Making Windows10 Update More Bearable

By | February 2, 2019

Thanks to this article, now we know what to do about stopping annoying unexpected Windows 10 automatic update restarts. Do you have a better way, or another solution? Let us know in the comments. :

“TL;DR it blocks automatic restarts completely. Period. Modify it however you like, i doesn’t have to output anything to a log file. This is just how i rolled it out in my company.”

This seems to address the biggest annoyance (Windows prompting for a system restart — or even forcing one while people are just about to start or in the middle of doing something time critical, like a scheduled presentation, live demo or event, Etc!)

This puts Automatic Restarting to bed — Windows will restart when YOU restart it. Startup Notepad (or your favorite text editor), Paste in the following text, and Save the file as a file ending with a .REG extension. Then Run Regedit as Administrator and Import the file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\MusNotification.exe]
"Debugger"="cmd.exe /c echo %DATE% %TIME% suppressed automatic reboot >> C:\\UpdateOrchestrator.log"

To explain what the registry key does:

The Image File Execution Options subkeys actually can control a whole lot about how Windows executes files. The Debugger key was used by a lot of scareware back in the day. It redirects execution from every executable named like the key to the debugger and appends the original executable and all arguments to it. To my understanding this process would then normally be expected to set up a debug environment and start the actual process. Which we don’t. So we effectively cut MusNotification.exe out of the chain and therefore preventing Windows Update from being so intrusive to the user.

Other more Extreme steps and Possibly Less Effective means of blockading updates exist provided by Microsoft on Windows10 are traditionally through Group Policy, or by configuring WSUS for update management.

These options only available on the Professional or higher edition, and Microsoft may be patching them out 🙁

THE GROUP POLICY METHOD OF TURNING OFF UPDATES

Again, this is only valid for Pro or higher edition of Windows10. In a standalone configuration, you may still use the Group Policy Editor:

For example, previously we would do Start Menu to run > GPEDIT.MSC Right click, Run as Administrator (SOLUTION1)

  • Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.
  • Double-click Configure Automatic Updates.
  • Select Disabled in Configured Automatic Updates on the left, and click Apply and OK to disable the Windows automatic update feature.
  • To undo later to apply updates… Repeat the same steps and change it back to Enabled.

Unfortunately, if this works… then it stops necessary updates as well.

THE “DISABLE UPDATE SERVICE” METHOD OF STOPPING WINDOWS UPDATE

Another Solution sometimes used was “Disable the Windows Update Service” — by opening Services.msc, finding the “Windows Update” service in the list, Stopping the Service, and Changing to Disabled.

Well, this solution is a temporary one…. An In-Progress update will be interrupted; However, Windows10 will eventually detect this action as “damage” and automatically repair the service.

The “METER YOUR NETWORK CONNECTION” METHOD

In this solution you tell Windows that you are always connected to the internet on a “METERED” connection. This is intended to use when connecting your computer to the internet over a 4G or similar tethered wireless connection where you pay for data. Automatically downloading NEW updates from the internet will be blocked while your internet connection is metered.

  • THIS METHOD DOES NOT WORK FOR WIRED CONNECTIONS

Your computer must be connected to the internet using only WiFi in order for this technique to be effective, which rules it out for many people.

  1. Click the Start Button
  2. Open the Settings App
  3. Choose “Network & Internet”
  4. Choose “WiFi” in the Pane on the Left Hand side of the app
  5. Click the name of your current WiFi connection
  6. Click the “Set as Metered Connection” option

You will need to repeat the steps any time you change WiFi connections. To resume Windows updates later; you will need to repeat the steps but “Unset” the home WiFi as Metered Connection.

MANUALLY CHANGING REGISTRY AU OPTIONS

** Backup strongly recommended before manually changing the Windows system registry **

Use Windows+R to open the Run command, type Regedit and OK

Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

If a “WindowsUpdate” folder/key already appears here (in the panel on the right), then navigate into that folder. If not, Right click in the panel on the right and choose New > Key and name the key “WindowsUpdate”

If an “AU” folder/key already exists here, then navigate into “AU”, and If not:

Right click in the panel on the right and choose New>Key and name the key “AU”

Navigate into the “AU” Folder/Key

Look for a registry “Value” in the panel on the right named “AUOptions”  — If you do not see it, then Right click in the panel on the right and choose New > DWORD (32-bit value) – to create the new value entry.

Double click “AUOptions” – and Change the value to 2, then click OK.

Close the registry editor.

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