Windows 10, as you know, is the latest version of Microsoft Windows OS. Also, it is the last version of Windows ever. It means that there won’t be any more OSes from Microsoft like Windows 11 or 12. Therefore, even if you aren’t using Windows 10 right now, your next Windows computer will definitely have Windows 10. Windows 10 will keep receiving updates forever and features will be added (or perhaps even removed) through these updates. So far so good. But there are certain problems with Windows 10 which make users hate it. One of the most serious problems lies in the way Windows updates are handled in Windows 10. Windows 10 Home users cannot choose which updates to install or when these updates are installed. Windows 10 Pro users may defer certain updates, but not forever. Also, many of these updates are known to cause serious problems e.g. system instability. You might want to disable Windows Updates completely, but Windows doesn’t provide an option to do so like it did in previous versions of Windows. But don’t worry. Here, I’m going to show you how to completely disable Windows updates in Windows 10.
How to completely disable Windows Updates in Windows 10
First of all, let me tell you this – if you disable Windows updates using the method I’m going to describe here, you won’t get any updates from Windows. In Windows 10, you have only two options : ALL or NOTHING. As I mentioned above, you can’t choose to install individual updates. You can’t even choose when they’re installed. If you don’t want to disable Windows Update entirely, you should install an older version of Windows. If you don’t care about receiving updates at all, this article is for you. Now, let me show you how to do this –
1. Click on Start and type services. In the search results that appear, look for Services (Desktop app) and click on it.
2. A new window containing a list of all services on your computer will appear. Some of these services are currently running while others are currently stopped.
3. Disable these two services – a) Background Intelligence Transfer Service, and b) Windows Update. Background Intelligence Transfer Service is the service used for downloading Windows Updates. That’s why I’m asking you to disable it.
Update 1 : Please note that Windows sometimes re-enables BITS and Windows Update. It happened on my computers recently. Many other users have reported the same. To prevent this from happening, you should delete this file – C:\Windows\System32\qmgr.dll. This file contains the code for Background Intelligence Transfer Service and deleting it will prevent BITS and Windows Update from starting.
To disable a service, right-click on it and a pop-up menu will appear. Click on Properties. When a new window appears, set Startup Type to Disabled and click OK.
Update 2 : There is one more service that should be disabled – Security Center (WSCSVC). This service often enables Windows Update and BITS. Disabling it solves the issue.
4. You should restart your computer now. However, you may do so later as well if you still have some other work to do. It is not necessary to restart immediately, though it is recommended.
5. Optional – You can set your internet connection as a metered connection. Windows doesn’t download updates when your connection is metered. Please Note that this setting isn’t available for Ethernet connections, only for Wifi. To set your current internet connection as metered, go to Settings -> Network & Internet. You should see a window similar to the one shown in the image below (if your connection is Wifi).
Now, click on Advanced Options. In the next window, click on the slider under Set as metered connection to turn it ON.
Important points to Note
- If you enable Windows Update in future, Windows may download and install all the previous updates which you skipped.
- If you want to disable MS Office updates as well, you may do it by opening any Office application and going to File -> Account and clicking on Update Options and then clicking on Disable Updates (as shown in the image below).
Note : As a Windows user, you must keep this in mind – Windows keeps trying again and again to enable the Windows Update service. The tips mentioned above have worked for most people till now but since there are many ways Windows could force the updates on you, these tips may become obsolete in future. That’s why we keep updating this article with new tips to deal with the new problems. If you tried the above tricks and still couldn’t disable Windows Update, do let us know… in the comments.
If you wish to disable Windows Update entirely, the above mentioned steps will do the job. However, many people believe it isn’t a good idea to disable Windows Update. They say you need the security updates from Microsoft to keep your computer safe from malware as well as various kinds of possible exploits that an unscrupulous person may use to compromise the security and integrity of your computer. However, as per my personal experience, a typical Home user doesn’t need these updates/patches provided he/she uses a good antimalware application and follows safe practices like avoiding suspicious programs and websites. I have disabled Windows Update on all my computers since 2011 and I’m yet to discover any problems arising due to this.
Anyway, if you’d really like to get all the security updates and other useful updates, you’ll have to forget Windows 10 and install Windows 7 or 8.1. If this article helped you understand how to completely disable Windows Updates in Windows 10, SHARE IT…