to know how to stop Windows 10 updates on an organization-wide basis. This might be necessary, for example, if Microsoft releases a buggy update. In such a situation, IT can use a Group Policy setting to pause updates.

To do so, open the Group Policy Object Editor and navigate through the console tree to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Then, right-click on Defer Upgrades and Updates and select the Edit command from the shortcut menu. Finally, choose the Pause Upgrades and Updates option and click OK.

The deferral periods IT can set using Group Policy are significantly different from the seven day period that users can set in the Windows 10 GUI.

This was last published in August 2018

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