How to Disable Updates on Windows 11

Updates are important. They patch security issues, improve performance, introduce new features, and much more. By default, Windows will download and update itself as soon as these are made available, and that is a convenient little operation. 

However, this becomes an issue because these updates are foisted upon users even when they would prefer not to have them. It’s no secret that some updates contain bugs that can put a dent in your otherwise normal Windows functionality. One should have the control and the choice to disable and stop updates if one needs to.

So, with that in mind, here is everything you need to know about disabling updates on Windows 11.

Related: How to Use Focus Assist on Windows 11

What happens when you disable updates on Windows 11?

If you know what you’re turning the updates off for, then go ahead and use our recommended methods above to do so. But if you’re on the fence about disabling Windows updates, perhaps a little more information about them should help you decide. 

Obviously, you won’t get the regular cumulative updates for Windows 11 when you turn Windows updates, nor will you get any of the security patches or bug fixes that are released frequently.

For some time, you may not get any updates for your system drivers either. If you want to install drivers and patches while Windows updates are turned off, you will have to do so manually.

Related: How to Repair Windows 11 [15 Ways]

How to stop updates on Windows 11

Before anything is said and done, do know that Windows updates, for the most part, are quite safe, and it is recommended that you keep them turned on if you want to enjoy all the cumulative updates and performance boosts that come with them.

But every now and then, you can get a bad patch that introduces bugs and breaks features. So, if you’re someone who likes to review the updates before downloading and installing them, or would like to stop them altogether, here is how you can do so on Windows 11.

Method #01: Pause updates for 1 week from the Settings menu

Press Win + I to open Settings, then click on Windows Update in the left panel.

On the right, next to ‘Pause updates’, click on Pause for 1 week.

Currently, since Windows 11 is still in its developmental phase, you won’t get any other time-frame option for pausing updates, nor can you specify one. We expect to get more ‘Pause updates’ options as newer builds of Windows 11 come out via — you guessed it — Windows updates.

Method #02: Disable the Windows Update Service

To completely disable Windows 11 from updating, you’ll have to use the ‘Services’ window. Here’s how to do so:

Press Win + R to open the RUN dialog box, type services.msc, and hit Enter.

Now, scroll down and double-click on Windows Update.

If it’s running, click on Stop.

Then click on the drop-down menu next to ‘Startup type’.

Select Disabled.

Click OK.

Related: How to Unzip Files on Windows 11

Method #03: Disable or limit updates with Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor is a useful tool for Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows. Here’s how you can limit Windows updates or disable them entirely:

Press Win + R to open the RUN box, type gpedit.msc, and hit Enter.

Then navigate to the following path in the left panel:

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

Now, on the right, double-click on Configure Automatic Updates.

To disable Windows updates completely, select Disabled.

Then click OK.

If you don’t want to disable Windows 11 updates entirely, there are a few other Windows update configurations that you can look into. Here’s how:

On the same ‘Configure Automatic Updates’ policy window, firstly, select Enabled.

Then, under ‘Configure automatic updating’, click on the drop-down menu and select one of the following:

  • 2 – Notify for download and auto install. (recommended)
  • 3 – Auto download and notify for install.
  • 4 – Auto download and schedule the install.
  • 5 – Allow local admin to choose settings.
  • 7 – Allow download, Notify to install, Notify to restart.

We’re going with the recommended number 2 – ‘Notify for download and auto install’. With this option, updates are not automatically downloaded. Instead, you will have to manually trigger them from the Windows Update settings page.

Once you’ve selected your Windows update configuration, click OK.

Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Method #04: Disable or limit updates from the registry

Similar to the previous method, you can also disable WIndows update entirely or tweak Windows update configuration from the Registry. Here’s how:

Press Win + R to open the RUN box, type regedit, and hit Enter.

Navigate to the following key:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Alternatively, you can copy the above and paste it in the Registry Editor’s address bar and press Enter.

Now, right-click on the selected ‘Windows’ folder and select New > Key.

Name this key WindowsUpdate and hit Enter.

Now, right-click this key and create a sub-key via New > Key.

Name this key AU.

With the newly created AU key selected, right-click in the empty space on the right and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Name this key AUOptions.

Double-click ‘AUOptions’ and change its value to one of the following numbers (their corresponding change is mentioned below):

  • 2 – Notify for download and auto install. (recommended)
  • 3 – Auto download and notify for install.
  • 4 – Auto download and schedule the install.
  • 5 – Allow local admin to choose settings.
  • 7 – Allow download, Notify to install, Notify to restart.

