Here we can see, “How to Pause and Defer Updates on Windows 10’s Creators Update”
Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions give you more control over Windows Update than Windows 10 Home does. If you have one of those editions, you can now pause receiving updates and defer some updates for up to a year, starting with the Creators Update.
Update: Microsoft has changed the way pausing and deferring updates works in the years since the Creators Update was released.
How to Pause Updates
Windows has a 35-day update pause option. When the timer runs out, Windows 10 unpauses, checks for updates, and begins installing them. Before you can pause updates again, Windows will need to install the most recent updates.
- Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options to pause updates. Scroll down and select “Pause Updates” from the drop-down menu.
- Please keep in mind that this option is only available if you’re running Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education, and even then, only if you’ve installed the Creators Update. If you’re using Windows 10 Home, you won’t be able to pause updates.
How to Defer Updates if You’ve Installed the Creators Update
Starting with the Creators Update, you can use the Settings interface to defer various types of updates. This allows you to postpone getting updates until they’ve been thoroughly tested. This option was included in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which was released in mid-2016. Still, it required the Local Group Policy Editor (and we have instructions for doing that a bit later).
Windows updates are divided into three categories by Microsoft:
- Major security flaws are addressed in security updates. You can’t put off security updates in any way.
- New features and significant updates to existing features are included in feature updates. You have the option to postpone feature updates for up to 365 days.
- Minor security fixes, critical updates, and driver updates are included in quality updates, similar to traditional operating system updates. You have the option to postpone quality updates for up to 30 days.
Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options to defer updates. To specify how many days you want to defer updates, scroll down and use the “Feature update” and “Quality update” options under “Choose when updates are installed.” To stop deferring updates, set these options to “0.”
This page also allows you to switch from the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), which was previously known as the Current Branch, to the Semi-Annual Channel for Buffers, which was previously known as the Current Branch.
The standard Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) option ensures that you receive updates when they are made available to consumer PCs. If you switch to the Semi-Annual Channel, you’ll only get updates after Microsoft has thoroughly tested them and determined that they are ready for Enterprise deployment. This usually occurs four months after the update is made available to the public.
If you switch to the Semi-Annual Channel and defer feature updates for 365 days, you’ll get them a year after they appear in the Semi-Annual channel. In other words, after an update is released to consumer PCs, it will take about 16 months for it to reach your PC.
If you’re running Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education, and you’ve installed the Creators Update, you’ll see these options. Unfortunately, if you’re using Windows 10 Home, these options aren’t available.
How to Defer Updates Using Group Policy if You Don’t Have the Creators Update
You can choose to defer updates even if you haven’t yet upgraded to the Creators Update. You need to use Group Policy to accomplish this. This is useful if you’re still on the Anniversary Update and don’t want to get the Creators Update right away.
Be aware that the Local Group Policy Editor is a powerful tool before you begin. It’s worth spending some time learning what it can do if you’ve never used it before. Also, if you’re on a company network, please do everyone a favour and contact your network administrator first. Finally, if your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that the domain group policy will take precedence over the local group policy.
- By pressing Start, typing “gpedit.msc,” and then press Enter, you can open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Drill down to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Defer Upgrades and Updates on the left-hand side of the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Double-click the “Select when Feature Updates are Received” setting on the right-hand side to open its properties window.
- Select the “Enabled” option in the properties window. Next, enter any number up to 180 days in the “After a feature update is released, defer receiving it for this many days” box to defer updates.
- Alternatively, you can choose to “Pause feature updates” to delay updates for 60 days or until the check box is cleared.
- Using the pause feature is similar to using the regular defer updates feature in the Windows Update interface, with the exception that you can uncheck the box in the Local Group Policy Editor to end the pause and receive the updates.
- The branch readiness level for receiving feature updates is another option in this window. When Microsoft deems features ready for general use, they are added to the “Current Branch.”
- The “Current Branch for Business” receives feature updates more slowly and only when Microsoft deems them ready for enterprise use. Choose “Current Branch” if you want to get feature updates faster. Choose “Current Branch for Business” if you’re going to put off new features as long as possible.
- When you’ve finished configuring your options, click “OK.”
- Double-click the “Select when Quality Updates are Received” setting in the main Local Group Policy Editor window to open its properties window.
- Select the “Enabled” option in the properties window. Unfortunately, for quality updates, there is no branch selection option. However, you can set the number of days to defer updates to anywhere between one and 30 days.
- Using the pause feature is similar to using the Windows Update interface’s deferral option. It will pause updates for 35 days or until you uncheck the opportunity again. When you’ve finished configuring your options, click “OK.”
The Local Group Policy Editor can now be closed. There’s no need to reboot your computer. Changes are immediate, and you should not receive quality or feature updates for the duration you specify.
Your hardware drivers are also updated automatically by Windows Update in Windows 10. If you prefer, you can disable Windows 10 from updating your hardware drivers.
Unlike the other options for deferring updates, stopping Windows from updating hardware drivers also works on the Windows 10 Home edition.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any questions or comments.
- How do I pause my Windows 10 resume updates?
Choose Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update from the Start menu. Select either the 7-day update pause option or the Advanced option. Then, choose a date for updates to resume from the drop-down menu in the Pause updates section.
- Can you put off Windows 10 updates for a long time?
Those who have Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, on the other hand, have even more control: Microsoft offers a deferral feature that allows you to postpone all updates for up to 365 days after they’re released.
- How do I turn off the 1909 update?
To open the Local Group Policy Editor, search for gpedit. msc and click the top result. Then, on the right side, double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy. To turn off the policy and permanently disable automatic updates, select the Disabled option.
- Does anyone else get fed up with Windows updates?
- Cumulative Updates: January 12th, 2021