How to prevent downloading updates?

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  1.    27 Sep 2017 #1

    How to prevent downloading updates?


    While I do know it is Microsoft's policy to automatically update Windows, I would really appreciate some control of my own PC, and I alone decide when (and if) I want to download updates.

    I also happen to have a Tronsmart mini-PC which doesn't have much computing power, and it lags a lot when downloading updates. Setting the internet connection to Metered only helps for minor updates, not major updates, and it doesn't work on Ethernet connection, only Wifi.

    What I did try, and which happened to work for just about over a year, was to go to Services and set BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) and Windows Update to Disabled and I also tried in the Recovery tab of these settings, to Take No Action for all failed attempts to restart the service, and set the fail count to 0 days in these settings.

    But 5 days ago it happened to re-activate itself, both BITS and Windows Update, and I haven't done anything on my PC.
    It just enables itself (Windows Update is set to Manual (Triggered) and BITS sets itself to Manual). And this problems persists and Windows insists on updating.

    But I don't want updates!

    What should I do to permanently disable Windows Update from ever downloading updates?

    Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance!

    (btw. I'm using Home edition, so I am aware I cannot use Group Policy to change the update settings either).
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  2. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,808
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1809 - 17763.134 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       27 Sep 2017 #2

    Home edition is designed for non technical users so does not, by design, include update delivery controls. You can achieve some control by setting the network you use for internet access to Metered, and your active hours to the maximum allowed (and switch off outside of these hours).

    You have much more control over updates in the pro and enterprise editions but even these do not have a way to permanently block updates, normally you can block a non critical (feature) update for around 12 months and critical for around 30 days (to allow testing in system critical installations)

    You could upgrade to Pro but even this would not allow full blocking of updates

    the only way to fully block updates is to never connect to the internet but even this may have problems eventually depending on if the end of life data for the OS is built in or set by updates
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  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,185
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       27 Sep 2017 #3

    philosopher said: View Post
    Setting the internet connection to Metered ... doesn't work on Ethernet connection, only Wifi...
    Yes it does. In Creators update it's now in the Settings, but for all other versions it can be done in the registry. See this tutorial:

    Set Ethernet Connection as Metered or Unmetered in Windows 10
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  4.    27 Sep 2017 #4

    Enable or Disable Windows Update Automatic Updates in Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows Update Activation Tutorials
    Option 2, 3

    Notify before downloading.

    Or use Winaero's free tweaker to achieve the same thing.

    That means you should get a prompt that there is a download pending- which is my option. Updates are enabled, but applied when I choose. And on clicking the notification, Settings opens and shows me what the updates are.

    And see
    Change Active Hours for Windows Update in Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows Update Activation Tutorials
    to make sure you don't get unexpected restarts while using your PC.

    There are more options with the Pro version to do with the number of days for which updates are delayed, and that has Defer Feature Updates which effectively delays build upgrades.

    It is possible that MS will choose to sometimes override the Notify option from the Creator's build on.

    There's no need to fiddle with services etc.
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  5.    27 Sep 2017 #5

    Both WUS and BITS are task scheduled and will re-start their services even when disabled.

    I don't normally advise people messing with the Firewall (as it's for advanced users) but I resorted to that when I was on a limited data plan and Windows gobbled my data in the background.
    Since then I still use Tinywall (which is a front-end for windows firewall - there are others but I've gotten used to this ) to limit unwanted connections (like Windows Update) and for extra security.

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  6.    27 Sep 2017 #6

    Superfly said: View Post
    Both WUS and BITS are task scheduled and will re-start their services even when disabled.

    I don't normally advise people messing with the Firewall (as it's for advanced users) but I resorted to that when I was on a limited data plan and Windows gobbled my data in the background.
    Since then I still use Tinywall (which is a front-end for windows firewall - there are others but I've gotten used to this ) to limit unwanted connections (like Windows Update) and for extra security.

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    How exactly do you block Windows Update with Tinywall?
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  7.    17 Nov 2017 #7

    Superfly said: View Post
    I don't normally advise people messing with the Firewall (as it's for advanced users) but I resorted to that when I was on a limited data plan and Windows gobbled my data in the background.
    Since then I still use Tinywall (which is a front-end for windows firewall - there are others but I've gotten used to this ) to limit unwanted connections (like Windows Update) and for extra security.
    BEWARE OF TINYWALL. IT DESTROYS ALL EXISTING CONNECTIONS AFTER INSTALLATION!

    And in the end it didn't even work for me!
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  8.    17 Nov 2017 #8

    philosopher said: View Post
    I'm using Home edition
    So am I, and I have been so for years.

    philosopher said: View Post
    What should I do to permanently disable Windows Update from ever downloading updates?
    Automatic downloading of updates has never taken place at my end since I changed the DWORD value of Default in DefaultMediaCost from 1 to 2. And I use Task Scheduler to run a VBScript file, which will check for updates and notify me when an update is available. I do NOT have to disable the following two services:
    philosopher said: View Post
    set BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) and Windows Update to Disabled

    If I recall correctly, I have told you that it does not work on my Home Edition, which the OP is also using, so I have to keep using my VBScript.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    21 Dec 2017 #9

    I've been trying to stay at 1511 because I use WMC with my HD HomeRun Prime and anything newer kills cable card support in the hacked in version from 8.1.
    I keep disabling everything just to wake up to find I've been force upgraded to 1709 yet again and I keep rolling it back. I actually started downloading it yet again right after I tried disabling a service. I got stupid thinking they finally had figured out how to make the tuner work in the latest builds and downloaded it and now even after going back it just pops up whenever it feels like it and starts downloading and upgrading again. I'm using pro 64 1511 10586.494 which is the last version that still works, anything newer disables the cable card tuner.
    I'm hoping I finally found the settings to kill it as before I upgraded I kept getting messages trying to get me to upgrade but they could never download if I let it try, now it does so not sure if I missed a setting or some new backdoor got added with the upgrade I got rid of.
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  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,185
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       22 Dec 2017 #10

    Dartman said: View Post
    I've been trying to stay at 1511 .... I keep disabling everything just to wake up to find I've been force upgraded to 1709 yet again and I keep rolling it back...
    The 'Features Update to Windows 10, version 1709' can be hidden, just like any other update.

    Hide or Show Windows Updates in Windows 10


    I'd seriously look for an alternative to keeping 1511 though, it's out of support and won't get security updates. If WMC is the sticking point, there are alternatives for that too...

    How-To Geek | 5 Alternatives to Windows Media Center on Windows 8 or 10

    Microsoft said:
    Desktop operating systems Date of availability End of support
    Windows 10 version 1507 ** July 29, 2015 May 9, 2017
    Windows 10 version 1511 ** November 10, 2015 October 10, 2017
    Windows 10 version 1607 ** August 2, 2016 Tentatively March 2018
    Windows 10 version 1703 ** April 5, 2017 Tentatively September 2018
    Windows 10 version 1709** October 17, 2017 Tentatively March 2019


    ** Applies to Windows 10 Home, Pro, Education and Enterprise editions.
    Microsoft | Windows lifecycle fact sheet
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