Block Windows Updates with Windows 10 Update Switch

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 19, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10 Update Switch is a free portable program for Windows 10 devices designed to set any network connection to metered to block the automatic download of Windows updates on the machine.

Microsoft is determined to push Windows updates to all Windows 10 machines. While there are some options that you have to block updates or delay them, those require usually some Registry hacking or Group Policy access.

Especially Windows 10 Home users face challenges in this regard due to the Group Policy Editor not being part of the operating system. Home users cannot defer updates on top of that. Defer does not block updates completely, but it gives you about four months in which feature updates -- think Anniversary Update or the upcoming Creators Update -- are not installed.

Even disabling the Windows Updates service is not reliable anymore, as the operating system may turn the service back on eventually.

Windows 10 Update Switch

windows 10 update switch

Windows 10 Update Switch is a portable program that ships with two options to tame Windows Update on any Windows 10 machine.

The first toggles the Windows Update service. While this turns off updates for some time, it won't block updates from being deployed indefinitely on the PC.

That's where the program's second option comes into play: setting any connection to metered.

Setting a connection to metered has a number of effects. It tells Windows that bandwidth is expensive, either because of a quota, because you pay per Megabyte or Gigabyte transferred, or because your Internet connection is slow and bandwidth may be required for tasks with a greater priority.

Effects include disabling the automatic download of Windows updates and Store app updates. It will also disable peer to peer uploading of updates, block tiles from being updated, and may impact certain programs or apps on the PC.

Anyway, setting a connection to metered will block updates efficiently. Problem is, Microsoft only made this option available for Wi-Fi and Mobile connections, but not for your Ethernet connection.

So, if your Windows 10 device connects to the Internet through an Ethernet cable, then you cannot benefit from the advantages of metered connections.

Note: Windows 10 Update Switch supports setting the Ethernet (and Wi-Fi) connection as metered. It requires Microsoft's Subinacl program for that though. It links to the tool from its interface, and requires that it is installed on the system to modify the preferences in the Registry. You can download Subinacl from here.

Once that is out of the way, you can check the Ethernet box in Windows 10 Update Switch to set the Ethernet connection to metered.

Second Note: This did not work on one PC I ran the program on even though Subinacl was installed. If you run into the same issue, use Winaero Tweaker instead for the procedure, as it supports it as well. You find the option under Network > Set Ethernet as Metered Connection in the application.

Behind the curtain

metered ethernet connection

You may ask yourself what the programs do in the background. All they do is change the data of a Registry value.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type Regedit.exe and hit the Enter-key.
  2. Navigate to the Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\DefaultMediaCost
  3. There you find listed Ethernet among other network connections.
  4. Changing any Registry value, e.g. Ethernet, there to 2 sets the connection to metered while 1 means it is unmetered.

The main issue is that you cannot just change data there as you don't have sufficient permissions to do so. You need a program that lets you take ownership of the Registry key.  You may use RegOwnershipEx for that, or any other program that lets you do so.

Closing Words

Windows 10 Update Switch is a handy portable application to toggle Windows Update, and to set any connection to metered or unmetered. The program relies on a third-party tool that you need to install though, and you may run into the same issues that I ran into because of that.

Now You: How is Windows Update configured on your PC?

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Author Rating
4.5 based on 6 votes
Software Name
Windows 10 Update Switch
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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