How to prevent Windows 10 from updating specific drivers?

By Eunice Samson | August 20, 2018 |

greater than 5 minutes

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When you compare it to its predecessors, Windows 10 undeniably has more valuable and beneficial features for users. However, there are seemingly harmless changes that have a significant impact on the daily and professional use of the system. For instance, if you’re using Windows 10, you do not have the freedom to adjust the automatic updates.

How to keep Windows 10 from updating drivers automatically?

It is true that Microsoft designed the feature that way to enhance the system’s security. However, the automatic updates also cover the drivers, which means that they are installed without the user’s consent. This leads to various issues like unusable hardware that causes the system to underperform. Eventually, these issues grow into bigger problems like the Blue Screen of Death errors.

If you want to learn how to disable automatic diver downloads on Windows 10, keep reading this article. We have some workarounds that will help you get rid of this annoying problem.

Method 1: Using Metered Wi-Fi Connection

Some users prefer the easy workaround when learning how to disable automatic driver downloads on Windows 10. So, we’re sharing a solution that is simple to follow. Before you proceed, you must know that this method disables the updates altogether. This means that you won’t be able to download various stability and security updates. Needless to say, this is just a temporary solution.

The updates on your Windows 10 computer are placed on hold when you are on a metered connection. Your system automatically identifies that you are on a limited connection. However, you can set your Wi-Fi as a metered connection as well. This will trick your system into thinking that you are still using a limited data package. Here’s how you can set your Wi-Fi connection to metered:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “Settings” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Select Network & Internet.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then click Wi-Fi.
  5. Click Manage Known Networks.
  6. Choose your Wi-Fi network, then click Properties.
  7. Look for the ‘Set as metered connection’ section, then toggle the switch on.

Keep in mind that when you are using several wireless networks, you must modify them one by one.

Method 2: Using Metered Ethernet Connection

The workaround for Wi-Fi networks may be simple. However, the process gets more complicated when you are using an Ethernet connection. Microsoft generally assumed that all Ethernet connections have unlimited data. Of course, that is not always the case. So, with this method, you must tweak your wired connection by going through the registry editor.

Before you proceed, you must remember that the registry is a sensitive database. Even the smallest punctuation error can lead to system instability. In some cases, incorrectly modifying the registry can prevent Windows 10 from booting. So, you must only use this method if you are absolutely confident that you will be able to follow the instructions down to a tee. That said, here are the steps:

  1. Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
  2. Type “Regedit” (no quotes).
  3. Right-click Regedit, then select Run as Administrator.
  4. Once the registry editor is open, navigate to this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost

  1. Right-click DefaultMediaCost, then select Permissions.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Go to the top of the window and click Change.
  4. Go to the ‘Enter the object name’ box, then submit your Microsoft account e-mail address.
  5. Click Check Name, then confirm.
  6. Go to the Permissions for the DefaultMediaCost window, then select Users.
  7. Select Full Control, then confirm. You will now have the freedom to modify this specific registry key.
  8. If you cannot resolve the
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    ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
  9. Right-click Ethernet, then select Modify.
  10. Click the Value Data box and replace 1 with 2.
  11. Save the changes you made.

Don’t worry because this change is reversible. You just have to follow all the steps above, replacing 2 with 1 in the Value Data box. You might not see a notification, but you will be running on a metered Ethernet connection.

Method 3: Using Group Policy Editor

If you only want to prevent Windows 10 from installing specific drivers, you can use the Group Policy Editor. However, you must remember that this workaround can be complicated. Moreover, the feature is only available on the Professional, Enterprise, and Educational versions of Windows 10. The advantage of using this workaround is it does not block the updates altogether. Windows Update will still download the latest drivers, but they won’t be installed automatically.

The first thing you must do is to identify the hardware ID of the specific driver you would not like to update. You can set things up by following these steps:

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on your taskbar.
  2. Select Device Manager.
  3. Look for the device in question, then open Properties from the context menu.
  4. Go to the Details tab.
  5. Select Hardware ID from the Property drop-down list.
  6. Copy all the IDs, paste them into Notepad, and save them.
  7. Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
  8. Type “gpedit.msc” (no quotes).
  9. Right-click the Group Policy Editor, then select Run as Administrator.
  10. Navigate to this path:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation\Device Installation Restrictions

  1. Go to the right pane, then open ‘Prevent installation of devices that match any of these devices IDs’.
  2. Click Enable, then select Show in the Policy window.
  3. Copy each ID you saved in Notepad, then paste them on separate Volume columns.
  4. Save the changes you made, then exit Group Policy Editor.

You will see an error message when the next update is rolled out. This is just the confirmation that the changes you made via the Group Policy Editor were successful. This way, the drivers you selected won’t be installed automatically.

Pro Tip: If you want a more convenient way of updating your drivers, we recommend using Auslogics Driver Updater. Once you activate this tool, it will scan your system and provide you with a list of drivers that have to be updated. You have the freedom to review and select which drivers you want to update.

Removing Problematic Drivers from your System

Driver malfunctions can occur after installing updates. In this case, what you can do is try to roll back or uninstall the affected drivers. This will help you prevent other issues from happening. You can uninstall the latest updates by following these instructions:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “Windows Update Settings” (no quotes), then press Enter.
  3. Click Update History.
  4. Click Uninstall Updates.
  5. Look for the drivers in question, then uninstall them.

Alternatively, you can try rolling back the drivers to their previous versions. If you prefer this method, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to your taskbar and click the Search icon.
  2. Type “Device Manager” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. Once the Device Manager window is open, look for the problematic driver.
  4. Right-click it, then open Properties.
  5. Go to the Driver tab, then click Roll Back Driver.

Do you think Microsoft should give users the freedom to reject updates?

Let us know your opinions in the comments below.

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