How to stop automatic updates on Windows 11

Windows 11 Disable Automatic Updates
Windows 11 Disable Automatic Updates (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows 11 receives maintenance and security updates automatically every month and as required to patch vulnerabilities, fix bugs, improve the overall performance, and (occasionally) add new features. Although this approach keeps devices updated with the latest bits, it's one of the most frustrating features since the quality control of updates has been questionable.

This is not only because they still require a restart to finish applying the changes that can disrupt your workflow but also because the number of updates with bugs negatively affecting the experience has increased significantly in recent years. We have seen updates breaking features, causing drivers and app compatibility problems, slowing down performance, and causing the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD).

While it's always recommended to keep up with updates, if you find more problems than improvements or have a good reason, Windows 11 includes a few options to disable automatic updates using Settings, Group Policy, and Registry.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to prevent Windows Update from automatically downloading updates onto your laptop.

How to disable automatic updates with Settings

When you try to avoid a specific update, you don't have to disable the Windows Update feature permanently. You can simply use the option in the settings to pause updates for up to five weeks. This option is available for Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro.

To disable updates for Windows 11 temporarily, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Windows Update.
  3. Use the "Pause updates" setting and select the number of weeks (up to five) you want to disable automatic updates for Windows 11.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will no longer download and install updates automatically during the time you specified in the settings.

If you want to resume updates, you can use the same instructions shown above, but on step 3, click the Resume updates button.

How to disable automatic updates with Group Policy

On Windows 11 Pro and higher, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to permanently disable automatic updates or change the Windows Update settings to decide when your computer gets serviced.

Disable updates completely

To disable automatic Windows 11 updates permanently, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for gpedit.msc and click the top result to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path:Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage end user experience
  4. Double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Check the Disabled option to turn off automatic updates permanently on Windows 11.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Apply button.
  2. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, Windows 11 will stop downloading and installing updates automatically.

If you need to update the system, you must do it manually from Setting > Windows Update and click the Check for updates button.

If you want to re-enable automatic updates, you can use the same instructions outlined above, but on step 5, make sure to select the Not Configured option.

Change updates settings

The Windows Update policy also lets you decide how to disable automatic updates on Windows 11.

To manage automatic Windows 11 updates download with Group Policy, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for gpedit.msc and select the top result to launch the experience.
  3. Navigate to the following path:Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage end user experience
  4. Double-click the Configure Automatic Updates policy on the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Check the Enabled option to turn on the policy.
  2. Under the "Options" section, select the 2 — Notify for download and auto install option.Quick note: Since there's no specific option to disable the feature, the closest alternative to disable Windows Updates is the 2 — Notify for download and auto install option. If you choose this option, updates won't download automatically. Instead, on the Windows Update settings page, you will see an "Install now" button to manually download and install the patches.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Apply button.
  2. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, automatic updates will no longer occur on Windows 11. However, when new updates become available, you can choose to install them manually from the Windows Update settings page.

How to disable automatic updates with Registry

You can also disable automatic updates using the Registry in at least two different ways, like when using the Local Group Policy Editor.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky and can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. Before proceeding, it's recommended to make a full backup of your PC.

Disable updates completely

To disable Windows Updates permanently through the Registry Editor, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  4. Right-click the Windows (folder) key, select the New submenu, and choose the Key option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Name the new key WindowsUpdate and press Enter.
  2. Right-click the newly created key, select the New submenu, and choose the Key option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Name the new key AU and press Enter.
  2. Right-click the AU key, select the New submenu, and choose the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Name the new key NoAutoUpdate and press Enter.
  2. Double-click the newly created key and change its value from 0 to 1.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the OK button.
  2. Restart the device.

After you complete the steps, the automatic update feature on Windows 11 will be disabled permanently. However, you can still install updates from the "Windows Update" settings page.

If you want to undo the changes, you can use the same instructions, but on step 4, right-click the WindowsUpdate key, select the Delete option, and restart the device.

Change updates settings

On Windows 11, the Registry also allows you to configure the system settings to choose how updates are installed instead of disabling the feature altogether.

To customize Windows 11 update settings with the Registry, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  4. Right-click the Windows (folder) key, select the New submenu, and choose the Key option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Name the new key WindowsUpdate and press Enter.
  2. Right-click the newly created key, select the New submenu, and choose the Key option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Name the new key AU and press Enter.
  2. Right-click the AU key, select the New submenu, and select the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Name the new key AUOptions and press Enter.
  2. Double-click the newly created key and change the value from 0 to 2.Here is the description of the available options:
    • 2 — Notify for download and auto install.
    • 3 — Auto download and notify for install.
    • 4 — Auto download and schedule the install.
    • 5 — Allow local admin to choose settings.
    • 7 — Auto Download, Notify to install, Notify to Restart.
    These options work exactly like the Group Policy settings, and option 2 is the closest to disable Windows Update on Windows 11 permanently.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the OK button.
  2. Restart the device.

Once you complete the steps, cumulative updates will no longer download and install automatically. However, when a new update becomes available, you will find the option to install it manually from the Windows Update settings.

You can always use the instructions outlined above to undo the settings, but on step 4, right-click the WindowsUpdate key, select the Delete option, and reboot the computer.

Although updates are essential to patch security vulnerabilities, fix problems, and enhance the experience, sometimes, you may want to disable the feature for various reasons. For instance, you want to prevent problematic updates from causing more harm than good or you are using specific equipment or programs that may not benefit from a system update. Or you want complete control over updates.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

4 Comments
  • This is one of the main reasons why I blocked update to win11
    I'll wait a few years, when win 11 or 12 is mature, I'll start to think of upgrading.
    In the meantime i'm more than happy with win10.
    There is enough time till 2025
  • PS
    My laptop is fully compatible with win11, but I'm not ;)
  • I see nothing changed, windows update sucked in windows 10 and it will keep sucking it seems...
  • Don't do this. Keep your system updated. Otherwise, why even bother to update to Windows 11???