Windows 10 is well known for forced updates and the extremely inopportune times at which it downloads them, installs them and restarts your PC. Only Enterprise editions of the Windows 10 operating system have the ability to control how updates are delivered and installed. Home editions and the Pro edition of Windows 10 as well are locked down to get updates whenever Microsoft decides to push them out. A huge number of users are not happy with this behavior. Here is a method that will allow you to install updates when you manually check for them. This will disable automatic updates.
A new method has been discovered which reliably stops Windows 10 from downloading and installing updates automatically. Let's see how it can be done.
To install Windows 10 updates manually, do the following.
- Open a new elevated command prompt.
- Type or copy-paste the following command:
takeown /f "%windir%\System32\UsoClient.exe" /a
- Now, run the following command:
icacls "%windir%\System32\UsoClient.exe" /inheritance:r /remove "Administrators" "Authenticated Users" "Users" "System"
The procedure mentioned above disables automatic updates in all recent builds of Windows 10.
You will be able to check for updates and install them manually using the Settings app. See the following article:
In short, you can go to Settings - Update & recovery - Windows Update and click "Check for updates" on the right. Alternatively, you can type this ms-settings command in the Run dialog to start the update check directly.
How does it work
If you are reading Winaero daily, you must be familiar with the UpdateOrchestrator task group. The group was reviewed in the article "How to permanently stop Windows 10 reboots after installing updates".It can be found in Task Scheduler under Task Scheduler Library \ Microsoft \ Windows \ UpdateOrchestrator.
The Schedule Scan task calls a special binary file, C:\Windows\System32\UsoClient.exe, which performs the update operation in the background and restarts the operating system automatically when required.
By executing the takeown command, we simply changed the file system ownership of this file from Trusted Installer to the Administrators group.
The next command, icacls, removes the inherited file system permissions along with permissions for the following groups: "Administrators" "Authenticated Users" "Users" "System".
So, nobody can launch UsoClient.exe any more, and the OS won't be able to install updates automatically or download them. But if you open the Settings app, you should still be able to manually check for them.
How to undo the change
To undo changes you have made, do the following.
Note: This method can stop working at any moment. Any major or minor update to the OS can change the way Windows 10 is receiving updates, so keep this in mind.
It's a shame that we have to use such a complicated trick to stop Windows 10 from downloading huge forced updates. This option should be available out-of-the-box and no one should have to incur the bandwidth costs of frequent huge updates.