This page looks best with JavaScript enabled

Better Windows Updates For Everyone

 ·  ☕ 4 min read

In this post I’m going to show how to quickly configure Windows Updates so that you only receive important security updates. We’ll cover Home and Pro/Enterprise users of both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

These are also the settings I use myself and recommend for most users.

These settings may also be helpful for IT admins.

Set Active Hours - Windows 10

By default Active Hours are configured to be automatic but personally I think it’s better to set them manually.

Go to Settings using WIN + I, then Update & Security > Change active hours.

Turn off the setting Automatically adjust active hours... and click on Change next to Current active hours

Set the Active hours to the maximum allowed amount of 18 hours. I use 8am - 2am: This means Windows Update won’t restart my computer during this time period.

Set Active Hours - Windows 11

By default Active Hours are configured to be automatic but personally I think it’s better to set them manually.

Go to Settings using WIN + I, then go to Windows Update > Advanced Options > Active Hours

Change the Adjust active hours setting from Automatically to Manually.

Set the Active hours to the maximum allowed amount of 18 hours. I use 8am - 2am: This means Windows Update won’t restart my computer during this time period.

Registry Settings - Windows 10 Home

If you are running Windows 10 Home Edition, you’ll need to make these edits to the registry as Home edition does not have access to Group Policy.

Open an elevated PowerShell prompt and run this line to configure Windows Updates as noted in this article:

1
Invoke-Expression ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://git.io/JDRIh'))

Use the Registry Editor and make the changes manually:

  1. Open regedit with WIN + R and then type regedit
  2. Go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings
  3. Right-click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
  4. Name the new Value BranchReadinessLevel and set it to Base: Decimal, Value data: 20
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the Value of DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays Value data: 365
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the Value of DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays Value data: 5

Group Policy Settings - Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise

With Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise we can use the Local Group Policy, or the Domain Group Policy for the IT admins out there.

  1. Open the local group policy with WIN + R and then type gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows update for Business
  3. Select Manage preview builds and set it to Enabled and change the drop down menu to Disable preview builds
  4. Select Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received and set it to Enabled
  5. Change the drop down menu to Semi-Annual Channel and then for After a Preview Build or Feature Update is released, defer receiving it for this many days enter 365.
  6. Select Select when Quality Updates are received and set it to Enabled
  7. For After a Quality updates is released, defer receiving it for this many days enter 5.

Registry Settings - Windows 11 Home

If you are running Windows 11 Home Edition, you’ll need to make these edits to the registry as Home edition does not have access to Group Policy.

Open an elevated PowerShell prompt and run this line to configure Windows Updates as noted in this article:

1
Invoke-Expression ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://git.io/JDRIh'))

Use the Registry Editor and make the changes manually:

  1. Open regedit with WIN + R and then type regedit
  2. Go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings
  3. Right-click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value
  4. Name the new Value BranchReadinessLevel and set it to Base: Decimal, Value data: 20
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the Value of DeferFeatureUpdatesPeriodInDays Value data: 365
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the Value of DeferQualityUpdatesPeriodInDays Value data: 5

Group Policy Settings - Windows 11 Pro/Enterprise

With Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise we can use the Local Group Policy, or the Domain Group Policy for the IT admins out there.

  1. Open the local group policy with WIN + R and then type gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered from Windows Update
  3. Select Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received and set it to Enabled and then for How many days after a Feature Update is released... enter 365.
  4. Next, select Select when Quality Updates are received and set it to Enabled and then for After a quality update is released.. enter 5.

Support My Work

If you would like to support me, please check out the links below. Thank you!

If you’d like to contact me, please leave a comment, send me a tweet, or you can join the community on Discord.

-Mike

Share on
Support the author with