How to delay or pause Windows 10 updates for a while

When they released Windows 10, Microsoft made a statement in which they announced that this operating system will always be updated, meaning that they will push updates to Windows 10 systems whether users like it or not. For some users, this is great while others hate receiving updates all the time. However, if you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, Microsoft allows you to delay the Windows updates for a time. Here’s how:

NOTE: This guide works in Windows 10 Creators Update or newer. The Creators Update is available to all Windows 10 users, for free, starting April 11, 2017.

Step 1. Open the Settings app

The first thing you’ll need to do, to delay Windows 10 updates, is to launch the Settings app. A quick way to do it is to click or tap on its shortcut from the Start Menu or use the keyboard shortcut Windows + I.

Step 2. Go to Windows Update’s advanced options

In the Settings app, open the Update & security category.

Select Windows Update on the left side of the window. Then, on the right side of the window, click or tap the Advanced options link from the Update settings section.

Step 3. Choose between the Current Branch and the Current Branch for Business updates waves

In the Advanced options panel, scroll until you get to the section called “Choose when updates are installed.”

The first option you get here is the option to choose whether you want to enroll your Windows 10 PC in the Current Branch or the Current Branch for Business. This choice affects when feature updates are installed.

Microsoft also explains what this means: “Current Branch means the update is ready for most people, and Current Branch for Business means it’s ready for widespread use in organizations.” It means that if you enroll in the Current Branch, your Windows 10 PC will get the feature updates as soon as they are officially released by Microsoft. If you enroll in the Current Branch for Business, your Windows 10 PC will get the same updates as the Current Branch, but after four months have passed since their release. This means that you get major updates like the Creators Update, four months later than most home users when the first bugs that are discovered by the users of the Current Branch are fixed.

If you’re a home user and you want the latest features as they become available, you should probably choose the Current Branch. If you want enhanced stability and to encounter as few bugs as possible, you should choose Current Branch for Business. If you’re using your PC in a business environment where reliability matters most, you should probably opt to get updates when they’re distributed for the Current Branch for Business.

Step 4. Choose how many days to defer updates

After you’ve chosen your preferred updates branch, it’s time to configure in detail how many days you want to postpone the Windows 10 updates before they are downloaded and installed on your PC. The first thing you can control is the number of days to delay the feature updates. If you’re wondering, feature updates mean updates that bring new features to Windows 10 or improve the existing ones. You can choose to delay them by up to 365 days.

Secondly, you can also choose for how many days your Windows 10 PC will delay “quality updates.” These updates are security improvements or bug fixes. These can not be delayed for more than 30 days.

Step 5. Temporarily pause updates

If what you want is to pause all the Windows updates for a while, you can do that too. The Pause Updates section lets you “temporarily pause updates from being installed on [your] device for up to 35 days”. However, before turning On the Pause switch, make sure you understand that “when updates resume, [your] device will need to get the latest updates before it can be paused again.” So, you can delay all Windows 10 updates for some time, but you’ll need to install them all after that time is up.

That’s it!

What if you don’t have Windows 10 Pro?

If you have Windows 10 Home which is aimed at home users, you can’t delay Windows updates. Therefore, want it or not, all the updates will get installed as soon as they are released by Microsoft. The only way to delay some Windows updates for a while in Windows 10 Home, is to set your network connection as metered. When you do that, Windows Update only downloads priority updates, like critical security patches. Other updates, like feature updates, are not automatically downloaded. If you want to know more about metered connections in Windows 10 and how to work with them, check this guide: What are metered connections in Windows 10, how to enable them and why.

Conclusion

While many users hate updates, they are a “necessary evil.” Without them, software ecosystems like Windows 10 would stagnate, and our computers and devices would become very insecure and easy to hack. To make the updating experience less frustrating, Windows 10 Creators Update offers several welcome improvements, which allow us to postpone updates. Follow this guide, set things the way you want and let us know why you prefer to pause or delay updates in Windows 10.