Windows Windows Server

How to disable automatic Windows updates via Windows Settings

disable automatic updates in Windows

Windows Update is a Microsoft service for the Microsoft Windows operating system which automates downloading and installing Microsoft Windows updates over the Internet. Here are some exciting articles on Windows Update services “How to apply Windows Updates with PowerShell, how to Apply and Enable Automatic Windows Admin Center Update, how to Automate Windows Update with PowerShell, and how to Check if Windows Updates were installed. In this article, we will focus on how to disable automatic updates in Windows.

Windows Update is critical in keeping your system safe, secure, and up-to-date. It brings the latest fixes, patches, and enhancements to your Windows operating system, ensuring it runs smoothly and is fortified against cyber attacks. In spite of these benefits, why would you want to disable Windows updates for your PC?

Please see How to enable or disable automatic software updates on Mac, how to fix Fix Windows cannot check for updates in Windows 8, 7, and 10, and How to start an application automatically on Mac.

Why would you want to disable Automatic Windows Updates?

Disabling automatic Windows updates is not something I would advise except when done following your business/personal needs as these updates serve important purposes as mentioned above. However, there are specific scenarios where users or organizations might consider disabling them:

  1. Automatic updates can sometimes introduce changes that users or organizations are not ready for. Disabling them allows users to have more control over when updates are installed.
  2. Some software or hardware components may not be compatible with a new update. Disabling automatic updates can prevent potential compatibility issues. In most cases, this is why some organisations disable automatic Windows updates.
  3. Automatic updates often lead to automatic restarts, which can be inconvenient. Disabling them can prevent unexpected restarts during critical tasks.
  4. In situations where a computer has limited or costly internet connectivity, disabling automatic updates can help conserve data usage.
  5. Although counterintuitive, some users may choose to disable updates due to concerns about the quality of updates or the fear that an update may introduce security vulnerabilities. This is generally not advisable, but it’s a reason some users disable automatic Windows updates.

In an enterprise environment, it’s often more common to manage updates using tools like Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Group Policy to ensure updates are deployed in a controlled manner.

Please see Important Areas to Master on WSUS, Configuring WSUS Email Notification to Work With Office365, Configuring WSUS Email Notification to Work With Office365 – IIS SMTP Relay Server and how to configure SSL between WSUS servers (Upstream and Downstream Servers).

Disable Automatic Windows Update via Windows Settings

This section provides you with the steps required to disable Automatic Updates in Microsoft Windows via the Windows settings App. Now in Windows 11, open the Settings app, and navigate to Windows Update.

Ensure the Get the latest updates as soon as they are available is turned off. As you can see, I use WSUS, and this setting is greyed out.
Windows update settings app

Let’s take a look at the Advanced Options as well!

Windows update settings app

Ensure the below settings are disabled if they are applicable to you.

Windows will automatically download and install updates, except on metered connections. In that case, Windows will automatically download only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly
Advanced option Windows update

Please see the related articles: Check if Windows Updates were installed on your device via the Registry Editor. And Windows 2016 Servers do not show up on the WSUS console.

Disable Windows Update through Group Policy Object

In the group policy editor, navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Manage End User Experience  -> Windows Update.

This is currently set to not configured as shown below. This shows use of automatic Windows updates is not specified at the local Group Policy Level. However, an admin can configure automatic updates through the Control panel

Configure Automatic Updates

Select “Configure Automatic Updates” and set its state as “Disabled“.

Automatic update disabled

Note: When this is set to disable, any updates that are available must be downloaded and installed manually.

See WSUS Setup: How to configure Windows server update services, how to Set up Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure, and How to configure Windows LAPS.

Prevent Automatic Windows Update via Windows Services Manager

If you want to stop the Windows Update Service, use the following steps. See How to stop an application from starting up automatically on macOS.

  1. Open Services from the Start Menu.
  2. Look for the ‘Windows Update’ service.
  3. Right-click on it and select Properties.
  4. Change the Startup type to Disabled and click Apply > OK.
Services.msc disable windows update

Stop Windows Services using the Command Line

You can also use the Command Prompt to start, stop, pause, and resume service. To use it, from the WinX Menu, open Command Prompt (Admin) and execute one of the following commands. To disable Windows service, run the below.

sc config "Windows Update" start= disabled

The command above is used to configure a Windows service to start in a “disabled” state. This means that the service will not start automatically and must be manually started when needed. Here is what the command does.

  • sc: This is the Service Control command-line tool in Windows.
  • config: This is the argument that tells sc you to want to configure a service.
  • "Name Of Service": Replace this with the actual name of the service you want to configure. Make sure to enclose the service name in double quotes if it contains spaces.
  • start=: This option is followed by the desired start type for the service.
  • disabled: This specifies that the service should not start automatically.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to turn off Windows Update in progress?

No, you should never turn off your computer when it is installing the update. It can lead to some serious issues such as BSOD or corrupted Windows. If you are not sure whether you want to use the update in question, you can always roll back to the previous version. But, stopping the ongoing update should not be an option.

Why should I install updates?

Updates are primarily used by Windows to roll out bug fixes and add new features to the Operating System. However, if you are happy with the current set of features of your OS and its stability you can skip updates for some time.

Conclusion on removing automatic Windows Updates

It is vital to note that disabling automatic updates can have significant consequences, particularly when it comes to security. Many updates address critical security vulnerabilities. By disabling updates, you might leave your system more exposed to cyber threats.

It is often recommended to find a balance between control and security. Such as configuring active hours to prevent inconvenient reboots or using the “metered connection” option to control data usage, rather than disabling updates altogether.

I hope you found this blog post helpful on why and how to disable automatic updates in Windows. Please let me know in the comment section if you have any questions.

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