Disable Windows Update

Before you begin, you need to understand that this is not something that is recommended for a long term solution. It's strongly that keeping your machine as up to date as possible is an important part of keeping the computer and your network safe. Letting Windows Update do its thing automatically, without having to think about it at all, is the best, safest way for the vast majority of Windows 10 users.


The last thing you need is Windows Update to run while the xlights Scheduler is running your show. The information below covers Disabling Windows Update and Re-Enabling Windows Update.


Windows 10 Professional has some control over when updates are installed, however Windows 10 Home has no such option.


The basic approach will be to stop the Windows Update service and then disable it so it can’t be automatically started by subsequent automated update attempts. Since this is intended to be a short-term solution — a “pause” in taking updates, if you will — we’ll also re-enable the service to start it once again.


Disable Windows Update


Run either Windows PowerShell or Windows Command Prompt as administrator. The easiest approach is to right-click on the Start menu and then click on the corresponding app with the “(Admin)” description.

In PowerShell or Command Prompt (which I’ll just refer to as “Command Prompt” from here), type the following command, followed by Enter:

sc.exe config wuauserv start= disabled

Breaking that down:

  • sc.exe – the “Service Control” management program. (The “.exe” part is important in PowerShell.2)

  • config – the action we’re taking

  • wuauserv – the internal name of the “Windows Update Service” service.

  • start= – the configuration setting we’re changing. The space between this and the next item is important.

  • disabled – to set the start-up option of this service to the disabled state.

The result will be a success message.

All you've done so far is change whether the service is allowed to start. It’s likely the service will still be running if it had already been started, so we need to stop it. Enter the command:

sc.exe stop wuauserv

This stops the Windows Update Service. You should get a success message like this.

Even though it states “STOP_PENDING”, it’s likely that the service has stopped completely by the time you’ve finished reading the message.


You can confirm that Windows Update is disabled by visiting the Updates section of the settings app and clicking on Check for updates. It should fail.


Your machine is no longer receiving Windows Updates.


Auto Re-Enabled


People have said that a disabled Windows Update service can magically become re-enabled after some period of time. It’s unclear if this is days, weeks, or longer. If you find yourself needing to do this frequently, one approach would be to put the disable and enable commands into their own “batch” or command file.


For example, create a simple text file in Notepad called disable-wu.cmd. In that file, put the two lines:

sc.exe config wuauserv start= disabled
sc.exe stop wuauserv

Then run that batch file from within an admin Windows Command Prompt. You’ll probably also want to have its counterpart:

sc.exe config wuauserv start= auto
sc.exe start wuauserv

to be used when it’s time to re-enable the service.


Turn Windows Update Back On!!


o re-enable Windows Updates, reverse the process.

First, change the setting that will allow the service to be started:

sc.exe config wuauserv start= auto

This sets the startup setting to “auto”, for automatic, which allows the service to be started as needed.

To confirm this works, start the service:

sc.exe start wuauserv

Finally, return to Windows Update in the Settings app and click on Check for updates.




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