To put it short: I'd like to schedule my windows updates to start/stop at certain times of day. How can I do this?
More explanation: This is because my internet traffic is limited by ISP and it's free only during a specific period throughout the day (2:00am-7:00am). I've set windows update setting to check for updates but notify me before downloading in order to prevent it from automatically using up my traffic. But then I have to manually tell it when to start downloading. I obviously don't want to stay up that late just to push a button.
So again, how can I schedule windows updates to start/stop at specified times?


In Update settings, Select option Install Updates Automatically and below it there is option for scheduling the update, set it to the time which suites you.

It will automatically install updates at Specific time only without need to click to start downloading.
To stop the downloading of updates beyond the Free Hours, Use Task Scheduler to force the computer to Hibernate/Sleep/Shutdown.


You can set it to Never check for Updates and set Tasks Scheduler launch wuapp.exe located in System32, now it will not check and download updates unless you explicitly click that Update Now button, to automate this clicking of buttton use AutoHotkey, it provides a macro recorder, using it you can record a click on that specific button. It will generate a script for the click at specific position on screen, this script can also be scheduled to run that time.

  • I have a connection to my internet is is possible to configure the task to disconnect the internet? If so, how? I don't have previous experience with ask scheduler. – atoMerz Sep 28 '12 at 18:53
  • glad that I could be of help. :) – Ankit Sep 28 '12 at 19:07
  • 1
    I'm gonna have to take that back :( The option mentioned is for installing at specified time and NOT downloading. It's only available when I choose the install updates automatically option. And when I do, it starts downloading updates shortly after. – atoMerz Sep 28 '12 at 19:18
  • Sorry for that, Is it okay if some third party s/w gets involved in the solution ? – Ankit Sep 28 '12 at 19:38
  • I'd like to avoid that as much as possible, but if it's the only solution then I have no choice. – atoMerz Sep 29 '12 at 5:33

Alternatively, you can turn off automatic windows updates and set them to manual. Then, create a simple batch script which runs wuauclt.exe and then add this script to the task scheduler. Schedule the task for 2 am to start the updates and then force quit at 7am even if the updates are not installed/downloaded.

  • This program only opens the Windows Update interface, it doesn't start downloading. Am I correct? – atoMerz Sep 29 '12 at 5:37

open start menu, search "windows update"

open windows update and select "change settings"

there is an option for downloading at a certain time and then prompting for install later.

use this option to suit your needs

  • Thank you. This solves half of my problem. It sets a start time. But not a stop time. What can I do about that? – atoMerz Sep 28 '12 at 18:40
  • if you have a router you could program set times into a child lock feature present in many routers, or you could get a parental control program and set that the internet is disable between x and x and then enable it yourself if you wish with the password? also you could calculate the maximum data you could download in the 5 hour free window and see if its enough to download 1gb, ive never seen a windows update anywhere near that large, even service packs – David McGowan Sep 28 '12 at 18:43
  • You could set a scheduled task that stops the Windows Update service. net stop “windows update” – Miles Hayler Oct 4 '12 at 14:38

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