How you can manage Windows 10 updates to avoid them from ruining your life

How do i stop Windows 10 updates? Whether it’s preventing Windows 10 from kicking off a critical update throughout a presentation, or deferring Microsoft’s Windows 10 feature update because of worries about data loss, it’s an issue we’ve all asked. You shouldn’t block all Windows 10 updates. However, you can manage them.

Windows 10 feature updates and security updates give a valuable service: they not just patch Windows, its apps and components, but provide new features and capabilities twice yearly. Windows Update may also automatically provide updated drivers for hardware connected to your PC, such as a USB-attached printer.

Once we write this, however, Microsoft is wrestling with the fallout in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, which apparently deleted user data in an undisclosed number of instances and was put on hold, then resumed. Would you are interested a car if it had a 0.001 percent chance of exploding? Probably not-which is why it’s best to understand how to manage Windows 10 updates, now and in the near future.

Three tools to handle updates with Windows 10 Home

When you’re creating a PC you have two various Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating-system: Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 Home can be the cheaper alternative, at $139. But at $200, Windows 10 Pro offers some advantages, too. We previously identified five features that will cause you to wish to switch from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro, however in this example we’d give a sixth: the ability to more finely manage Windows updates.

Windows 10 Pro allows you to defer updates for several days and days. If you’re a Windows 10 Home user, you might too accept your fate: Windows 10 updates-both periodic security updates, along with the semi-annual feature updates-will arrive on your computer almost as soon as they’re released. Don’t worry, though, as Windows Home and Pro users alike have some defenses against surprise Windows 10 update: Active Hours, Restart reminders, and Metered updates.

To access them, first navigate to the Windows 10 Settings menu, then to Home > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options.

Active Hours can be a Windows 10 Home user’s strongest weapon against unexpected Windows 10 updates. (This setting is found in Home > Update & Security > Windows Update > Change active hours.) It’s here that you could tell Windows when you’re actively using your PC, and when it shouldn’t update Windows. The default is business hours: 8 a.m. to five p.m., though you can set a window for up to 18 hours later than the start time. Active Hours shouldn’t allow the update to happen during that period. Be careful, though, because the update could still start at, say, 4 a.m., when Active Hours is disabled and you’re away from your PC.

Even when that occurs, though, you should receive a reminder via Windows’ restart reminders, the checkbox that allows you to realize that “We’ll show a reminder when we’re going to restart.” Even if all else fails, checking this box should appear a notification that Windows will ultimately restart and install increase, providing you with serious amounts of save and exit your projects. I’ve personally had Windows alert me that the update was coming when I what food was in laptop computer and working with Active Hours enabled. Windows didn’t update during Active Hours, however i was able to remind myself in order to save everything before I left for the night. (Setting a reminder via Cortana may help.)

It’s not perfect: If you’re at lunch, for instance, the notification may pop up after which have disappeared by the time you’ve returned. But there should a minimum of be considered a reminder in your Notifications that an update is within coming.

Preventing Windows updates from downloading over metered connections can be a sneaky method of possibly preventing an unwanted Windows update. Windows now sees that quite a few users may have metered data connections, with strict limits how much data they are able to download per month. Microsoft politely enables you to defer an unexpected update via a metered connection, which means you don’t pay an extra fee.

Windows is unaware whether an association is metered, however. (And yes, you are able to lie.) Designate your broadband connection like a metered connection by entering Settings > Network & Internet, then Change connection properties. It’s here that you’ll see a toggle to Set as metered connection. You can then return in to the Windows Update settings and toggle Automatically download updates, even over metered data connections… to Off.

Unfortunately, the default behavior when your PC is linked to ethernet is to think that your computer is on an un-metered connection. So when you’re linked to Wi-Fi, Windows will still probably download “priority” updates, so this can’t be considered a foolproof solution. And if you’ve multiple Wi-Fi connections available, you’ll need to set these as metered, too, that is a pain.

Overall, a far more convenient choice is Windows 10 Pro.

Windows 10 Pro enables you to defer updates

All of the settings and options above can be found within Windows 10 Pro, but there are several additional options that really permit you to choose when updates could be installed. Should you own a Windows 10 Home PC, you can upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro from within the Windows Store app for $99, or you can make use of this Microsoft Store link from a Windows 10 Home machine.

(There’s one catch: if you’re working on an Enterprise or Education edition of Windows, some of these options may not be available to you, as your PC may be centrally managed by an IT department or any other administrator that has set a specific insurance policy for your PC. If you manage the PC, though, check out our earlier story based on how to show off Windows 10 automatic updates.)

Actually, the Windows 10 Settings menu including Home > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options will include a lot more options with Windows 10 Pro, such as the ability to pause updates, choose when updates are installed, and also the actual deferral of both feature and security updates.

Among the behaviors we have seen on a Pro machine happens when an update reminder lands on your machine: Microsoft allows you not only to delay your update, but also to specify exactly when. You are able to schedule the update for anytime within a week.

One of the most confusing options is Choose when updates are installed. Here, you have two options: Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), and just a vanilla Semi-Annual Channel option. These refer to the semi-annual dates when corporations typically get the feature updates, like the October 2018 Update for Windows 10.

Generally, the targeted option implies that you’ll get a feature update on or comparable day as the public, i.e., the announced “ship date” of the feature update. PCs around the vanilla “Semi-Annual Channel” will get the update later, after corporate IT departments have given feedback and Microsoft has issued an update patch to fix any issues. There’s no fixed date for when you’ll finally receive the feature update under the Semi-Annual Channel. However, this is actually the most conservative setting if you’re still granting Microsoft the liberty to unveil an element update if this chooses.

You can tack on additional time if you would like. Close to the bottom you’ll see choices to defer feature updates and quality updates. In fact, Microsoft’s less concerned about whenever you get a feature update, since you can defer it for any full 365 days. Security or “quality” updates are more essential, and your window is even smaller: 30 days. If you’re concerned about a bad patch, however-and they are doing occasionally happen-the update deferrals should protect you.

The ultimate option is what you might call a vacation hold for patches: Pause updates. There’s no mystery here; if you’re traveling abroad or simply don’t want to be bothered with unexpected patches on a business trip or vacation, you can simply block them for up to 35 days. And you may do it again and again. The catch, though, is that you’ll have to download increase Windows before you re-enable the Pause updates feature.

The caveat in all of these, obviously, is that Windows 10 is an evolving platform, and Microsoft occasionally adds, subtracts, or adjusts the behaviour of various features. Others, for example our earlier tip on how to upgrade Windows but prevent it from unexpectedly rebooting, may go now, but be quietly disabled in the future. Microsoft was designed to have included a smart updater AI feature inside the Windows 10 October Update to assist mitigate unexpected Windows updates, however it has been pulled.

The end result is this: Windows updates are beneficial to you and your PC. But how Microsoft manages them could use some improvement. You can use these pointers to satisfy in the centre.

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