Can You Turn Off Windows 10 Updates? Should You?

Can You Turn Off Windows 10 Updates? 
Should You?

In the past, you could “turn off” Windows updates. With Windows 10, it is very difficult. Microsoft wants to install updates automatically and universally. Updates include security changes and other new features. Twice per year, Microsoft issues major 'Feature Updates'.


Unfortunately, there is a downside to these benefits. Windows updates can ‘break’ critical applications from third parties. Also, PC's can sometimes freeze up, after a Feature Update.


So what should you do?


With delay, you give your third-party software vendors time to make adjustments to their code.  When complete, you can download and install upgrades and patches to your critical software first --  before you install major Windows 10 upgrades.


Options to defer installing major updates are only available on Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions.


To delay updates on your Windows 10 computers, the process is simple.

(Note: This applies only to the Major Feature Updates. It is very difficult to delay the 'weekly' updates from Microsoft).

 Go to PC Settings.  Click on the icon “Updates and Security”.

Windows Update and Security 1

Then. click on “Advanced Options”

Windows Update and Security 2

Next, change the setting in in the local Win Update area to Business Service Branch taking them out of Current Branch (the default and aggressive update setting). You can also specify extra days to delay the install of the feature update as well just below the Branch selection.

Windows and Security and Updates 3

On Windows 10 version 1709 (known as Windows 10 Fall Creators Update) this window looks a little different.  Here you can change the setting from Semi-Annual Targeted (the default and most aggressive in applying updates) to Semi-Annual.  From the second drop-down list, choose an additional deferral time, up to 365 days, for feature updates. This deferral period applies to the servicing channel you chose in the previous setting. The default is 0.


Windows and Security Updates 4

Your network administrator can also control these settings in a Windows Domain by setting up a policy to globally control the aggressiveness of the update schedule.




While you cannot stop updates in the Windows 10 environment; you can delay them. This gives you time to confirm program compatibility, to reduce any lost productivity and downtime.

However, be cautious about delaying Windows updates.  You may also be delaying critical security updates. Over time your goal should be to work only with third-party software suppliers who are compliant with Microsoft Windows standards, so that update DELAYS are short-lived or no longer necessary.


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