How to Delay Windows 10 Automatic Updates

By on Feb 18, 2016

As you may know, Microsoft has released their newest desktop operating system update: Windows 10.

Microsoft is very proud of Windows 10 and the reviews have generally been very positive. They want you to upgrade your computer to the newest platform and Microsoft is pushing hard for you to do just that.

I never did upgrade to Windows Vista or Windows 8. There were just too many problems and issues. I am quite satisfied using Windows 7 for the time being. I will upgrade to Windows 10 – when I decide it is time. I’ll likely upgrade when I get a new computer.

Microsoft did announce that for consumers wanting to upgrade their existing Windows 8 or Windows 7 machine, they could upgrade for free during the first year after the release. This is a good thing.

But what is not a good thing is Microsoft’s constant use of pop-up messages reminding you that this upgrade is available. Even worse is Microsoft’s recent announcement that it will automatically upgrade Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems through Windows Update over the next few months unless you tell it otherwise.

So, if you want to make sure your current system is not automatically updated, you will likely need to change some settings on your computer.

Note: Your system administrator has probably already completed the steps necessary to delay this upgrade. But, you may want to check your computers at home.

To prevent Microsoft from automatically installing Windows 10 on your Windows 7 computer, you should do these things:

  1. Open Windows Update through your Start Menu.
  2. Click Change Settings.
  3. Under Important Updates, choose “Check for updates but let me choose whether or not to download and install them.
  4. Under Recommended Updates, check “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.”
  5. Click OK.

Step #4 above is not necessarily intuitive. The Windows 10 update will soon become a recommended update. Microsoft is being so aggressive that even after you do this, it will indicate you have a problem with Windows Update through its Taskbar icon “Solve PC issues.”

You should just ignore this notification.

Microsoft previously stopped “mainstream support” of Windows 7 in January 2015. This means that Windows 7 doesn’t benefit from new features, and you can’t call Microsoft for free help.

However, Windows 7 continues to receive all-important security fixes. Microsoft plans to maintain Windows 7 “extended support” until January 2020, when security fixes will no longer be provided.

You will need to upgrade to Windows 10 at some point in the not too distant future. Changing this setting will allow you to control when that update is done.

Have you upgraded to Windows 10? Let me know if you like or dislike it, and if you’ve run into any problems with it.


  1. we updated our computer at home and ever since get the PC automatic repair error. It gets stuck in a loop and can be very frustrating to try to get out of it. Have you heard about this problem and do you know what to do about it?

    • Rhonda, I have not heard of this issue. You might be able to find some information by searching for those key terms. Ultimately, the best option might be to wipe your hard drive clean and install a fresh copy. Yes, this is a pain, but a fresh install often is best.

  2. I have updated my home computer.
    The IT person has not updated the “Business” computers.

  3. Steve,

    I did upgrade to Windows 10. I like it, but not all of the carriers sites work well with Microsoft Edge. Other than that, I’ve heard from an attorney that W10 is not HIPAA compliant as Microsoft is “recording” every keystroke we make, what sites we visit, and will at some point sell that to advertisers, whomever. Is this correct and if so, is there a way around this. As agents we do work with a lot of personal client data.

    Ed Wise

    • It will likely take the carriers a while to update their systems.

      I have heard some comments about W10 tracking keystrokes but have not yet verified that is actually done.


  4. Don’t do it! Windows 10 is a pain in the butt. It’s not enough that the computer wants to automatically update (I prefer to know what’s getting put on my computer) but the updates CHANGE HOW THE COMPUTER LOOKS AND PERFORMS!

    Microsoft topped out with Windows 7. I won’t be looking at another Windows machine after this. Time to switch to Apple or even Linux. Much less frustrating.


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