If you are a Windows 10 user, you are probably well aware of how updates work. Once an update is available, your operating system will automatically download its latest version and install it on your PC. Most users find this feature very useful and prefer to have their updates installed automatically as soon as they are available. However, there may also be reasons why you may not want to have updates automatically installed. For instance, you may want to keep a particular version of Windows for longer or you may simply not like certain features announced in the new update.

So, how to defer Windows 10 updates? There are several things you can do to pause and delay receiving them. Below, we will give you a few options for pausing your Windows 10 updates. We will also share the steps on how to set it all up.

How to Pause a Windows Update

Before anything else, you should know how long can one pause Windows 10 updates. Well, this depends on how you go about it. In this article, we will cover several options for pausing your Windows updates for various periods. We will start with the easiest solution first and then give you more options for pausing the update.

Pause the Update for 35 Days

The easiest way to go about stopping Windows updates is to pause them via the Settings app. You don’t need to have Windows Pro for this since the feature is also available for Windows Home users.

Here are the steps to take to pause Windows updates for up to 35 days:

  • On your computer, go to the Settings screen (you can get there by opening the Start menu and clicking the gear icon or pressing the Win + I key combo on your keyboard).
  • Next, go to Settings.
  • In Settings, select Update & Security.
  • Click Windows Update.
  • Under Windows Update, locate and click the box that says, “Pause updates for 7 days.” This will pause your Windows updates for 7 days.
  • However, for every click of the “Pause updates for 7 days” button, you will be able to increase the paused period for 7 more days.
  • Once you get to 35 days, you will notice that the option will become grayed out. This means that this is the maximum and you won’t be able to increase the pause period for over 35 days.

Important Note: Once the pause period you’ve set up is over, Windows will go on to automatically download and install any available updates before you can pause it again.

Pause the Update Until a Specific Date

Alternatively, you can choose to pause the update until a specific date. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Windows Update settings screen.
  • Head to Advanced Options.
  • Locate the Pause Updates section.
  • Click the Select date box and choose the date for when you want to resume Windows updates.

Note that you will only be able to select a date that is up to 35 days in the future. Once again when that period expires, Windows will go back to automatically installing any updates available. And it will install all available updates before you get a chance to pause them again.

Avoid Big Updates

More recent versions of Windows 10 give you more control over big OS updates. However, this only concerns the big feature updates that happen once every half a year.

When these updates are available, Windows will give you the option to not download them. Basically, when an update is available, you can simply not click the Download and install button on the Windows Update screen — and the update won’t be installed on your PC.

However, once again, there is a catch. Windows will go on to install these updates (even if you didn’t click the Download and install button) if your current Windows version is getting close to the end of its support period. This will be done because your system needs to be upgraded in order to receive Windows security updates.

Pause Updates for Longer

There is another way to gain more control of your Windows system updates. You can do this by marking your connections as metered. This will tell Windows that you have a limited allowance to download data.

Here’s how you can mark the connection as metered:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Click Network & Internet.
  • Choose Wi-Fi for a wireless connection or Ethernet for a wired connection.
  • Select the name of the network and turn on the Set as metered connection option.

Now, you will need to make sure that Windows won’t automatically download updates on a metered connection. Here’s how to do this:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Click Update & Security.
  • Select Windows Update.
  • Go to Advanced options.
  • Here, make sure that the Download updates over metered connections (extra charges may apply) option is set to Off.

Important: note that Windows can still find a way out of this. For instance, if you connect your PC to a different network that has not been marked as metered, Windows will automatically initiate any updates that are currently available

Gain More Control via Group Policy Editor

At this point, you may be wondering how to permanently pause a Windows 10 update. While this is not something that the operating system offers, Microsoft has added an option for businesses to gain more control over updates. The feature is known as Windows Update for Business and it can be configured either in Group Policy or via MDM policies.

In order to make use of this feature, you need to be running a Professional, Enterprise, or Education version of Windows 10. You won’t be able to do this using the standard Windows 10 Home software on most PCs.

However, if you have Windows 10 Pro (or are willing to splurge for an upgrade), you can use this feature to control your Windows updates. If you want to do this, you will also need to be comfortable with making changes in Group Policy.

In Group Policy, you can find these options by following this path:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.

The best way to go about learning how to work with your Group Policy is by checking out Microsoft’s official Configure Windows Update for Business documentation. It is not recommended to make any changes in the Group Policy Editor if you are not experienced. Doing the wrong thing here can lead to a whole range of issues on your PC and it’s best to not make any changes that you are not 100% sure of.

Set Up the Active Hours Feature

Finally, make sure you use the Active Hours feature on Windows 10 to prevent Windows from restarting for updates at inconvenient times.

Here’s how to set up Active Hours:

  • Go to the Start Menu and navigate to Settings.
  • Open Update & Security and select Windows Update.
  • Under Update Settings, click Change Active Hours.
  • Here, you will be able to choose the Start time and End time for your Windows 10 active hours.
  • You should set these hours for when you generally use your computer and don’t want it to restart.

For instance, you can set your Active Hours from 9 AM to midnight. In this case, Windows won’t automatically install updates during these hours. Windows will only be able to install updates and restart your PC during the period from after midnight to 9 AM.

There you have it. We hope that the information above has been helpful and you can now have more control over when and how your Windows OS is updated.


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