Windows Update exists to simplify update Windows until the last corrections , update packages and other updates. How much easily depends on how Windows Update is configured for downloads and applying updates.
When did you first turn on your new computer or finish installation operating system Windows you’ve told Windows Update how you want it to act — a little more automatic or a little more manual.
If your original solution didn’t work, or if you need to change the way it works to avoid repeating the auto-update issue, such as what happens on some Correction Tuesdays you can simply customize how Windows updates are received and installed.
Depending on your version of Windows, this could mean downloading but not installing updates, being notified but not downloading, or even disabling Windows Update entirely.
Required time: for changing and downloading Windows updates takes no more than a few minutes.
Microsoft has made changes to the location and wording of Windows Update and its settings almost every time a new version of Windows is released. Below are three sets of instructions on changing/disabling Windows Update: one for Windows 10 one for Windows 8 , Windows 7 or Windows Vista and one for Windows XP .
Not sure which version of Windows you are using? Use the Lifewire System Information tool to find out:
If you’re changing Windows Update settings on another device and don’t know what version it has, see what version of windows do i have? for help.
How to change Windows Update settings in Windows 10
Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft has simplified the options available to you regarding the Windows Update process, but has also removed some of the finer controls you might have had in earlier versions.
Select Start and then select the settings icon.
Select » Update and Security» .
Select Windows Update in the menu on the left if it’s not already selected.
Select Extra options .
The various options on this page determine how Windows 10 downloads and installs updates for the operating system and possibly other software from Microsoft.
We strongly recommend that you do the following: enable Get updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows turn on downloading updates on measured connections (additional charges may apply) and not include any pending/paused update options (if you see them). All things considered, this is the safest route.
Changes to Windows Update settings in Windows 10 are saved automatically after you make them. Once you have finished selecting or deselecting, you can close open window » Extra options «.
Here is more information about all the «advanced» Windows Update settings available to you in Windows 10:
Update notifications: select this option to automatically download updates of all kinds, both for security and for other users. You’ll be told when Windows needs to be restarted to apply them so you can get ready by saving your work, etc.
There is no official way to turn off automatic updates in Windows 10, and there is no easy way to completely disable Windows Update .
That’s what some of the other things on screen » Extra options» :
Get updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows: it’s pretty obvious. We recommend checking this box so that other Microsoft programs you have installed also receive automatic updates, such as Microsoft Office . (Updates for your Windows Store apps are handled in the Store. Open » Settings» in the Store, and then enable or disable the » Update apps automatically .)
Pause updates. If a choose one of these options, Windows will not be able to update your computer for several days, up to 35. After this period of time, Windows Update will be forced to install the latest updates before you can pause them again.
Postpone updates: Windows 10 has two delayed update options to delay feature updates and/or quality updates. This will allow you to wait a few days or months before these updates are automatically installed. Deferring updates is not supported on Windows 10 Home.
On the main screen windows update there is another option:
Change active hours: if Windows restarts for updates while you are using your computer, you can change this setting to tell Windows when you are on the computer to ensure that updates are not forced to restart during this time. Select the automatic option and Windows will choose active hours based on your activity.
Depending on the version of Windows 10 you are using, you may also see the options listed below.
Select branch readiness level: Windows Update lets you choose when to install updates. You can choose Semi-annual channel (Targeted), which means the update is ready for most people, or semi-annual channel, which refers to updates that are ready for widespread use in organizations.
Select a delivery method for updates. These options, if they displayed allow you to enable or disable downloading, as well as downloading files related to Windows Update, over your local network or even over the entire Internet. Participation in updates from more than one location Helps speed up the Windows Update process in Windows 10.
Get Insider Builds: if you see it, it allows you to subscribe to receive early versions of major updates for Windows 10. When enabled, you will have options » Quick» or » Slow» , indicating how soon these test versions of Windows 10 will become available. that you will receive them.
How to change Windows Update settings in Windows 8, 7 and Vista
Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020. This means there are no more updates. Support for Windows 8 ended in 2016, and Vista years before that. If you are still running one of these versions of Windows, then you have nothing to worry about because there will be no updates.
Windows 8.1 will continue to receive updates through January 10, 2023.
These three versions of Windows have very similar Windows Update settings, but we’ll spot any differences as we go through the process.
Open the control panel. On Windows 8 WIN+X menu is the fastest way, and on Windows 7 and Vista check start menu for reference.
Select system and safety or simply Safety in Windows Vista.
If you are browsing » Classic look» » Large icons» or » Small Icons» on the control panels select » Windows Update» and go to step 4.
Select Windows Update in window » System and safety» .
Select Change settings left.
The options you see on the screen right now determine how Windows Update looks for, receives, and installs updates from Microsoft.
We recommend that you choose Automatic update installation (recommended) from the drop down list and then check all other items On the page. This will allow your computer to receive and install all necessary updates.
You can also adjust the installation time for downloaded updates. In Windows 8 it is behind updates that will be automatically installed during links maintenance windows and in Windows 7 and Vista, it’s right there on the Windows Update screen.
Click OK, to save changes. Feel free to close any open windows related to Windows Update.
Here’s a little more about all these options:
Automatic installation of updates (recommended). Select this option to Windows Update automatically checked, downloaded and installed important security patches.
Download updates, but let me choose whether to install them: select this option to have Windows Update automatically check for and download important updates, but not installed them. You will have to explicitly choose to install updates from Windows Update or during the next shutdown process.
Check for updates, but let me choose whether to download and install them: with With this setting, Windows Update will check for and notify you of available updates, but you will need to manually confirm downloading and installing them.
Never check for updates (not recommended): this setting completely disables Windows Update in Windows 8, 7, or Vista. If you choose this, Windows Update won’t even contact Microsoft to see if important security patches are available.
Here’s what some of these other checkboxes mean, but not all of which you’ll see, depending on your version of Windows and your computer’s configuration:
Give me recommended updates the same way I get important updates: this setting gives Windows Update permission to process fixes that Microsoft «recommends» in the same way as fixes considered «critical» or «important» and to download and install them as you would.» selected in the dropdown list.
Allow all users to install updates on this computer. Check this box if you have other non-administrator accounts that are actually in use. This will allow those users to install updates as well. However, even if the checkbox is cleared, updates installed by the administrator will still apply to these user accounts, they simply won’t be able to install them.
Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows: check this option, which is a bit deprecated in Windows 7 and Vista, if you have other Microsoft software and want Windows Update to handle updating them as well.
Show detailed notifications when new Microsoft software is available: it’s pretty obvious: check this box if you want to be notified via Windows Update if uninstalled Microsoft software is available on your computer.
How to change Windows Update settings in Windows XP
Microsoft ended support for Windows XP many years ago. There will be no more updates. For your archives, here’s how it worked when they were still pushing updates.
Windows Update is more of an online service than an integrated part of Windows XP, but options updates can be installed on the operating system.