How to delay Windows 10 updates like October 2020 Update

Microsoft has started the rollout of Windows 10 October 2020 Update (version 20H2). It is going to be a slow rollout through Windows Update. Microsoft decided to throttle availability over the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download experience, so the update may not be offered to you immediately. While this feature update is mostly about quality improvements and bug fixing, Microsoft does have a history of delivering buggy updates that cause problems to some users. If you want to stay safe, it is a good idea to postpone this Windows 10 update for a while. If you are using Windows 10 May 2020 Update, you can postpone it for up to 35 days. Here is how to postpone October 2020 Update and other Windows 10 updates:

How long can you delay Windows 10 updates?

Regardless of the Windows 10 edition that you are using, be it Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home, you can pause updates. If you use Windows 10 May 2020 Update, you can only delay them for up to 35 days. If you use an older version of Windows 10 and a more expensive edition, such as Windows 10 Pro, you can delay them for up to 365 days.

If you have Windows 10 May 2020 Update on your device, follow the first two steps from this article, because they’re the ones that apply to you. If you’re using an older version of Windows 10 and an edition like Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, or Windows 10 Enterprise, you have additional controls that allow you to defer updates for up to 365 days. Users of these editions should read this tutorial until the end.

Details about the Windows 10 edition, version, and build

IMPORTANT: If you do not know what version and edition of Windows 10 you’re using, here is how to find out: How to check the Windows 10 version, OS build, edition, or type.

Step 1. Access Windows 10’s update settings

Open the Settings app: a quick way is to click or tap its shortcut from the Start Menu. If you prefer using the keyboard, simultaneously press the Windows + I keys on it. In the Settings app, go to Update & Security.

Go to the Update & Security category from the Settings app

By default, Windows Update should be selected on the left. If it is not, click or tap on it. Here you see how Windows 10 updates work. You can pause them for 7 days, view your update history, and access advanced configuration options. To control the delay of Windows 10 updates, click or tap Advanced options on the right side of the window.

Click or tap Advanced options in the Windows Update settings

This action opens the Advanced options for Windows Update, where you decide how, when, and which updates are delivered to your Windows 10 PC or device. If you have Windows 10 May 2020 Update, you see a shorter list of advanced options, as shown in the screenshot below.

The Advanced options for Windows Update in Windows 10 May 2020 Update

If you use a Windows 10 version older than May 2020 Update and an edition like Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, or Windows 10 Enterprise, you have more options, as shown in Step 3 of this tutorial.

Step 2. Delay Windows 10 updates from being installed

Scroll down the list of Advanced options, until you get to the Pause updates section. Here, Windows 10 lets you delay updates from being installed for up to 35 days. To do so, click or tap on the “Pause until” drop-down box.

The Pause updates section for Windows Update

Select the date until when Windows 10 updates are delayed. The maximum available is 35 days from today.

Choose the date until when Windows 10 updates are delayed

NOTE: If you click the Delivery Optimization link under Pause updates, you can set whether you want to allow Windows 10 to download updates from other PCs on your network or the internet.

If you use Windows 10 May 2020 Update, your delay options end here. If you’re using an older Windows 10 version and editions such as Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, or Windows 10 Enterprise, keep reading this tutorial.

Step 3. Choose how long you want to delay Windows 10 feature and quality updates

In Windows 10 Pro, Education, or Enterprise and versions older than May 20202 Update, you can defer feature updates for up to 365 days (one year). In “Settings > Update & Security > Advanced options,” scroll until you find a section called “Choose when updates are installed.” It should be right under the Pause updates section.

Choose when updates are installed in Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise

Here, there are two settings you can configure. The first one says that “A feature update includes new capabilities and improvements. It can be deferred for this many days,” and the second one says that “A quality update includes security improvements. It can be deferred for this many days”.

The first one delays feature updates, such as the October 2020 Update, for up to 365 days (one year). To choose how long to pause feature updates for, click or tap on the list beneath it and select the number of days you prefer.

Feature updates to Windows 10 can be postponed for up to 365 days

The second setting is about Windows 10 quality updates, which are also known as cumulative updates or cumulative quality updates. These are mostly fixes and patches for bugs and vulnerabilities. Such updates do not include new features, changes to the user interface, or significant improvements to the operating system. If you want to stop quality updates from being installed on your Windows 10 PC, click or tap on this setting and choose how many days to delay them. The maximum amount of time you are allowed to defer quality updates is 30 days.

Quality updates can be postponed for up to 30 days

That’s it: you can now close the Settings app and relax. Windows 10 is no longer going to install updates as soon as they become available, but after the time you selected.

Remember that you can’t delay Windows 10 updates forever

When you delay updates, Windows 10 respects the settings you make. However, when the delay period ends, you can no longer pause updates again until Windows 10 installs its latest available version on that date. If you want to configure when Windows 10 is allowed to install updates and restart your PC, read: How to set when Windows 10 is allowed to install updates and restart your PC.

Why do you want to delay Windows 10 updates?

Feature updates to Windows 10, like the October 2020 Update, bring new features, bug fixes, and improvements to the operating system. However, sometimes, they may also cause stability problems for some computers or devices. That’s why it is better not to install those updates immediately, and wait for at least a month or so. Before closing this tutorial, tell us what made you decide to delay Windows 10 updates. Did you encounter any problems in the past? Comment below and let’s discuss.