How to stop receiving updates on Windows 11
Updates to Windows 11 aren’t supposed to be a bad thing. But there are plenty of questions to be asked over the quality control applied to the regular patches pushed out by Microsoft. Indeed, sometimes an update meant to fix one thing will break something else entirely. As such, there are more Windows 11 users than Microsoft would want to admit that don’t want to have updates automatically applied to their system.
The good news is that while Microsoft recommends you take these updates, you can also take matters into your own hands and keep them off your PC. Whether you just don’t want them or you want to wait a little while to make sure they’re not broken, here’s what you can do.
How to pause automatic Windows 11 updates
If you don’t want to permanently stop receiving updates, perhaps you just want to avoid particular bugs, you can just pause updates. There are a number of pre-determined time periods, you just go for the one that best suits you.
Here’s how to pause Windows 11 updates for up to five weeks:
1. Open the Settings app on your PC.
2. Select Windows Update from the sidebar.
3. Open the dropdown box next to pause updates and choose your time period.
Once you have chosen to pause updates when your selected time period ends they will automatically resume. You do have the option at any time to go in and extend this by one or two weeks. Likewise, if you want to end the pause, hit the resume updates button and everything will return to normal.
How to stop receiving automatic Windows 11 updates using Registry Editor
For a more permanent solution, you can stop Windows 11 updates using the Registry Editor. However, editing the registry comes at your own risk and you could do some serious damage if you’re not comfortable with what you’re doing.
That out of the way, here’s what to do:
1. Press Win+R on your PC.
2. Type regedit and press enter.
3. In Registry Editor navigate to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
4. Right-click on the Windows folder and select New, then Key.
5. Name the new key WindowsUpdate and hit enter.
6. Right-click on WindowsUpdate and select New, then Key.
7. Call this key AU and hit enter again.
8. Right-click on AU and select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value.
9. Name this value NoAutoUpdate and press enter.
10. Double-click on NoAutoUpdate and ensure Hexadecimal is selected under Base.
11. Change the Value box from 0 to 1.
Hit the OK button and restart your PC. Automatic updates will now be halted but you can still manually pull updates at any time from the Settings app. To reverse this follow the same steps above but as you get to WindowsUpdate simply delete, reboot and you’re back getting automatic updates.
How to stop receiving automatic Windows 11 updates using Group Policy Editor
The third method you can use to stop automatic Windows 11 updates only applies to Pro and Enterprise users. If you’re on Windows 11 Home then you’ll need to use one of the two detailed above. If you have a supported version, though, here’s how to use Group Policy Editor to stop automatic updates:
1. Press Win+R on your PC.
2. Type gpedit.msc and press enter.
3. In Group Policy Editor follow this chain to navigate to the correct location: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage end-user experience
4. Double-click on the option labeled Configure Automatic Updates and select Enabled to turn it on.
5. In the Options box find Notify for download and auto-install and click Apply.
6. Click OK to confirm.
You will now no longer see updates automatically install, but you will be able to apply them manually from the Settings app.
Of the three methods detailed here, the first is not only the easiest and available to everyone, it’s easily the safest, too. If you’ve never jumped into making registry edits before you won’t be in any danger of making accidental, but potentially serious errors. And it’s much quicker to re-enable updates this way, too.