Taming and Controlling Windows Update in Windows 10

Windows Update can sometimes be a pain.  While it’s both necessary and helpful to have security and stability updates automatically delivered to your PCs, this all too often results in restarts and downloads happening at the most unhelpful times.

Fortunately it’s very easy to control Windows Update and pause updates completely if you’re working on something important and can’t be disturbed.  In Settings click Update & Security and you’ll be presented with the main Windows Update settings.

Here you will see a big, helpful, Pause updates for 7 days button, and with a single click you can make sure that you’re not bothered by Windows Update at all.

If you click the Change active hours button, you can decide when during each day it is appropriate to have Windows Update downloading and installing updates, or you can set the Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity button, where the active hours will vary, depending on when you are using your PC.

Advanced options for Windows Update are also available from the main Settings screen, including being able to automatically get updates for other Microsoft software such as Office 365, and to optionally download updates over a metered (cellular) network.  Be aware though that cellular data can be expensive which is why this option is disabled by default.

If you want to pause Windows Updates for more than 7 days, the Advanced Options allow you to set a pause period of up to one month.  Here you can also delay Windows Feature Updates, which are delivered every six months, for up to a year, and quality updates, which include perfomance and bug fixes, for up to 30 days.

All in all, Windows Update is highly configurable and it can be well worth spending a few minutes setting it up as you like, so as to avoid unwanted restarts when you’re working.

For in-depth Windows 10 Troubleshooting advice, Mike Halsey’s book “Windows 10 Troubleshooting, Second Edition” is on sale now from Apress, Amazon, and all good booksellers.