How to defer Windows 10 updates

Windows 10 forces updates on home users, but Windows 10 Pro users can slow down feature upgrades if they want.

Forced updates in Windows 10 have their appeal. For Microsoft, it helps keep the majority of its users on the same build of Windows 10, reducing legacy support issues.

For users, it keeps your system up-to-date and reduces the chances of getting hit with malware that takes advantage of unpatched systems.

But some folks resent the idea of having updates forced on them—especially when some of those updates cause problems or won’t install properly.

If you’re running Windows 10 Home you’re at the mercy of Microsoft’s update schedule (though we have some tips for you at the end of this article). Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users, however, have the opportunity to defer certain types of updates.

Now, when I say that Pro and Enterprise users can do this, I really mean Pro users. Most enterprise PC update settings will be under the control of an IT department that's probably deferring updates anyway. But there are undoubtedly a lot of Pro users out there since Microsoft allowed people to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro (and later to Windows 10 Pro) from any version of Windows 7 and XP.

How to defer Windows 10 updates

deferfeatureupdates

Deferring updates in Windows 10.

First, click on Start and select the Settings cog icon on the left side of the Start menu to open the Settings app. Now go to Update & Security > Windows Update; under the “Update settings” sub-heading, select Advanced options. A new Advanced options screen will pop up. From here, click the Defer feature updates check box.

That’s it.

What deferring Windows 10 updates means

Adjusting this setting puts you on a special update channel for Windows 10 known as the “Current branch for business.”

This version of Windows 10 doesn’t receive feature upgrades as quickly as everyone else. Security updates, however, are delivered on the same schedule regardless of branch.

Microsoft says that when you defer upgrades you won’t be forced to install feature updates (such as the upcoming Creators Update) for “several months.” It’s not exactly clear how long that is.

It could be just two months or, as ZDNet’s Ed Bott reported in July, it could be around four months. It should be enough time to make sure all the major bugs are worked out on Windows 10 Home systems, however.

Sorry Windows 10 Home users. You may not be able to defer upgrades, but there are a couple of tricks you can employ to make forced updates more tolerable.

Check out our tutorial on how to schedule when Windows 10 updates are installed, as well as a trick to prevent upgrades from downloading automatically by setting your Wi-Fi as a metered connection.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags upgradesWindows 10 ProfessionalMicrosoftWindows 10

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?