Enabling or Disabling Windows automatic updates

Updated: 05/05/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows 10 users

Windows Update is automatically turned on in Windows 10 and cannot be turned off for home users. Only enterprise users (Windows 10 for business) can delay the installation of Windows updates.

Windows Vista, 7, and 8 users

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Under System and Security, click Turn automatic updating on or off in the Windows Update section.
  3. In the Important updates section (as shown below), click the down arrow and choose how you want Windows to download and install updates.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

Windows update properties

Tip: If the drop-down list in the Important updates section is greyed out and does not allow you to select an option, the Windows update settings are likely locked by an administrator. In this case, you cannot make any changes. It is common for computers at a business or school to have an administrator lock on Windows updates, as well as other settings.

If you do not have a System and Security option in the Control Panel, follow these steps instead.

  1. In the Control Panel, open the Windows Update option.
  2. Click the Change settings option on the left side of the Windows Update window.
  3. In the Important updates section (as shown above), click the down arrow and choose how you want Windows to download and install updates.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.

Windows XP users

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Open the System option.
  3. Click the Automatic Updates tab.
  4. Check or Uncheck the option for Keep my computer up to date.
  5. If you are enabling this feature by checking this box, select one of the three settings on how you want to be notified for updates. We would recommend selecting the second option, Download the updates automatically and notify me when they are ready to be installed.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Windows 2000 users

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Open Automatic Updates.
  3. Check or Uncheck the option for Keep my computer up to date.
  4. If you are enabling this feature by checking this box, select one of the three settings on how you want to be notified for updates. We would recommend selecting the second option, Download the updates automatically and notify me when they are ready to be installed.
  5. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Additional information