How to stop and disable Windows 11 updates

Windows 11 updates that Microsoft sends to your system on a regular basis are intended to keep your operating system up to date. They are mostly a good thing. But as long-time Windows users know, an update can occasionally go wrong, and therefore some prefer to postpone updates for a week or two to ensure that there are no issues with getting the update. In addition, sometimes updates come at an inconvenient time – for example, when you are in the middle of a project with a tight deadline.

You can not stop updates completely, but you can pause them. There is also a way to disable updates, but it is not permanent either. If you want to postpone in case of potential errors or would rather postpone them as long as possible, here is how to adjust your settings.

Pause updates

  • click on Start icon and select Settings
  • Open Windows update

Open Windows Update to see if you are up to date.

Open Windows Update to see if you are up to date.

  • If you have any pending updates, you can see them at the top. You can also click on Check for updates button to see if you have any updates pending. Otherwise you will be told that you are up to date.
  • Just below you will see a Pause update option. To the right is a button labeled Break for 1 week it will let you do just that.
  • If you want to take a break for more than a single week, click on that button again and you can extend the break for up to three weeks.
  • If you want to restart updates, you will see that the button you used to check for updates now reads Resume updates. Click on it.

You can pause updates for up to three weeks.

You can pause updates for up to three weeks.

  • Unlike Windows 10, where you can pause updates for up to 35 days, you unfortunately only get up to these three weeks in Windows 11.

Adjust restart times

Windows usually needs to restart to complete the installation of updates – and since an update may take your computer out of service for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, you may want to adjust the restart times for the most convenient time.

  • On the Windows Update screen, select Advanced settings
  • Searching Let me know when a reboot is needed to complete the update and turn it on. That way you know if there will be a restart and if you want you can reschedule the restart.
  • Just below that, click on Active hours. Look for the drop-down menu to the right Adjust active hours and select either Manually or Automatic. If you select the former, you can select the hours when it will not restart (for example, if it is your work computer, you can choose not to restart between 9 am and 5 pm). If you select the latter, the system will restart when you are not using it.

Advanced settings allow you to adjust your update settings.

Advanced settings allow you to adjust your update settings.

Disable updates

If you want to prevent updates from happening for longer than that, there is a way to disable updates that worked – somewhat – with Windows 10 and should also work with Windows 11. But even with Windows 10, this was not permanent; most sites reported that updates were eventually (especially with a reboot) resumed. However, this can give you some respite.

  • Use Win + R to open race box and enter services.msc. Hit Okay.


Type “services.msc” in the “Run” field.

  • Scroll down to Windows update and double-click on it.

Scroll down to

Scroll down to “Windows Update”

  • In it Startup type drop-down menu, select disabled.

Setting of

Setting “Windows Update” to “Disabled” will stop updates – for a while

  • click Okay and restart your PC.

If you change your mind, you can follow these steps to reactivate it. You may notice that you can select Manual or Automatic. (Most Windows PCs are set to Manual, which simply means that the update is triggered by an event and does not happen automatically when you restart.)