How to Stop Windows 11 Updates in Progress

Stop unwanted updates from popping up when you're in the middle of something

What to Know

  • Start menu > Settings app > Windows Updates > Pause updates.
  • You can pause an update before one even starts.
  • Paused updates default to one week, but you can change the amount of time an update is paused.

This article provides instructions for how to stop Windows 11 updates in progress and resume the update at a later time.

How to Stop Windows 11 Updates in Progress

Windows 11, like prior versions of Windows, will automatically download and install updates. Automatic updates install important security and bug patches, but they can reduce system performance if you're using the PC while the update is downloading or being installed.

Windows 11 will download and begin to install updates as they become available. This happens automatically without prior notification, so you may not notice the update until system performance takes an unexpected turn for the worse. Here's how to stop the update in progress.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.

    Windows Start button on the Windows 11 desktop
  2. Tap the Settings app.

    Settings app in the Windows 11 Start Menu
  3. Select System in the left hand menu. It may already be selected by default.

  4. Tap Windows Update, which is located near the top of the window.

    Windows Updates in the Windows 11 system menu
  5. Tap Pause updates to pause all updates for a period of time. The default is one week.

    Pause updates button in Windows Update menu

Pausing a Windows 11 update will stop all active downloads and halt any installation currently happening. In most cases, the download or install can resume from where it stopped when you paused the update.

You can pause updates at any time, even if none are currently active.

How to Stop Windows 11 Updates in Progress After Installation Begins

Windows 11 updates install in two phases.

The first occurs after the update downloads. However, major Windows updates finish installation when you reboot or shut down your PC. Should this happen, an otherwise blank screen will inform you system updates are being installed and you should not turn off your computer.

You can't interrupt or stop installation after an update reaches this point. It is only possible to pause updates in the Settings app.

Attempting to stop installation by manually shutting down your PC while an update is being installed carries the risk of corrupting your Windows installation, forcing you to reinstall from scratch. Don't do it!

How to Make Windows 11 Updates Notify You When A Restart Is Required

Windows 11 updates that finalize installation when you restart the PC can take some time and, by default, Windows does not notify you ahead of time. You can change this behavior and make Windows 11 alert you when a restart is required.

  1. Open the Windows Start menu.

    Windows Start button on the Windows 11 desktop
  2. Select the Settings app.

    Settings app in the Windows 11 Start Menu
  3. Select System in the left hand menu. It may already be selected by default.

  4. Tap Windows Updates.

    Windows Updates in the Windows 11 system menu
  5. Select Advanced options.

    Advanced Options icon in the Windows Update menu.
  6. Turn on the toggle next to Notify me when a restart is required to finish updating.

    Notification toggle in Windows Update's Advanced options

What Can I Do if Windows 11 Is Stuck on an Update?

Windows updates are meant to be automated, but a bug may cause an update to become "stuck" and fail to download or install.

In most cases, a stuck update will work itself out over time. You will need to take steps to resolve the issue if it persists more than a week. Our guide to fixing a stuck or frozen Windows Update includes several troubleshooting steps to help you try to resolve the problem.

FAQ
  • How do I update apps on Windows 11?

    Open the Microsoft Store, select Library in the lower-left corner, then select Get updates to install Windows 11 app updates. To keep apps up-to-date automatically, select your profile image at the top of the Microsoft Store, go to App Settings, and make sure App updates is turned on.

  • Why is my computer not shutting off?

    The operating system could have a bug, a program could be interfering with the shutdown process, or there could be an issue with the power button. There are a few ways to turn off your computer when it won't shut down.

  • Why does Windows keep trying to install updates?

    If Windows can't complete an update, it may keep trying to install it. You may need to do some troubleshooting to fix problems caused by Windows updates.

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