How to turn off Windows 10 automatic updates using Local Group Policy

Low-key one of the biggest frustration with Windows among its users is Updates. I mean we all know that it is advisable to keep your PC up-to-date to ensure stablitity of your system and to keep exploitable loopholes at bay but man, Windows Updates suck. I don’t know what about it is worse, having to wait for HOURS while Windows prepares and installs the updates or the fact that it’ll be hogging up your bandwidth and CPU when all you want is to get a task done.

I like how this Forbes writer documented his frustrations with Windows and his rather awesome experience with Ubuntu. I am a Linux super-fan, can you tell? I digress, Windows updates suck and Microsoft doing away with the option to opt out of these updates easily is simply infuriating. Luckily, it is not completely impossible to disable Windows Updates altogether.

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There are a couple of ways to disable these updates. Two actually.

  • Local Group Policy method and
  • Block updates through the Registry

In this post we shall walk you through the former as it is relatively novice-friendly than the Registry method as fiddling with those could easily break something else.

How to block automatic updates using Local Group Policy

If you’re running Windows 10 Pro, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to change the system settings to prevent your device from downloading and installing updates automatically. Here’s how to go about this.

  1. Hold down Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse to the following path:Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update
  4. On the right side, double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy.
  5. Check the Disabled option to turn off the policy.
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Click the OK button.

Once you’ve completed the steps, Windows 10 will no longer download updates automatically, which can also save data when using a metered internet connection, and any future updates must be downloaded and installed manually from Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

Configuring automatic update options

Alternatively, if disabling the policy isn’t working, you can also use the Group Policy Editor to configure the Windows Update options to prevent updates from installing automatically on your computer.

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update
  4. On the right side, double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy.
  5. Check the Enabled option to turn on the policy.
  6. Under the “Options” section, you’ll find a number of options to configure automatic updates, including:
  • – Notify for download and auto install.
  •  – Auto download and notify for install.
  •  – Auto download and schedule the install.
  •  – Allow local admin to choose setting.
  1. You should select the option that best fits your preference, but option 2 – Notify for download and auto install is the closest to permanently disable automatic updates.

  2. Click the Apply button.
  3. Click the OK button.

Once you’ve completed the steps, Windows 10 will no longer download updates automatically, and once new updates become available, you’ll get a notification to install them manually from Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.

At any time, you can revert the changes using the same steps, but on step No. 5, make sure to select the Not Configured option. Then reboot your device to apply the changes.

 

In-post images courtesy of Windows Central