While most of the time, automatic updates don’t create a problem, but Windows updates are not an exception when it comes to bugs and issues. No one wants a working PC to become unusable; hence, there is nothing wrong if you look for more control over the Windows Update. This post will share how you can change automatic Windows Updates to manual in Windows, defer or delay Features, and quality updates.
Change Automatic Windows Update To Manual in Windows
In Windows, Microsoft now allows you to configure manual updates for both Feature updates (usually twice a year) and quality updates. You can set them so that you will be only notified and configure them to download and apply them to the computer manually. Windows 11/10 Updates are not forced anymore. The settings differ for Windows Home users and Windows Pro users. I have created a dedicated section for Windows Home users at the end.
- Windows Settings
- Group Policy Method
- Defer Quality and Feature Windows Updates
- Notify for Download and Install
- Disable Windows Update
- Windows Home users’ options
Windows Home users cannot access the 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 Settings
You can delay the Windows Update for up to 5 Weeks in Windows 11. Go to Settings > Windows Update and select the number of weeks from the dropdown next to Pause Updates.
Once the pause period is over, it will install the update. Only after that you can again pause the updates.
- 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 unsure how a feature update can impact your computer applications and 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 the Pro version, let’s look at how you can change automatic Windows Updates to manual in Windows using Group Policy. You can choose to defer quality and feature updates, change the notification method, and disable updates.
Defer Quality and Feature Windows Updates
Open Run Prompt (Win + R), type gpedit.msc, and press the Enter key. It will open the Group Policy Editor.
In Windows 11
- Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage Update offers from Windows Update
- Double click on the Select when Quality Updates are received policy
- Enable it, and then configure the number of days by which you want to delay the updates.
You can defer receiving quality updates for up to 30 days. You can temporarily pause quality updates to prevent quality updates from being received on their scheduled time. The pause will remain for 35 days or until you clear the start date field.
To resume receiving paused quality updates, clear the start date field.
In Windows 10
- 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 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 latter contains security updates as well.
You can also edit the values of Feature and Quality Updates in 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 to Enable
- Under Options, select Notify for download and notify for install.
- Click on OK
Disable Windows Update
While we never recommend it, you can configure the following group policy if you have to disable automatic Windows Update.
- 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, your system will never check for Windows updates online, and you won’t receive them unless you change the settings again.
3] Options for Windows Home Users
Windows 10 Home edition does not have access to Group Policy. So we will have to use a few Windows settings and registry methods to achieve it. Go to Windows Settings > Update and Security.
Pause Windows 10 Updates
Click on this button, and the updates will not be installed on the computer. Click it again, which 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 the registry editor.
- Navigate to
- Now you will need to create keys or folders so the structure will look like
- Under Settings, ket creates two Dwords with the mentioned values.
- BranchReadinessLevel ( 10 or 20)
- DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays (maximum of 365 days)
- DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays (maximum of 30 days)
Windows Home consumer base is far more than Windows Pro users, but many settings are unavailable. It is most probably because Microsoft assumes Windows 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 for consumers, and except for IT-enabled features, everything else should be made available.
If you want to try Group Policy in Windows Home, follow our guide to install or enable Group Policy Editor in Windows Home.
I hope the post was easy to follow and you have a better idea of how you can configure and change automatic Windows Update to manual.