After un-pausing Windows Update in Windows 10, even when initially paused without anything actively pending, downloading, or installing, it seems that a "Check for updates" is implicitly initiated.

What I have observed twice now immediately after un-pausing Windows Update is the download and installation of a preview-release before even getting a chance to decide to, which usually only occurs when explicitly clicking the "Check for updates" button (which isn't really a check afterall, but that's another concern).

Since this is an undesireable behvior that I'd like to prevent if possible (i.e. system instability, no opportunity to create a backup), is there a way to un-pause Windows Update without risking the forced installation of a preview-release?

  • How exactly did you pause windows updates?
    – Ramhound
    Nov 26, 2021 at 2:36
  • @Ramhound "Pause" button from Windows Update settings dialog. Considering manually halting the service, just don't want to break anything.
    – samus
    Nov 27, 2021 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


Downloading updates is not the install. So pausing downloads will at some point result in full download.

Then Windows will initiate an install (which you can pause as well). But the install will happen after the download is complete, and that cannot be stopped.

But at some point, the install will finish and at that point, you can elect to install or you can schedule for a later time.

I set my Off Hours to be between 9pm and 6am.

However you set it (you have numerous options as I noted), you always (always) have an ample chance to close off (save) documents and email and the like before you finally click on Restart.

In summary, updates cannot be permanently disabled, so downloads will happen. We need to managed the install and subsequent restart cycles.


Off Hours update


  • I'm rarely given the option to install. 90% of the time installation immediately follows after the download completes without any interaction, just as in this most recent case.
    – samus
    Nov 26, 2021 at 0:31
  • Set your update options and Off Hours . I added a screen shot. I have never in all of Windows 10 (6 years) had an instant restart.
    – John
    Nov 26, 2021 at 0:33
  • I never have instant restarts either, there is an option to ensure a prompt. I'm tryinig to prevent any downloads/installs from occuring after resuming from a pause, especially a preview release (which typically only get forced when explicitly clicking the "check for updates" button). No updates where pending when I intially paused, I confirmed this in event viewer. This has happened twice now, and besides, preview releases do not auto-install like "official" ones, unless the "check for updates" button is clicked, or apparently when unpausing (which seems to do the "check" implicitly).
    – samus
    Nov 26, 2021 at 0:35
  • Downloading and install can happen and is separate from restarting which can be readily controlled. So I think you will find no big issue with downloads and initial install.
    – John
    Nov 26, 2021 at 0:38
  • Apologies for the misleading wording. I have reworded the question to clear up any ambiguity.
    – samus
    Nov 26, 2021 at 0:51

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