One of the biggest reasons I don’t want to upgrade to Windows 10 is because of its automatic system updates. Is there yet any way to turn that feature off?
You’re not alone in your concern about waking up to a new and changed version of Microsoft Windows 10; a lot of people have expressed concern and upset about the automatic update policy that Microsoft’s introduced with Windows 10. You’d think that them getting in trouble for automatically updating Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to Windows 10 would have dimmed their zeal, but it turns out that they’re wrestling with another pressure too: keeping your computer safe from viruses and malware.
It;’s the digital cold war now: security experts and hackers alike poke around trying to find holes in the Windows PC security system, they publish their exploits, Microsoft’s developer team fixes it with a patch or bigger update, and the circle continues. If you opted to never update your current version of Windows, therefore, you will become more and more susceptible to being hacked or infected. Running Windows 95 or Windows XP? Oh boy, you’re really living on the edge and I would strongly encourage you to update ASAP.
As a sort of compromise, the latest beta of Windows 10, known as the Creator’s Update and dated late April, 2017, has the ability for you to mark your Internet connection as “metered”, even if it’s a hardwired Ethernet cable that goes straight into a cable modem or other router device. With that you tame much of the problem. But let’s have a look!
To start, simply do a Cortana search for “Network Status“:
Click on it or press Return and Windows 10 will pop up the Network Status window, reasonably enough:
On the assumption that your PC is connected to the Internet through its usual connection, click on “Change connection properties” to proceed.
It’s the second setting you want to change: Use the “On/Off” sliding control to set your current Internet connection as metered. That way Windows won’t assume it has free access to download as much data as desired 24×7. A good thing. Once you’ve changed it, the entry will look like this:
At this point you’ve stopped Windows 10 automatically doing big updates, but Microsoft, mindful of its responsibility to help keep your computer from being infected with malware, still reserves the right to download critical security updates, as explained:
What “to keep Windows running smoothly” means is a subject of hot debate in the online world, but hopefully it’s just small security patches to ensure your computer stays happy and free of infection. And now you know how to gain control of the update process!