How to Pause Windows 10 Updates

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Microsoft is preparing to roll out the next Windows 10 November 2019 (version 1909) update in the upcoming weeks with a few new features, security updates, and performance improvements.

However, a portion of the update has already rolled out as cumulative updates for Windows 10 1903 users on Sept 10th (KB 4515384), Sept 23rd (KB 4522016), Sept 26th (KB 4517211), and Oct 3rd (KB 4524147). These updates have caused several issues for users that include audio problems, the frequent crashing of the print spooler service, a broken Start menu, and the Cortana search box. Users have also reported problems related to virtualization with VMWare Workstation Pro. The fourth cumulative update even caused Windows PCs to boot loop until a clean installation.

Now, this is not the first time Microsoft has rolled out buggy updates for Windows 10. Last year, the Windows 10 April 2018 Update caused web browsers to freeze and crash frequently and affected overall system performance. The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is infamous for deleting files from PCs, which Microsoft pulled shortly after the backlash from various tech websites and community forums. The ‘October Update’ was then re-released in December 2018.

Avoid the November 2019 Update

There is a possibility that the bugs will reappear in the November 2019 Update, as Microsoft has not acknowledged the bugs publicly except for the issues with printer spooler service. If you don’t want to end up with a broken Start menu or a bricked Windows PC, we recommend not to download and install the Windows 10 November 2019 (version 1909) Update.

Even though Microsoft is rolling out this semi-annual Windows build as an optional update, most users won’t notice in case the auto-update service is enabled. If you haven’t upgraded from last year’s October 2018 Update (version 1809) or installed the cumulative updates for March 2019 (version 1903) yet, you can follow the steps in the guide below to delay or pause the Windows Updates.

Pausing Updates on Windows 10

To pause download and installation of the Windows 10 November 2019, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu from the taskbar.
  2. Now open the Settings app by clicking the cogwheel icon above the power button.
  3. Click Update & Security.

    Windows 10 Main Settings Page
  4. Choose Windows Update from the left sidebar.
  5. Select Advanced options from the list of options below Check for updates button.
  6. You will find a drop-down menu under the ‘Pause Updates’ section. Click on it to expand the menu and select your preferred date.

    Pause updates in Windows 10 Settings

If you are running the Windows 10 October 2018 build, you will see a toggle to pause your updates instead of the drop-down menu. You can delay the feature and cumulative updates for up to 35 days.

Postponing Downloads & Installations of Windows 10 Updates

In case Windows has automatically downloaded the November 2019 feature or 1903 cumulative update, it will start installing the update after shutting down or restarting your PC. Here’s how you can postpone the update installation:

  1. Open Settings from Start Menu.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Select Windows Update from the sidebar.
  4. Click Schedule the restart next to the ‘Restart Now’ button.
  5. Toggle on the switch under the ‘Schedule a time’ section.
  6. Pick up a time and day for the update to install.

You can postpone the installation for up to seven days. If you want to postpone it again, follow the same steps above.

To postpone auto-downloads, you can set up your Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection as metered. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Network & Internet and click on Wi-Fi or Ethernet depending on your connection.

    Windows 10 Main Settings Page
  3. Choose the network connection that says ‘Connected’.

    Choosing an Ethernet connection
  4. Toggle on ‘Set as metered connection’ under the Metered connection section.
  5. Now return to the main Settings page and click on Update & Security.
  6. Click on Windows Update and then open Advanced options.
  7. Toggle off “Download updates over metered connections (extra charges may apply).”

Windows will stop downloading and installing the November 2019 feature and 1903 cumulative updates on your PC until you do it manually.

Conclusion

In this article, we have compiled a step-by-step guide on how to pause updates on Windows 10 for a period of time. We have also included guides to postpone download and installation of Windows 10 November 2019 Update and cumulative updates on your PC. In case you want to update to the latest version of Windows 10, head over to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click on Check for updates button. Though we highly recommend not to install the November update to avoid data loss or soft bricking your device.

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