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