[Windows 10 Tip] Change Windows Update Download and Installation Related Settings
Imagine a situation when your system administrator or a 3rd party software or a malware disabled/restricted Windows Update settings page. In such situations, you won't be able to change Windows Update download and installation related settings because all available options would be grayed out or completely removed.
Same thing happened with Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft has disabled customization of Windows Update settings in Windows 10 by removing all options related to Windows Update downloading and installation. They did this because they wanted Windows 10 to automatically download and install all updates and hotfixes. Microsoft didn't want Windows 10 users to modify Windows Update settings, the company wanted to prevent them from disabling Automatic Updates in Windows 10.
In Windows 10, you can't change settings of automatically download and install Windows updates in its settings page. Now Windows 10 will automatically download and install new updates without your knowledge and you'll have no idea when and which updates Windows were installed. If you open Windows Update settings page in Windows 10, you get following screen:
You can see in above screenshot, Windows 10 is showing that available updates will be downloaded and installed automatically.
If you are on a limited bandwidth or slow Internet connection, you may want to change the settings to notify you before downloading and installing the updates so that you can select which updates do you want to install and when.
If you are using Windows 10 and want to be able to change Windows Update settings, this guide will help you.
Today in this article, we are going to tell you methods to remove this restriction and to become able to modify Windows Update download and install related settings. After following these methods you'll be able to force Windows 10 to notify and ask you before downloading new updates as shown in following screenshot:
You can see in the above screenshot, Windows Update is showing that you'll be asked to download available updates which means it'll not download new updates automatically. You'll be notified about available updates first. Once you click on Download button, Windows will start downloading available updates otherwise not.
Good news is that we can remove this restriction from Windows Update settings using following 2 methods:
- METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
- METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:
METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)
NOTE: Windows 10 Home edition doesn't contain Group Policy Editor. If you are using Home edition, check out METHOD 2. Other edition users can follow METHOD 1.
1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type gpedit.msc and press Enter. It'll open Group Policy Editor.
2. Now go to:
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
3. In right-side pane, look for "Configure Automatic Updates" option.
4. The option would be set to Not Configured. Double-click on it and set it to Enabled.
Now select any of the given options according to your requirements:
- 2 - Notify for download and notify for install
- 3 - Auto download and notify for install
- 4 - Auto download and schedule the install
- 5 - Allow local admin to choose setting
PS: Select the last option "5 - Allow local admin to choose setting" to be able to choose options in drop-down box on Windows Update settings page.
That's it. Apply changes and open Windows Update settings page. Now you'll be able to change desired settings.
After applying changes in Group Policy Editor, open Windows Update page in Settings app. Now click on "Check for updates" button to force Windows 10 to apply your changes. After that the new settings will be applied successfully.
METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
If you can't use or don't want to use Group Policy Editor, you can take help of Registry Editor for the same task. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.
2. Now go to following key:
3. Create a new key under Windows key and set its name as WindowsUpdate
4. Create another new key under WindowsUpdate key and set its name as AU
So the final key path would be:
5. Now select AU key and in right-side pane create a new DWORD AUOptions and set its value to any of following according to your requirements:
- 2 (To notify for download and notify for install)
- 3 (To auto download and notify for install)
- 4 (To auto download and schedule the install)
- 5 (To allow local admin to choose setting)
PS: Set the value of AUOptions to 5 to be able to choose options in drop-down box on Windows Update settings page.
NOTE: If you are using 64-bit edition of Windows, you'll also need to follow steps 3-5 for following Registry key:
6. Close Registry Editor and open Windows Update settings page. Now you'll be able to change desired settings.
PS: If you are not familiar with Registry editing tasks, we are also providing ready-made Registry script to do the task automatically. Download following ZIP file, extract it and run .REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. Restart your computer and Windows will always notify you before downloading new updates:
After applying changes in Registry Editor, restart your computer. After reboot, open Windows Update page in Settings app. Now click on "Check for updates" button to force Windows 10 to apply your changes. After that the new settings will be applied successfully.
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