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I'm on a slow dial-up connection, and my Windows 8 is downloading some critical updates. The connection keeps disconnecting, so I was thinking if it was possible to pause the updates download?

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hello and welcome to SuperUser. since your connection is that unstable, have you considered asking a friend to manually download those same updates for you? - windows updates are not pausable, the closest choice you have is to select the updates you want to do at once. (if applicable, you can also stop them for the time being, and re-enable them when at a faster connection.) –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 12 '13 at 13:30
@Znau After googling a lot I've found a software called "wsus offline updater" , I will tell my friend to download updates using that software so I can install them offline. –  user206414 Mar 12 '13 at 18:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

As far as I'm aware there is no way to pause an in-progress Windows Update download. Most sites I checked on Google agree.

I would say while disconnected from the internet, turn off Windows updates until you're on a faster connection. I haven't used Windows 8 yet, but on Windows 7 (should be similar to 8 unless I'm totally mistaken) it is in Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update (or just type this into your explorer bar: Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update). On the left choose Change Settings and turn them off for now.

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Thanks for your reply. Well I've just finished updating my window. It took around 1 hour . –  user206414 Mar 12 '13 at 17:54

It turns out that you can stop the windows update service manually, if you have Administrator privileges.

Open a cmd prompt as Admin (right click the .exe and choose Run as Administrator), and type

net stop wuauserv

You can start it again with

net start wuauserv

As suggested by @arolpx, I had a look and stopping the Background Intelligent Transfer Services (BITS) manually will ensure that Windows Update cannot transfer anything.

From the linked source:

If the service is disabled, then any applications that depend on BITS, such as Windows Update or MSN Explorer, will be unable to automatically download programs and other information.


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If it is a Windows service, wouldn't it be possible to do it from the Services window as well (for instance opened by Services.msc from the command line)? (service "Automatic Updates" in Windows XP and "Windows Update" in Windows 7.) –  Peter Mortensen Apr 28 '14 at 16:04
Possibly - I'll try to remember to see if it's in the list next time it starts. –  Alex Apr 28 '14 at 16:06
@Alex, Stopping the service alone is part of the solution (step 1), you are right, though the last step (step 2)is to stop the Background Intelligent Transfer Service as well, and then all transfers stop. –  arolpx Nov 4 '14 at 16:34

I think the easiest way is to stop it's process from Task Manager.

  • Open Task Manager(by pressing Alt+Ctrl+Del or right click on taskbar and start task manager)
  • Go to Process tab then find out Windows Update process
  • Manually end the process(select the process and press Del or click End Process button)
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That doesn't pause the updates it kills them stone dead. –  suspectus May 11 '14 at 8:47
It stops the process at once, but when windows update is started again, it resumes. Technically it works as pause-resume. –  mostafiz May 11 '14 at 9:30

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