How to Stop Windows 10 Updates in Progress

Stop those unwanted updates that pop up when you least expect them

Windows 10 updates are an important part of keeping your system protected against the latest security threats. They also introduce new features and can make your PC run faster. But, they aren't always great right out of the gate. If one starts before you give it the say-so, how do you cancel a Windows 10 update in progress?

This guide applies to Windows 10 version 1903 and up.

Windows 10 gives users the ability to pause updates for up to 35 days. Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Pause updates for 7 Days or select Advanced Options and under the Pause updates section, select a date in the future up to 35 days from today.

A Note About Stopping Windows 10 Updates in Progress

If your PC has already started installing the update (i.e., it's on a blue screen with a progress percentage, and it explicitly tells you not to turn off your computer), listen to it. As much as it might be tempting to hit the power button to get your PC working again and stop the update in its tracks, you risk damaging your Windows install, which could make your system unusable.

Instead, let the update finish, and then either uninstall it or use Windows 10's various roll back and reset options to set it back to how it was before the update began.

How to Cancel a Windows Update When It's Downloaded

If you've not quite reached the point where the Windows 10 update is installing, but your PC has downloaded the file, and the shut down and reset options have changed to Update and Shut Down and Update and Restart, you can still stop these updates before they go into effect. You just need to stop Windows' own "maintenance" from taking place.

  1. Open Control Panel, then select System and Security from the list of menu options.

    The System and Security section
  2. Select Security and Maintenance.

    The Security and Maintenance heading
  3. Select Maintenance to expand its options.

    The Maintenance heading
  4. Under the heading Automatic Maintenance, select Stop Maintenance.

    You can always turn maintenance back on to kickstart the update process again. Follow the steps as above, but instead of selecting Stop Maintenance, select Start Maintenance instead.

    The Stop Maintenance command

How to Cancel Windows 10 Updates Indefinitely

If the above method doesn't work or you want to make sure updates aren't applied at any time in the immediate future, you can turn off Windows automatic updates entirely. That should also cancel any Windows 10 updates in progress.

To reverse the process and allow updates to download and install automatically again, follow the steps above. But, after you select Properties, set the Startup type to Automatic. If you want to trigger an update check, select Start from the menu also.

How to Cancel Windows Update in Windows 10 Professional

Windows 10 Professional users have an additional method they can use to stop Windows 10 updates in progress: the Windows 10 Group Policy Editor. It can provide an alternative way of stopping an update that some may find preferable.

This isn't available in Windows Home edition, so unless you're sure you have Windows 10 Professional, skip this section.

  1. Press Windows key+R, then type gpedit.msc, then select OK.

  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.

  3. Search for and either either double click or tap an entry called Configure Automatic Updates.

  4. Using the toggle options on the left-hand side, select Disabled.

    The Disabled option
  5. Select Apply, then select OK.

    The OK and Apply buttons