Make sure to only enter the number, depending on how you want the Windows updates to be configured. For instance, we want to be notified for download and auto install so we’re changing the value to ‘2‘. Then click OK.

Note that these options work exactly like the Group Policy method but with the sole exception of not being able to completely disable updates. The only option that comes close to disabling Windows Updates is the recommended option number 2. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect. 

Method #05: Set a Metered Connection

Another way to prevent Windows from updating automatically is to set up a metered connection. This will tell Windows that you’re on limited bandwidth and that updates are not your priority. Here’s how you can set it up:

Press Win + I to open Setings, then click on Network & internet in the left panel.

Click on Wi-Fi.

Select your Wi-Fi connection.

Toggle On Metered connection.

And that’s it! You’ve now set up a metered connection and Windows updates will be temporarily disabled. However, this is not the ideal solution for stopping Windows updates as important security updates can still be downloaded and installed. On top of that, some important apps may not be updated with a metered connection, such as OneDrive or any of the ‘Store apps’.

Method #06: Hide Updates with Microsoft’s Show/Hide troubleshooter

Microsoft has a Windows update troubleshooter tool that lets you hide (or show) specific updates that you don’t want to be installed while keeping everything else up to date.

Download: wushowhide.diagcab

After downloading the show/hide tool from the above link, run the tool and click Next.

The troubleshooter will now begin.

Click on Hide updates.

Now select the available update that you want to hide. These will not be installed anymore. Then click Next.

Once the selected updates are hidden, click on Close.

The only caveat with this troubleshooter tool is that the updates have to be downloaded before and waiting to be installed.

If you think you’ve hidden an update by accident, open the troubleshooter tool again but this time select Show updates.

Select your hidden update and click Next.

Your hidden update should now become available again.

Method #07: Use a third-party app to disable or stop updates on Windows 11

There are various third-party apps that can disable or stop updates entirely on Windows 11. Apart from the Show/Hide troubleshooter that we saw before, the Win Update Stop application is another tool that you can use to disable updates. 

All you have to do is run the setup, run the application, and use its one-click interface to quickly enable or disable updates. 

You may also want to give Windows Update Blocker a go – a portable application that lets you disable updates in a flash. Use the link above to download the file, then extract the contents and run the application. Thereafter, all you have to do is ensure that ‘Disable Updates’ is selected and then click ‘Apply Now’.

 

Why you may want to disable Windows updates

Though turning off Windows updates is not generally recommended, there are cases when it becomes necessary to do so.

It isn’t a rare thing to receive updates that bring their own set of security vulnerabilities and bugs, and many have had to suffer because of it in the past.

Similarly, if you don’t want Windows automatically updating your hardware drivers because, say, the latest version is causing you trouble and you’ve opted for an older one, you may benefit from keeping Windows updates disabled.

Some users also like having more granular control over their updates and configure Windows updates to notify them before downloading and installing any so they can review them and decide which ones to let through. 

How to stop updates for other Microsoft products

If you don’t want to receive Windows updates mainly because you don’t want other Microsoft products to get updated, there is a dedicated option to configure that. 

Press Win + I to open Settings and click on Windows Update on the left.

Click on Advanced options.

Then toggle Off Receive updates for other Microsoft products.

Exactly which Microsoft products get their updates this way is a hard guess as Microsoft has never made it clear. But from what can be surmised over the years, Office and Silverlight are definitely among them.

How to uninstall Windows 11 updates

Sometimes, disabling Windows updates entirely can seem a bit excessive if you’re doing so only because you’ve received a bad update. There’s a much more practical ‘Uninstall updates’ option that you can use instead. Here’s how:

Press Win + I to open Settings and click on Windows Update on the left.

Then click on Update history.

Scroll down and click on Uninstall updates.

Here, find the update that’s bugging you and select it. Then click on Uninstall.

Confirm with a Yes.

Note: Some minor updates may not have the ‘Uninstall’ button.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Let’s take a look at some common queries concerning Windows updates.

Should I disable Windows updates?

Windows Updates should be disabled only if there’s a great need for it. If you’re not suffering from any buggy patches and if all your drivers are functioning without a hitch, keep Windows updates on. Though the updates that you get aren’t always perfect, they are the only source of future security patches and cumulative updates that you’re invariably going to need sooner or later.

Can I permanently disable updates?

Yes, you can permanently disable updates. Even though Microsoft is quite aggressive in forcing users to keep Windows updated, and for good reasons too, the methods mentioned in this guide will help you prevent that.

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