Postpone Windows 10 Updates and Limit Errors

Deferring Windows 10 updates and limiting the potential errors of new versions is a basic task that can be performed on all versions of the operating system.

Microsoft has fulfilled the promise of improving the update process with the release of  Windows 10 May 2019 Update. With the aim of improving the update experience with more control, quality and transparency, avoiding the disaster of the latest version, Microsoft designed a broader trial period that involved more testers, from the division’s engineers to all employees of Microsoft, through external developers, OEM manufacturers and users of the Insider test channel.

Postpone Windows 10 Updates

He also decided to separate the installation from the full version of the own options to update features and security in Windows Update and implemented greater flexibility when applying updates and smart active hours to avoid unexpected restarts when they are applied.

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Another of the great novelties of the latest version is the one that gives way to this practice. And is that the “Home” version of Windows 10, the most used of the operating system and even the previous version with mandatory automatic updates,  now allows pausing and users can choose when they want to install feature updates, except when their current version reaches the end of service after 18 months of support. The reversion to previous versions has also been improved in case they fail.

And it is nothing unusual. Windows updates continue to present errors as we saw last week with the new build 18362.295, where failures were recorded in the same installation, unidentified errors “0x80073701” and “0x800f0982”, random locks and restarts. Despite the improvement instability, the Windows 10 ecosystem is simply huge in applications, drivers and hardware components of the 800 million computers where it is installed and Microsoft does not seem to be able to adjust everything to 100%.

How to postpone Windows 10 updates (Basic)

The recommendation to prevent such errors is to pause the updates until the version stability is checked. And it is very easy to do:

  • Open the Configuration tool.
  • Navigate to Update and Security >> Windows Update.
  • The first option, if you don’t have pending updates, is “Pause updates for 7 days” Simply check the option.
Postpone Windows Updates
  • If you want to postpone them for more than a week, go to “Advanced options” and you will see several options.
Postpone Windows Updates Options
  • The first is “Pause updates” and allows you to temporarily defer the installation of updates for a maximum of 35 days, selecting a specific date to restart them. (It is the only option available in the “Home” version as our readers remind us).
  • The second comes from the “Choose when updates will be installed” section, where you can select a maximum of 30 days in the “quality updates“, which include the monthly security patches.
  • The “update of features“, the most problematic because they include more changes in the operating system (improvements and new capabilities) you can delay it further, up to a year.

Simple and transparent options that allow you to pause updates in Windows 10 (now also in Home) in a simple way, without third-party tools and without having to use it thoroughly by touching the registry.

Defer Windows 10 Updates (Advanced)

In case Microsoft modifies the previous management from the Configuration tool in the future or if you are an advanced user accustomed to working with the Windows registry, you can achieve a similar effect by acting on it. As always when we touch the record, it is recommended to make a  previous copy of it in order to restore in case of problems.

  • Access «Regedit» from the Run function of the secondary start menu:
Registry Editor
  • Access the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ WindowsUpdate \ UX \ Settings.
  • Modify or create a new 32-bit DWORD value called BranchReadinessLevel. Set a value of 10 to set the “Directed semiannual channel” as an updated branch or 20 if you want to set the branch of the “Semiannual channel“. 
Use Regedit to Postpone Windows Update
  • In the same way, modify or create a new 32-bit DWORD value called  DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays. Set its value to the number of days you want to delay the update of features in a range of 0 to 365.
  • Modify or create a new 32-bit DWORD value called  DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays and set its value in decimal for the number of days you wish to delay quality updates.

Finally, in case you are late to perform these functions, the system has been updated and you have errors in it, remember that Microsoft allows you to return to an earlier version in case of problems.

We also recommend having the system restore points active and if the error is so serious that it does not allow us to work, use the tool to “restore” the operating system, using an image stored in the storage unit of the equipment, which allows to keep the personal files or delete them and reinstall a completely clean copy of the system. Stay in Touch with Windows Call.