How to stop receiving updates on Windows 11

Updates to Windows 11 aren’t supposed to be a bad thing. But there are plenty of questions over the quality control applied to the regular patches pushed out by Microsoft. Indeed, sometimes an update meant to fix one thing will break something else entirely. As such, there are more Windows 11 users than Microsoft would want to admit that don’t want to have updates automatically applied to their systems.

The good news is that while Microsoft recommends you take these updates, you can also take matters into your own hands and keep them off your PC. Whether you just don’t want them or want to wait a little while to ensure they’re not broken, here’s how you can pause updates on your Windows 11 PC.

How to pause automatic Windows 11 updates

Screenshot of Windows Update in the Windows 11 Settings app

If you’re only interested in stopping updates temporarily, Windows 11 makes that pretty easy. This is the best way to go about it because the biggest reason you might want to delay an update is to make sure it doesn’t have any big problems. By delaying it a couple of weeks, you can give it some time before installing new updates.

If you have Windows 11 Home, updates can only be paused for one week. However, Windows 11 Pro and higher let you pause updates for up to five weeks. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your PC.
  2. Select Windows Update from the sidebar.
  3. Next to Pause updates, click Pause for 1 week (on Windows 11 Home) or open the drop-down menu to pause updates for up to five weeks. You can increase the time in one-week increments.
    Screenshot of Windows Update with the dropdown menu open with different time periods available to pause updates

Updates will automatically resume at the end of the period you select, and most importantly, you won’t be able to extend the pause until you install the updates that were released during that pause period. That is to say, you can’t prevent updates from being installed indefinitely this way. On Windows 11 Pro, if you selected a period shorter than the five-week maximum, you can keep extending the pause until you reach that limit, but that’s it.

How to stop receiving automatic Windows 11 updates using Registry Editor

Screenshot of a Registry Editor window open over a Windows 11 desktop

For a more permanent solution, you can stop Windows 11 updates using the Registry Editor. We should note that the Registry Editor is a very powerful tool, for better and for worse, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can cause serious damage to your PC.

With that being said, if you feel comfortable using it, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows + R on your keyboard.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.
    • You can also type this text in the Start menu to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. In Registry Editor navigate to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows using the navigation tree on the left.
    Screenshot of the Windows 11 Registry Editor with the Windows key selected on the left-side menu
  4. Right-click on the Windows folder and select New, then Key.
  5. Name the new key WindowsUpdate and hit Enter.
  6. Right-click on WindowsUpdate and select New, then Key.
  7. Call this key AU and hit Enter again. Your navigation tree should look like this.
    Screenshow of the Windows 11 Registry Editor with the AU key selected
  8. Right-click on AU and select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  9. Name this value NoAutoUpdate and press Enter.
  10. On the main portion of the window on the right, double-click on NoAutoUpdate
  11. Ensure Hexadecimal is selected under Base and change the Value box from 0 to 1.
    Screenshot of the Windows 11 Registry Editor showing a value called NoAutoUpdate set to a Hexadecimal value of 1
  12. Hit the OK button and restart your PC.

Automatic updates will now be halted, but you can still manually pull updates at any time from the Settings app. To reverse this, follow the same steps above, but as you get to WindowsUpdate simply delete, reboot, and you’re back getting automatic updates.

How to stop receiving automatic Windows 11 updates using Group Policy Editor

Screenshot of two group policy windows open over the Windows 11 desktop

The third method you can use only applies to Pro and Enterprise users since Home editions of Windows don’t have the Group Policy Editor. If you only have Home, use one of the methods above. If you have a supported version, though, here’s how to use Group Policy Editor to stop automatic updates:

  1. Press Windows + R on your PC to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
    • Alternatively, you can simply open the Start menu and type this text in the search bar.
  3. In Group Policy Editor follow this chain to navigate to the correct location: Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Windows Update> Manage end user experience.
    Screenshot of the Group Policy Editor open to the
  4. Double-click on the option labeled Configure Automatic Updates and select Enabled to turn it on.
  5. In the Options box, find 2 – Notify for download and auto-install and click Apply.
    Screenshot of the automatic update configuration window in Group Policy Editor
  6. Click OK to confirm.

You will now no longer see updates automatically install, but you will be able to apply them manually from the Settings app.

Of the three methods detailed here, the first is not only the easiest and most available to everyone, but it’s also easily the safest. For one thing, getting updates is important since they contain important security fixes. Delaying them is one thing, but stopping them completely can expose you to serious threats. Plus, if you’ve never jumped into making registry edits before, you won’t be in any danger of making accidental but potentially serious errors. And it’s much quicker to re-enable updates this way, too.