How to avoid unnecessary Windows updates?

February 2, 2018 |

greater than 5 minutes

Updates have been a common theme for various operating systems over the years. However, forced updates are relatively new to users. The option of disabling updates completely is available to users running older versions of Windows. These older versions include Windows 7 and Windows 8. This is the full list of options available on those versions:

  • Install updates automatically, and this was the recommended option.
  • Download updates but let me choose whether to install, and this was the option preferred by the majority of people
  • Checking for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
  • Never check for updates, and this option was the one Microsoft specifically did not recommend.

The options above were missing in Windows 10 Settings for updates. When Windows 10 was released, Microsoft claimed users of Windows 8 or 7 can voluntarily update their computers. Regardless, some users complained that Microsoft ended up forcing their systems to update to Windows 10. This was not a sign of things to expect but rather a continuation of Microsoft new policies.

Microsoft stated the updates are provided in 2 different forms or modes depending on the client’s type of windows.

Users running the home version of windows do not have the option to defer upgrades. This means their systems will automatically download updates and try to install them regardless of whether the user is busy doing an important work on his/her system. This process of downloading and installing updates often has an impact on PC performances most times unknown to the user.

Your PC would also restart at times to complete updates if you have not taken advantage of the option to schedule restart times. This could be ridiculously frustrating and straight out annoying when you are working on a very important task but you cannot stop a PC you call your own from restarting.

Enterprise users have it a bit better with choice when compared to the limited options provided to home users. They have the option to delay updates for a reasonable period, so they can complete these updates when they are less busy. Microsoft also promised that it would provide updates less frequently to such users, so there is usually enough time interval between successive updates compared to the time available to home users.

Deferring updates:

To defer updates, launch the Settings program. After it opens, click on Advanced options. You will now be presented with a box to tick or untick if you want to defer upgrades. You also do not have to worry about missing security patches with this option. They are still downloaded and applied, but system updates are left out. You should note this option is not available to home users.

How to disable Windows 10 from updating automatically?

This fix is not exactly a solution Microsoft intended for use this way. Microsoft understands that not everyone is always connected to the internet on a bundle that provides unlimited data for cheap. In fact, the vast majority of users pay for internet at prices that depend on the amount of data they consume. So this option works by allowing users to claim they are on a limited data plan in order to prevent updates from being downloaded. Downloading updates requires data which some might not be willing to pay for.

To use this option, launch the Windows 10 Settings program and click on Network and Internet. You will see a list of options consisting of WIFI, Flight Mode, Data Usage, VPN and others on the left-hand menu. Click on WIFI, locate and click on the network to which your system is usually connected.

Finally, the window opens and you will find the option for Metered connection. Toggle it to switch it on. This option helps reduce data consumption thus it prevents your system from downloading updates.

If you prevent updates from being downloaded, then nothing would be available for installation. Hence, you have used this loophole to solve the problem of automatic updates. It is important to know that this option is only available for users connecting to the internet via WIFI. If you connect to the internet through Ethernet or cable, then you certainly need to invest in a router if you want to do away with automatic Windows updates.

If in the future you suddenly decide you would like to receive updates automatically and frequently, then all you need to do is to return to the Metered connection settings and toggle it back on as appropriate.

Using Active Hours to prevent automatic restarts:

For those users stuck with automatic updates, this option might just relieve you of headache associated with unexpected restarts.

Open the Settings program, select Update and Security, scroll down and locate Change active hours. Click on it and you will be allowed to choose the hours between which Windows would not automatically restart. After doing this, Windows is now expected not to restart between those hours. In scenarios outside those selected hours and Windows intends to shut down, it will inform you about it.

Disabling Automatic Driver Updates:

Your system often downloads updates for drivers and installs them in the background. Unknown to most users, this process affects their system performance. Data is also used up without their knowledge. Obviously, it is generally difficult to stop Windows 10 from updating your operating system, but it is a lot easier to stop it from updating your drivers.

To do this, launch Control Panel, locate System and click on it. Now find Advanced system settings and click on it to launch system properties. Select the tab named Hardware and open Device Installation Settings. A message will pop up presenting you with options. Select No and click on Save changes.

Disabling automatic driver updates is less dangerous if you upgrade your drivers through other means. Use of a third party software tends to be more efficient and reliable than windows updates. You also have the luxury of choice- choosing when and how these updates are done.

Auslogics Driver Updater is a proven and recommended program that updates all your device drivers in a single click. Use this tool to keep your device hardware and software working together smoothly.

Updating your system manually

Although we have provided the tips above to users who want to take full control of their systems updates, we recommend that every system is updated as much as possible. Windows needs regular updates to keep itself ahead of a myriad of security loopholes or vulnerabilities. Updates usually contain plenty of important patches and bug fixes.

Microsoft might have considered security as an important factor, hence taking the decision to provide forced updates. Some people simply do not update their systems at all either due to forgetfulness, lack of will or technical expertise. You could always update your system manually by going to the Update menu in the settings program. It is advisable to perform this action a few days before an event that requires you to use your PC at all times. This way you are spared unforeseen problems or embarrassments caused by forced updates.

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