Windows Update Blocker is a portable freeware tool which can disable updates with a single click

Dec 12, 2019
Updated • Dec 12, 2019
Software, Windows 10, Windows software

While Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users can defer upgrades (to a certain extent), Windows 10 Home users cannot, at least not officially.

Microsoft never revealed why Home customers don't get the same functionality as Pro or Enterprise customers in this regard.

Windows Update Blocker is a portable freeware tool which can disable updates with a single click

There are some tools which allow you to disable Windows Updates. Here's a portable freeware program which does the same, Windows Update Blocker.

Windows Update Blocker.

You will, of course, need to allow administrator rights for the program to work.  Anyone can use the application as the interface is really simple. There are just three options in the window: Enable Updates, Disable Updates, Protect Services Settings.

Regardless of which version of Windows you have, you should see that the "Enable Updates" option is enabled by default. That's because it's the way the operating system is set to work (to annoy us with random updates even when you set Active Hours to a different time).

Click on the second option in Windows Update Blocker -- Disable Updates -- and hit the "Apply Now" button to disable the Windows Update service. You don't have to reboot the computer for the change to reflect. Please be aware that this one doesn't just defer updates, it stops them altogether. Selecting this option will make the "Protect Services Settings" usable (it's grayed out when Updates are enabled).

Note: It is not advisable to disable Windows Updates permanently, as it is possible that an update could patch security vulnerabilities, or ship with critical fixes. So, you may want to re-enable the Update settings from time to time and keep an eye on updates, for instance by following our coverage here on Ghacks or by downloading updates for Windows manually.

This setting is the one which stands out. Why? Open Services.msc and you can disable the service manually, but it can get enabled again (by some program or even by you). But when you "protect" the setting, nothing can force the service from being enabled.

Try checking for Windows Updates once you have disabled it, and you'll see it throws an error code at you saying "There were some problems....". That means the program worked.

Windows Update Blocker green icon

The icon on the right side of the UI, the Service Status, indicates whether Windows Updates are enabled or disabled. If you see a green shield with a check mark, it means the service is enabled and running, a red shield and an X indicates that the service is disabled and protected (from being started by Windows). If it has a yellow shield icon with an exclamation mark, that tells you that the service is enabled but not running.

Windows Update Blocker yellow icon

Block any other service

Another interesting feature in Windows Update Blocker is that it lets you block other services of your choice too. You'll need to edit the program's INI to include the one you want to block. Once you have done that, get back to the program and click on the "Menu" button to select the "Service List Options", which should open up like so.

Windows Update Blocker - other services

Here you are able to manage the service that you added. Honestly, this is not recommended for most users. Unless you know what you're doing, never mess around with Services, Registry, or System folders as lots of things can get broken.

Windows Update Blocker works with Windows XP and above, not that you may need it on such older operating systems. But it's always nice to have the choice.

I've always felt that the biggest problem with Windows Updates aren't the patches themselves, but the way the operating system installs them. Why force updates to be installed when you are trying to shut down the computer? What if the laptop runs out of battery right in the middle of it? Or if you have a sudden blackout (power outage) which turns off your PC?

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  1. LaurentG said on January 3, 2023 at 5:02 pm
    Reply used to be a useful, and interesting blog….

    But since some time, Shaun is publishing papers that are more or less (and very often are ONLY) advertising for Microsoft.
    Today, he give us a new kind of paper that don’t hesitate to be outrageously erroneous !

    How can you write “The startup folder is important as it lists all the apps that run when your computer starts.” : This is completely false !

    These folders may, sometimes (but less and less) list some apps that run at startup, but MOST OF THEM (the apps that run at startup) are not set there, but rather in various registry keys, like HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKLMSOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and several other ones

    If really you want to write something about this kind of subject, you’d better to talk about a soft like Sysinternals Autorun. Since it is a soft owned by Msoft, it would follow your recent policy of “MSoft advertising”, but, at least, it wouldn’t lead your users in error…

    I think I’ll soon stop to review this web blog, that we can now call a “shit blog” !

    1. ilev said on January 3, 2023 at 6:58 pm

      You are correct.
      Both Startup folders are mainly empty.

      You can see list of startup apps in Task Manager.

  2. LaurentG said on January 3, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Actually, this paper is bullshit from its first words….

    “After the launch of Windows 10, the startup folder from the start menu was moved so that it is out of the spotlight.”…

    Once again, how can you write such bullshit ?!!! : It was already exactly at the SAME place in Win 7

    It was even in similar place in XP, and (if my memory is good) in Win95 / Win98

  3. Anonymous said on January 3, 2023 at 8:47 pm

    Learn to read. The heading says ‘the … startup folder’, not startup locations.

    1. LaurentG said on January 4, 2023 at 9:40 am

      I know to read.
      I know very well that the paper says about the “startup folder” and not the the “startup locations”, and it is the main problem, since it says “the startup folder is important as it lists all the apps that run when your computer starts.”

      Before making a lesson to others, learn to read yourself ;-)

  4. Emarell said on January 3, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    I join the chorus – the Shaun-sourced articles I’ve read aren’t fit to line a birdcage.

    Regarding my Startup folder: key ‘startup’ in the taskbar search field. The response offers you a chance to open a folder called Startup Apps. That includes simple/obvious checkbox controls for managing the apps list, including 3 ways to reorganize how the list is displayed. BTW I too found just 2 or 3 entries using Shaun’s method, but several dozen using mine.

  5. Bill K said on January 4, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Wow – while I agree that this was not quiet to the level I would expect, I would also say that the vitriol in the other comments is pretty harsh. This was not my need and was written well below what I would consider to be a value to me, but I am not going to sink to the level of social media posts these days and just destroy the author because I think it may be below the level of what I would find interesting.

    Remember if you get offended or dont like someone’s post you are indeed free to move on.

    That being said, this does indeed fall short of giving the reader a comprehensive answer to how to find what’s being started and where. This does address the question of how to use the shell command to see the contents of two rarely used folders.

    BUT I don’t know if this was the assignment or the authors choice to go this deep. (just my opinion :-))

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on January 4, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      Well stated.

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