Stop those Windows Updates?

Hands up who hates Windows updates!
They can be inconvenient, un-timely and cause havoc – so, are they necessary or can they be turned off?

What are Windows updates?
Microsoft releases regular Windows updates all the time – they range from new features to fixing problems and, most importantly, security patches that rectify security vulnerabilities, theoretically making your computer run just that little bit better and safer.

Are Windows updates really necessary?
Chances are, your computer will run just fine without the updates, but only if you never connected to the internet nor installed any new peripherals (printers, cameras, phones…).

So, applying the updates is strongly advised – yes sometimes they “break” things, cause inconvenience (just when you are about to run out of the office laptop half in hand) but they do keep your computer system more secure, fix known problems and provide new drivers to make your peripherals work properly .

How to control the updates?
If you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can simply go into the “Window Update Settings” and adjust the settings just like you used to be able to in previous Windows versions. To get there, just use Cortana – need help with Cortana? Read our previous blog on How to use Cortana.

If you just don’t like the timings of when the updates install and require a restart, adjust those (within reason) here as well.

However, if you are using Windows 10 Home, your options are limited to choosing your “busy” times only – and no, you cannot set it up to be “busy” 24 hours per day…

One workaround that works if you are connected via Wifi only, is to set that connection up as a “metered connection” which disables the automatic download of the updates – however, it also leads to annoying “Working offline” messages in Outlook and can affect One Drive and anything else that needs to synchronize on your computer.

How to stop the updates completely in their tracks?
However, if you want complete control over the updates and don’t even want your computer to check for them automatically, you will have to disable the Windows Update Service.

Using Cortana, type “services.msc”, then right click the found services.msc result and “Run as administrator”. In the resulting pop-up window, scroll down to the “Windows update” service, right click, choose properties and change it to “disabled” and click on “apply”.

Keep in mind, that any updates to Windows Defender will then also be stopped in their tracks. So if that is your chosen Antivirus solution, it might be worth looking elsewhere.

A final word of warning
With Choice comes Responsibility!

Remember, that Windows Updates are a good idea in principal and you are advised to change the Windows Update service back to “automatic” to check for Windows Updates manually, in your own time, on your own schedule, when it suits you (and when you know all is backed up safely)!



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