Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?

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  1.    20 Feb 2018 #1

    Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?


    I have a secondary computer running Windows 10 64 bit that I use only twice a week when I work with other people. It's often very slow, and I suspect that's because every time I boot it up, it catches up on back updates. There's no notification of updates, so I can't be sure, but sometimes when I shut down after it's been slow, Windows goes into its post-shutdown update routine. How can I turn off update downloads and installs during my work sessions? Get a notification when Windows is downloading or installing an update? Keep my secondary PC updated when I use it only for a few hours twice a week?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    20 Feb 2018 #2

    This will kill the background process - Hit Win+X Menu, open Command Prompt/Windows Powershell (Admin). Type the following, hit Enter after each:
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop bits
    This will stop the Windows Update Service and the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    20 Feb 2018 #3

    If I kill the background process before a work session, do I need to restart it before shutting down the PC, or will it reset the next time the PC is booted? Is there a way to see what Windows Update is doing in the background?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    20 Feb 2018 #4

    It will not reset until you restart it or use Troubleshoot WU in Settings. To manually restart the Windows Update related Services, Command Prompt (Admin)
    net start wuauserv
    net start bits

    Here's a small utility that can automate this, if you want to do this frequently - http://www.novirusthanks.org/products/win-update-stop/
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    20 Feb 2018 #5

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    20 Feb 2018 #6

    Note that BITS is now just a fall-back service for downloading Windows Updates (wuauserv). It's been superceded by WUDO, i.e. Windows Update's Delivery Optimisation service (dosvc) but remains useful if, for any reason, WUDO has an issue.

    If you have Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update) then there's also another service involved... Update Orchestrator Service (UsoSvc).

    I have these 4 services permanently disabled* and only re-enable/start them when I want to carry out an update, i.e. when it's convenient for me, not Microsoft.

    When I want to carry out an update I run the following .BAT file (using 'Run as administrator'):
    Code:
    REM Start Windows Update (wuauserv) and
    REM Delivery Optimization (dosvc) and
    REM Update Orchestrator Service (UsoSvc) and
    REM Background Intelligent Transfer Service (bits)
    
    sc config wuauserv start= auto
    sc config UsoSvc start= auto
    sc config dosvc start= auto
    sc config bits start= auto
    net start wuauserv
    net start UsoSvc
    net start dosvc
    net start bits
    
    REM Now run Windows Update and wait
    
    control /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate
    pause
    
    REM When finished, stop the services and disable them
    
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop UsoSvc
    net stop dosvc
    net stop bits
    sc config wuauserv start= disabled
    sc config UsoSvc start= disabled
    sc config dosvc start= disabled
    sc config bits start= disabled
    This re-enables the 4 services (note that UsoSvc was introduced with 1709 so not needed for 1703 and earlier), starts them then waits in the background whilst the 'Windows Update' page in 'Settings' is run automatically. When I finish updating I return to the commandline window (to make it active) then press a key for the services to be stopped and disabled again.

    *A few days ago (16th/17th) one of my Win 10 Pro PC's had my 'Services' preferences overwritten and was 'updated' from 1703 to 1709 Build 16299.125 without my consent. This also meant that the infamous telemetry service - Customer Experience and Diagnostic Telemetry (DiagTrack) - (which I also had permanently disabled in 1703) was re-enabled and running. I've now disabled and deleted this service.

    Edit: I've made a minor change to the script as it appears MS has made a change to what's allowed for the 'Startup Type' for the Update Orchestrator Service.
    Last edited by RickC; 22 Feb 2018 at 13:06.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    20 Feb 2018 #7

    When you run updates manually, how do you know when they are completed? Why do you need the SC config lines in addition to stop?

    [Q UOTE=jfniss;1301450]I have a secondary computer running Windows 10 64 bit that I use only twice a week when I work with other people. It's often very slow, and I suspect that's because every time I boot it up, it catches up on back updates. There's no notification of updates, so I can't be sure, but sometimes when I shut down after it's been slow, Windows goes into its post-shutdown update routine. How can I turn off update downloads and installs during my work sessions? Get a notification when Windows is downloading or installing an update? Keep my secondary PC updated when I use it only for a few hours twice a week?[/QUOTE]
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    20 Feb 2018 #8

    jfniss said:
    When you run updates manually, how do you know when they are completed?
    The Windows Update page in Settings will tell you (as will Notifications, if enabled) if a restart is required for further installation/configuration. If so, allow the restart then run the .BAT file again (using 'Run as administrator') to see whether you see more updates available or just 'Last checked... blah blah'.).

    jfniss said:
    Why do you need the SC config lines in addition to stop?
    If you just stop the services then a scheduled task, another service or a script can just restart them without you being aware of it. I was caught out by this 3-4 days ago and now have to revert one of my PC's back to 1703. (Thank you Microsoft. )

    Hope this helps...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    20 Feb 2018 #9

    It does help, thanks. But I still have more questions. How do I run a saved batch file as administrator? How do I get to see notifications of updates? I just looked at my notification settings, and I didn't see any on off switch for Windows updates. Thanks again.

    jfniss said: View Post
    I have a secondary computer running Windows 10 64 bit that I use only twice a week when I work with other people. It's often very slow, and I suspect that's because every time I boot it up, it catches up on back updates. There's no notification of updates, so I can't be sure, but sometimes when I shut down after it's been slow, Windows goes into its post-shutdown update routine. How can I turn off update downloads and installs during my work sessions? Get a notification when Windows is downloading or installing an update? Keep my secondary PC updated when I use it only for a few hours twice a week?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    20 Feb 2018 #10

    jfniss said:
    How do I run a saved batch file as administrator?
    There's several ways.
    1. Right-click on the .BAT file and choose 'Run as administrator' from the context menu.

    or (the method I use)

    2. Create a shortcut to the BAT file then amend the Advanced properties (shown as 1) of the shortcut so it's 'Run as administrator' (2).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    or

    3. Use a 'BAT2EXE' converter to create your own executable file which can run with elevated privileges.
    (Not recommended any more because ALL of them that I've used recently are now flagged as creating malware-infected files. They're false positives but who needs the hassle of contacting multiple anti-malware vendors to report them as false positives and provide evidence.)

    jfniss said:
    How do I get to see notifications of updates? I just looked at my notification settings, and I didn't see any on off switch for Windows updates.
    Perhaps 'notifications' was the wrong terminology to use. I meant the Action Center, i.e. the right-most icon in the Taskbar. You can disable the Action Center but I don't recommend it.

    Hope this helps...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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