How to Pause Windows 10 Update


Windows 10 updates don’t always come at a great time. Whether you’ve got something you’re working on where you don’t want to risk your computer being updated to the latest version of Windows, or you just don’t want to deal with the Windows update notifications constantly, it’s possible to pause Windows 10 updates for up to 35 days. However, be warned that before you can pause your Windows updates again, you’ll have to install the most recent wave of critical updates. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

YouTube player

Steps to Pause Windows 10 Updates

  1. Right-click the “Windows” icon on the left side of your taskbar to open a menu, and then click “Settings” in the menu. The Windows Settings screen appears.
  2. Click “Update and Security” on the Windows Settings screen. The Update and Security screen appears.
  3. Click “Windows Update” in the menu on the left side of the screen. The Windows Update screen appears on the right part of the screen.
  4. Click “Advanced Options” on the Windows Update screen. The Advanced Options screen appears.
  5. Scroll down to the Pause Updates section, and then click to open the drop-down menu beneath “Pause Until.” A list of dates appears, with the furthest date being 35 days out, which is the furthest out that you can pause updates for.
  6. Click to select the date you want to pause updates through. Your updates will now be paused for your selected duration. Windows updates can only be paused for up to 35 days, at which time you’ll be forced to install any outstanding critical system updates.

5 Reasons to Pause Windows 10 Updates

1. To Ensure Stability for Critical Use

When you’re on the brink of a big project or presentation, the last thing you need is a glitch. Pausing updates keeps your system stable. Updates, although generally beneficial, can introduce unforeseen bugs. This is especially risky in environments where even a small malfunction can lead to big losses. By postponing updates, you can choose a more convenient time to deal with potential issues. This approach lets you back up your data and ensures that you won’t face any nasty surprises during critical moments.

2. To Avoid Consuming Limited Bandwidth

Imagine you’re on a metered connection or your internet speed resembles a snail’s pace. Windows updates are notorious for hogging bandwidth. By pausing updates, you control when your internet gets eaten up by large downloads. This is crucial in settings where bandwidth is a precious commodity. Whether you’re sharing a network in a busy office or struggling with rural internet speeds, managing when updates occur can keep your online activities smooth and uninterrupted.

3. To Test Software Compatibility

New updates can play havoc with your installed software. If you rely on specific applications for work or personal use, it’s essential to ensure these programs will run smoothly post-update. Pausing updates gives you time to check compatibility reports and user feedback online. It allows IT departments or tech-savvy users to test updates in a controlled environment before full deployment. This proactive approach can save you from the headache of dealing with incompatible software which can disrupt your daily operations.

4. To Control Update Quality and Relevance

Not all updates are created equal. Some fix critical vulnerabilities, while others might just tweak aesthetic elements. By pausing updates, you get the opportunity to review the update notes at your leisure. You can decide whether an immediate update is truly necessary or if it can wait until a more convenient time. This selective approach helps you prioritize updates that enhance security and functionality over those that are less impactful.

5. To Coordinate with IT Support

In many organizations, updates are managed by a dedicated IT department. Pausing automatic updates allows IT teams to schedule updates during off-hours or when support staff is available. This coordination is vital to minimize disruption and ensure that help is on hand in case something goes awry during the update process. For individuals, it means you can schedule updates when you know you’ll have time to troubleshoot or when you can afford some downtime, just in case.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you click one of the product links I may receive a small commission. This helps support my content, and enables me to continue creating content like this. Thank you for the support!