How to change automatic Windows Update to manual in Windows 10

Windows 10 is one of the best operating system launched by Microsoft, and most of the new computers are coming with the pre-installed version of it nowadays. It offers excellent features and functionalities, but one thing seems a bit annoying, especially to those people who have upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 in the past couple of months that it doesn’t let you download Windows update manually. In this post, we will share how you can change automatic Windows Update to manual in Windows 10, defer or delay Feature and quality updates.

How to change automatic Windows Update to manual in Windows 10

In Windows 10, Microsoft now allows you to configure manual updates for both Feature updates (usually twice a year) and quality updates. You can set them such that you will be only notified, and you can configure to download and apply it to the computer manually. Windows 10 Updates are not forced anymore. The settings differ for Windows 10 Home users and Windows 10 Pro users. I have put up a dedicated section for Windows 10 Home users at the end.

  • Windows 10 Settings
  • Group Policy Method
    • Defer Quality and Feature Windows Updates
    • Notify for Download and Install
    • Disable Windows Update
  • Windows 10 Home users options

Windows 10 Home users do not have access to Group Policy editor, but they can use the Registry method to make the changes. Make sure always to create a system restore when making any registry changes.

1] Windows 10 Settings

Windows Update Manual

  • Press WIN + I to open Settings.
  • Then Update and Security >  Windows Update > Advanced options
  • Select defer updates for Feature and Quality updates in days

It is useful when you are not sure how a feature update can impact your applications on the computer, and you need time to evaluate.

2] Using Group Policy Method to Defer Quality and Feature Updates

Although, there is a way to stop automatic updates entirely in Pro version, let’s have a look at how you can change automatic Windows Update to manual in Windows 10 using Group Policy. You can choose to defer quality and feature updates, change the notification method, and also disable updates.

Defer Quality and Feature Windows Updates

  • Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Defer Windows Updates
    • Select when Feature Updates are received
    • Select when Quality Updates are received
  • You can choose when updates are installed to specify for how many days you want to defer updates
  • While Feature updates can be delayed or stopped for a year, quality updates can only be delayed for 30 days. The later contains security updates as well.

You can also edit the values of Feature and Quality Updates the registry by going to

  • HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\DeferFeatureUpdates
  • HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays
  • HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\DeferQualityUpdates
  • HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays

You should know that you cannot re-differ updates once the period is over. You will be able to defer again once you apply the updates,

Notify for Download and Install

If you do not want Windows Update to download and notify to install automatically, you can change it.

  • Hold the Windows key and press R to open Run Box
  • Type gpedit.msc and press OK
  • Click on Computer Configuration > Administrative Templets > Windows Components > Windows Updates
  • Select Configure Automatic Updates from the list and click on it
  • Select the Radio button for Enable
  • Under Options, select Notify for download and notify for install
  • Click on OK

Disable Windows Update

While we never recommend it, if you have to disable automatic Windows Update, then you can configure the following group policy.

  • Once again open Local Group Policy Editor
  • Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templets > All Settings
  • Find Configure Automatic Updates from the list and click on it twice
  • Another box will open up, select the Radio button for Disabled and click on OK

If you make this change, then your system will never check for Windows updates online, and you won’t receive them unless you change the settings again.

Options for Windows 10 Home Users

Windows 10 Home edition does not have access to Group Policy. So we will have to use a few Windows 10 settings, and registry methods to achieve it. Go to Windows 10 Settings > Update and Security.

Pause Windows 10 Updates

How to Pause Windows 10 Updates

Click on this button, and the updates will not be installed on the computer. Click it again, and it will increase the delay by another seven days. As soon as you do this, a resume update button will appear. Click on it to instantly resume looking for new updates. If you want to choose an exact date, go to Advanced Settings, and select a date on the drop-down. You can only delay it for a maximum of 35 days from the current date.

Setup Defer Feature Update via Registry

  • Type Regedit in the Run prompt and press Enter to open registry editor
  • Navigate to
 Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\
  • Now you will need to create keys or folders so the structure will look like
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings
  • Under Settings, ket create two Dwords with mentioned values
    • BranchReadinessLevel ( 10 or 20)
    • DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays  (maximum of 365 days)
    • DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays (maximum of 30 days)

Windows 10 Defer Updates Registry Settings

Windows 10 Home consumer base is far more from Windows 10 Pro users, but there are a lot of settings that are not available for them. It is most probably because Microsoft assumes Windows 10 Home users should be safe, and they are mostly non-tech consumers. However, things have changed, and I believe there should be only one version of consumers, and except for IT-enabled features, everything else should be made available.

Lastly, I hope you were able to change the automatic Windows Update to manual in Windows 10.

About Yogesh Mankani

Yogesh Mankani is a freelance content writer from last 6 years. His passion for blogging, giving words to his ideas and thoughts is what makes him fall more in love with his profession which he takes very personally.

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