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?

  • 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.) Mar 12, 2013 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, 2013 at 18:00

7 Answers 7


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.

  • Thanks for your reply. Well I've just finished updating my window. It took around 1 hour .
    – user206414
    Mar 12, 2013 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.


  • 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.) Apr 28, 2014 at 16:04
  • Possibly - I'll try to remember to see if it's in the list next time it starts.
    – Alex
    Apr 28, 2014 at 16:06
  • 1
    @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.
    – user386679
    Nov 4, 2014 at 16:34

Since Windows 10 (at least, possibly earlier) the answer by Alex doesn't stop all Windows update downloads anymore, because much of the downloading responsibility has moved to other services.

Stopping these three services, however, seems to work in Windows 10:

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
net stop dosvc

That stops the windows update service, the background intelligent transfer service, and the delivery optimization service, respectively. All of these are involved in Windows update downloads.

Note: usually one or of the above will services fail to stop, with a message like The Windows Update service could not be stopped.. Running the commands a second time will usually result in a successful stop.

You can, of course, also stop these from the GUI in services.msc.

  • 3
    This is the correct answer on Windows 10.
    – Icode4food
    Jul 13, 2016 at 8:17
  • 1
    +1 for new W10 info. Though, knowing how W10 sometimes behaves, do you know whether it will restart these by itself at some point?
    – Alex
    Sep 12, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    They will restart on a restart of your box, but I haven't notice it happening by itself though.
    – BeeOnRope
    Sep 13, 2016 at 0:46
  • @Alex - FWIW, I am noticing that the service is continually restarting now (after a delay of a few minutes usually). I haven't found a workaround yet.
    – BeeOnRope
    Apr 7, 2017 at 20:28
  • @BeeOnRope I didn't stop at net stop. I went ahead and opened services.msc and found these three services, setting them to the Disabled state. I also kept running these net stop commands every 10 minutes or so (just for an hour) to make sure the services didn't start up again.
    – ADTC
    May 31, 2017 at 4:14

This is a GUI based version of the answer by Alex:

  1. Start the Task Manager (you can right click on the task bar)
  2. Go to the tab Services
  3. Locate the service, Name: wuauserv, Description: Windows Update, Group: netsvcs.
  4. Right click on it, Stop.

I think the easiest way is to stop its process from Task Manager.

  • Open Task Manager (by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc 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).
  • 2
    That doesn't pause the updates it kills them stone dead.
    – suspectus
    May 11, 2014 at 8:47
  • It stops the process at once, but when windows update is started again, it resumes. Technically it works as pause-resume. May 11, 2014 at 9:30
  • I discourage doing this; it will kill the process, but Windows will automatically restart it very quickly.
    – jsalonen
    Jul 28, 2015 at 21:24

In a nutshell

You need to stop these 2 or 3 services: "Windows Update", "Background Intelligent Transfer" and (for Windows 10 only) "Delivery Optimization"

Please retry once or twice if stopping any of them fails

The CLI Commands

net stop wuauserv

net stop bits

:: The next one is only for Windows 10

net stop dosvc

If you get errors

Once again if you get an error like "The service could not be stopped" you should retry a couple of times. If it still fails you may want to disable the service (don't forget to re-enable it) and then kill the related processes. Note that Windows should handle such abrupt interruptions gracefully (after all power losses are much worse and happen all the time) but if you are paranoid about your system's stability you may wish to avoid the "murder". Anyway I would also take a look at my installation because a healthy system should honor the stop request.

If you issue the net stop commands and get an error like "Invalid service name" you've made a spelling error (or you're trying to stop dosvc on Windows 7 or 8 -- don't bother this service exists only on Windows 10)


Windows key > type SERVICES.MSC and press ENTER. Scroll down the list and double-click on WINDOWS UPDATE > change Startup type to Disabled > APPLY > OK.

  • 2
    That doesn't temporarily pause the download, as asked in the question.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 22, 2015 at 10:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.