Windows 11 updates, which Microsoft regularly sends to your system, are intended to keep your operating system up to date. They are for the most part a good thing. But as experienced Windows users know, every now and then an update can go wrong, which is why some prefer to delay updates for a week or two to make sure there are no issues with the update. In addition, updates sometimes come at an inopportune time, such as when you are in the middle of a project with a tight deadline.
You can’t stop updates completely, but you can pause them. There is also a way to disable updates, but it’s not permanent either. If you want to postpone any malfunctions or prefer to postpone them for as long as possible, you can adjust your settings as follows.
- Click on the Get started icon and select Settings
- Open Windows Update
- If there are any pending updates, you’ll find them at the top. You can also click on the Check for updates button to see if any updates are waiting. Otherwise you will be told that you have been informed.
- Immediately below you will see the Pause Updates option. On the right side there is a button labeled Break for 1 week that lets you do just that.
- If you want to take a break for more than a week, click that button again and you can extend the break for up to three weeks.
- If you want to restart updates, you’ll see the button you used to check for updates now reads: Resume updates† Click on that.
- Unfortunately, unlike Windows 10, where you could pause updates for up to 35 days, in Windows 11 you only get until those three weeks.
Adjust restart times
Windows usually needs to reboot to finish installing updates — and since an update can put your computer out of service for a few minutes to a few hours, you may want to adjust the restart times when it’s most convenient.
- From the Windows Update screen, select Advanced options
- To search Let me know if a reboot is needed to complete the update and enable it. That way you know if a restart is coming and you can reschedule the restart if you want.
- Just below that, click Active hours† Look for the drop-down menu to the right of Adjust active hours and select either manually or automatically† If you choose the former, you can select the hours it won’t reboot (for example, if this is your work computer, you can choose not to reboot between 9am and 5pm). If you choose the latter, the system will reboot when you are not using it.
If you want to prevent updates from happening for longer, there is a way to disable updates that – somewhat – worked with Windows 10 and should work with Windows 11. But even with Windows 10 this wasn’t permanent; most sites reported that updates eventually resumed (especially with a reboot). However, this can give you some breathing room.
- Use Win+R to open the . to open walk box and type in services.msc† Hit Okay†
- Scroll down to Windows Update and double click on it.
- In the Startup type drop-down menu, select Handicapped†
- Click Okay and restart your PC.
If you change your mind, you can follow these steps to re-enable it. You may notice that you can choose Manual or Automatic. (Most Windows PCs are set to Manual, which simply means that the update is triggered by an event and doesn’t happen automatically when you reboot.)