Windows 10 auto updates whether you want it to or not…you can stop that behavior, as long as you know the trick.
An up-to-date PC is less vulnerable to attack, so Windows automatic updates are generally a good thing. But sometimes an update will make things worse, rendering a PC problematic, or even unusable until the problem is solved.
That’s why some people prefer to hold off on a update until other people have tried it without disaster. But this requires you to take time out of your day to keep up on the news about Windows updates (a Google News alert can help).
If you’re using Windows 10, you’ve got another problem: It won’t let you turn off automatic updates. Luckily, there are two workarounds.
But if you chose to use one of these tricks, remember to follow the update news.
If you have a Professional, Enterprise, or Education edition of Windows 10, you can turn off automatic updates. But the option is hidden. Here’s what to do in version 1703, if you have a later version of Windows 10 these settings still apply, but the wording is slightly different.
Group Policy editor in Windows 10 1703.
Pausing feature updates in Windows 10.
Microsoft doesn’t like it when people pause updates, and even using Group Policy you can pause updates for only about 30-35 days, depending on the version of Windows 10 you’re using.
If you’ve got the plain old Home version of Windows 10, you can stop some automatic updates by lying to your operating system. (Morally speaking, this doesn’t bother us a bit.)
In older versions of Windows 10 this only works with a Wi-Fi network, but in version 1703 and later ethernet connections can take part as well.
The trick is to tell Windows that you have a metered connection to the Internet—one that can only download so many bits per month without increasing your ISP bill. Microsoft says doing this means “some updates for Windows won’t be installed automatically” and some apps may not work as expected.
Setting a metered connection in Windows 10.
To tell Windows that you have a metered connection (whether you do or not):
You should do this for any network you use, because the setting is set on a per-network basis.
You have two ways to update manually: You can turn off the metered connection option. Or you can simply use another network to trigger the updates.