Windows10Yesterday, Microsoft released Windows 10 to the public. For home users this update will be free of charge, even if your current Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 installation is semi-legal.

Windows 10 brings new features to the desktop. Among others, these include:

  • The start menu is back. Live tiles are integrated in this menu;
  • Speech control with Cortana, just like Siri on the iPhone does;
  • A new task-switcher to replace the Alt-Tab combination;
  • Action Center, just like the Notification center in Mac OSX;
  • The command prompt enters the 21st century;
  • The new Edge browser. Goodbye Internet Explorer and Silverlight;
  • Automatic installation of Windows updates and auto-rebooting.

The last one is a good feature to protect end-users if we forget about the consequences when Microsoft pushes out a bad update. Been there, done that. Even during the Beta-testing of Windows 10, when Microsoft pushed out a bad Nvidia video driver. But let’s not focus on that at this moment. In some environments you want to have more control over when and how updates are being installed and, if needed, when your PC is being restarted.

Option 1: Disable the Windows update service

There are a few options to disable auto-updating of Windows 10. The first one is to disable the Windows Update service itself. The disadvantage of this is that you don’t have the option to automatically check for updates and you won’t get notified is updates are ready, to install them on your workstation at a time convenient for you. However, if you want to go for this, use these PowerShell lines (or click around in the GUI).

stop-service wuauserv
set-service wuauserv –startup disabled

Finally, check if this all worked via WMI

get-wmiobject win32_service –filter "name='wuauserv'"

Option 2: Registry hack to bring back the old update

The second option is to bring back the old Windows update style by applying some lines in the registry. Copy and paste the lines below in a .reg file and apply this. This will bring back the old Windows Update applet in the Control Panel.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX] "IsConvergedUpdateStackEnabled"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings] "UxOption"=dword:00000000