How To Prevent Windows from Automatically Downloading and Installing Updates

How To Prevent Windows 10 & 7 From Automatically Downloading and Installing Updates?

In earlier Windows versions (before Windows 10), the automatic update install feature could be disabled - you could still let Windows check for updates, but decide if and when the download and install took place. Alternatively, it was possible to completely disable checks for updates. Installing updates takes time (depending on the size of the updates) and so you may wish to skip or delay this process. Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates, regardless. On the other hand, automatic updates are typically a good thing, as they allow improvements to your current system. This is especially important in the security updates area. If, however, you prefer to disable them, this article explains how.

disable automatic windows 7 and Windows 10 updates

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How To Prevent Windows 10 From Automatic Downloading Of Updates By Setting Your Connection As Metered?

The Windows 10 operating system is designed for computers with unlimited Internet connections. It normally uses your download and upload bandwidth as required. So, one method is to set your connection as 'metered'. In other words, you will limit your downloads, which will also apply to Windows Updates.

How To Set Your Wi-Fi Connection As Metered?

To limit your Wi-Fi connection downloads and uploads, set this connection as 'metered'. Firstly, go to Settings (you can find your Settings Menu on the Start panel).

set your wi-fi connection as metered step 1

Once you are in the Settings window, click “Network and Internet”.

set your wi-fi connection as metered step 2

Go to Wi-Fi and click the name of the Wi-Fi connection you are connected to.

set your wi-fi connection as metered step 3

Turn on the “Set as metered connection” option.

set wi-fi connection as metered step 4

Windows will remember this setting and you can change it whenever you want. The metered connection option will only apply to your current Wi-Fi connection. If you connect to another Wi-Fi network not set as metered, Windows 10 will resume automatically downloading updates. If you want to prevent Windows from downloading updates on other network connections, set them as metered as well.

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How to set your Ethernet connection as metered?

If you want to limit your Ethernet connection downloads and uploads, set your Ethernet connection as metered. First, go to Settings in your Start Panel.

set ethernet connection as metered step 1

Once you are in the Settings window, click “Network and Internet”.

set ethernet connection as metered step 2

Click “Ethernet”, and then on the name of your Ethernet connection.

set ethernet connection as metered step 3

Turn on “Set as metered connection”.

set ethernet connection as metered step 4

Now your Ethernet connection is set as metered. This option only applies to this Ethernet network connection. If you connect to another network connection (Wi-Fi or Ethernet), which is not set as metered, Windows will return to automatically downloading updates.

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How To Stop Windows Update Service?

Windows Update is a Windows process and thus can be stopped. To stop Windows from updating, first go to Services. Type “Services” in Cortana/Search box and Windows will find the Services application for you. Click this app.

stopping windows update service step 1

You will see a new window with services list. Scroll down to find the “Windows Update” service.

stopping windows update service step 2

Double click “Windows Update”. A new window called “Windows Update Properties (Local Properties)” will pop up. Find “Startup type” and set it to “Disabled”. Then click ‘’Apply” and “OK”.

stopping windows update service step 3

Now, the Windows 10 Update process will not automatically start on your computer and you will not receive new updates from Microsoft. If you want to restore this setting, simply return to “Windows Update” service in the Services list and change it to “Automatic” instead of “Disabled”, and then apply it.

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Stop Windows From Rebooting Your Computer After Downloading And Installing Updates

If the enforced reboots are more of a problem than the update download/installations, you can set a 12-hour window in which your computer will not reboot. This window is called “Active Hours”. To set active hours, firstly, go to your computer Settings.

stop windows from rebooting after installing updates step 1

Then click “Update & Security”.

stop windows from rebooting after installing updates step 2

In the “Update & Security” window, you be in the “Windows Update” section. Click “Change Active Hours”.

stop windows from rebooting after installing updates step 3

Here, you can choose your active hours and select the period when you do not want Windows to automatically reboot. Enter the start and end times, and click “Save”.

stop windows from rebooting after installing updates step 4

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How To Prevent Windows 7 From Automatically Downloading And Installing Updates?

Turning automatic updates off is easier on Windows 7 than Windows 10. If you do not want to install updates immediately, want to completely disable them, or maybe just want to save space, it can be done in a few quick steps as follows:

First, click the Start Menu button or press the Windows key and type “Windows Update” in the Search box.

preventing windows 7 from automatically downloading and installing updates step 1

Windows will perform a file search and display the results, which will include the “Windows Update” application. Click on this entry.

preventing windows 7 from automatically downloading and installing updates step 2

You are now in the Windows Update settings window. Click “Change Settings”.

preventing windows 7 from automatically downloading and installing updates step 3

In this window, you can choose how you want Windows to install updates. There are four options. Choose which one suits you best, but to disable updates completely, select the “Never check for updates (not recommended)” option. If you want Windows to handle your “Recommended updates” as per “Important updates”, just mark the checkbox.

preventing windows 7 from automatically downloading and installing updates step 4

After selecting the “Never check for updates (not recommended)" option”, click OK. This will save your settings. If you change your mind, you can revert these settings any time: just return to “Windows Update” settings and choose “Install updates automatically (recommended)”, or any other option preferred.

preventing windows 7 from automatically downloading and installing updates step 5

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Video showing how to disable automatic updates in Windows 10:

Video showing how to disable automatic updates in Windows 7:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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