How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

Do you want to stop Windows updates and upgrades on your PC? This tutorial will show you how to stay on Windows 10 without upgrading to Windows 11 and pause Windows Updates if you’ve already made the upgrade.

Although Windows updates and upgrades come with new features, improved performance, and better security, they can also worsen the user experience.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

For example, Windows 11 is radically different from Windows 10, so you might not be ready for an upgrade yet. If you’re using Windows 11, you may also want to block further updates if you worry they could impede your workflow.

Regardless of the reason, here’s what you must do to pause or stop operating system updates and upgrades on a Windows PC.

Block Windows 11 Upgrade and Stay on Windows 10

Microsoft does not force-upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11. If you see a large banner in Windows Update telling you that your computer is Windows 11 upgrade-ready, simply choose to Stay on Windows 10 for now, and you should be good. You’ll continue receiving Windows 10 updates and can upgrade to Windows 11 once you’re ready.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

However, suppose you’re concerned that Microsoft may change its stance or that you’ll accidentally upgrade to Windows 11. In that case, you can rely on a couple of Local Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor-based workarounds to stay on your current Windows 10 version.

Find Windows Current Windows 10 Version

Before you go ahead, you must identify and note down your version of Windows 10 since you’ll need the information later. To do that:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Go to System > About and scroll down to the Windows specifications section.
  3. Check Version and note what you see next to it—e.g., 21H2.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

Block Windows 11 Upgrade via Group Policy Editor

If your PC runs the Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise editions, you can block upgrades to Windows 11 via the Local Group Policy Editor.

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open a Run box. Then, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Navigate through the following directories on the Local Group Policy Editor’s left navigation pane:

Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business

  1. Double-click the Select the target Feature Update version policy setting on the window’s right side.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Select the radio button next to Enabled.
  2. Type the current Windows 10 version into the Target Version for Feature Updates field.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Select Apply > OK.
  2. Exit the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your computer.

Block Windows 11 Upgrade via Registry Editor

If you use the Windows 10 Home edition, use the Registry Editor to block upgrades to Windows 11.

  1. Press Windows + R to open a Run box. Then, type regedit and press Enter.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Copy and paste the following path into the address bar at the top of the Registry Editor window and press Enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Right-click the Windows folder on the left pane and select New > Key.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Name the folder as WindowsUpdate.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Right-click the WindowsUpdate folder and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Name the value as TargetReleaseVersion.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Double-click TargetReleaseVersion on the right pane, enter 1 into the Value date field and select OK.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Right-click the WindowsUpdate folder again and select New > String Value.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Name the string as TargetReleaseVersionInfo.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Double-click the TargetReleaseVersionInfo string, enter your Windows 10 version into the Value data field and select OK.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Exit the Registry Editor window and restart your computer.

Installing Future Windows 10 Version Updates

Despite blocking upgrades to Windows 11, your Windows 10 installation will continue to receive quality and security updates from Microsoft. However, it won’t receive feature upgrades (major Windows 10 updates that Microsoft releases once a year) unless you do the following.

  1. Check Microsoft’s Windows 10 release information page for the latest Windows 10 version.
  2. Follow the above instructions and update the version number in the Local Group Policy Editor (step 5) or Registry Editor (step 10).
  3. Restart your computer and run Windows Update.

Methods to Pause or Stop Windows 11 Updates

If you’ve already upgraded to Windows 11, you can use the following methods to stop future Windows 11 updates. However, your PC will miss out on newer security patches and bug fixes, so we do not recommend blocking Windows Update for extended periods.

Pause Windows Updates via Settings App

You can pause new Windows 11 updates temporarily via the Windows Update Settings. It’s the most convenient option and also the safest.

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings > Windows Update.
  2. Under More options, select the drop-down menu next to Pause updates.
  3. Pick a duration—Pause for 1–5 weeks—on the drop-down menu.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

You can resume and install updates whenever you want—just visit Windows Update and select Resume updates.

Set Up Network as Metered Connection

Setting up your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection as a metered network automatically pauses all Windows 11 updates. Consider using it if you do not want to exceed the monthly bandwidth on a specific network.

  1. Open Settings and select Network & internet.
  2. Select Properties under the network name.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Turn on the switch next to Metered connection.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

Disable the Metered connection option if you want to allow Windows 11 updates over the network.

Disable Windows Updates via Services

Another way to block new updates is to stop the Windows Update service from running in the Windows 11 background.

  1. Type services.msc into a Run box and press Enter.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Double-click Windows Update.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Set Startup type to disabled.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Select Apply, then OK.
  2. Reboot your computer.

If you want to re-enable Windows Update, head back and set Startup type to Automatic.

Pause Automatic Updates via Local Group Policy Editor

Use the Group Policy Editor in Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise to disable automatic Windows 11 updates. You will still retain the ability to perform manual updates.

  1. Type gpedit.msc into a Run box and press Enter.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Navigate through the following directories on the Local Group Policy Editor’s left navigation pane:

Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage end user experience

  1. Double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy setting.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Select Enabled.
  2. Open the pull-down menu under Configure automatic updating and select 2 – Notify for download and auto install option.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Select Apply, then OK.
  2. Restart your computer.

To allow automatic Windows updates later, set the Configure Automatic Updates policy setting to Not Configured.

Pause Automatic Windows Updates via Registry Editor

If you’re a Windows 11 Home user, the following Registry Editor hack will help you disable automatic Windows 11 updates.

  1. Type regedit into a Run box and press Enter.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Copy and paste the following path into the address bar at the top of the Registry Editor window and press Enter:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Right-click the Windows folder on the left pane and select New > Key.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Name the key as AU.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Right-click the AU key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Name the key as NoAutoUpdate.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Double-click the newly created NoAutoUpdate key on the right pane and set the value to 1. Select OK to save the changes.

How to Pause or Stop Windows Updates and Upgrades

  1. Exit the Registry Editor.
  2. Restart Windows 11.

If you want to allow automatic Windows updates later, set the Configure Automatic Updates policy setting to Not Configured.

Have Control Over Windows Updates and Upgrades

Although Windows updates are fun and exciting, they can also break things or cause other issues. Use the methods above if you prefer staying in Windows 10 or don’t want to install incremental updates to Windows 11. Again, we do not recommend pausing updates permanently since that will open your PC to multiple security and performance problems.

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