How to block the Windows 11 upgrade on Windows 10 PCs

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 8, 2021
Windows 11 Help
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21

Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system has been released and it is being offered via Windows Update already to systems that meet the Windows 11 system requirements. Windows 11 is a free upgrade for activated Windows 10 systems.

The upgrade to Windows 11 is not enforced at this point, but there is a chance that Microsoft will enable it one day. Windows 10 is supported until 2025, and some users may want to stay on the system and not upgrade to Windows 11 in the near future.

It may be a good idea to block the upgrade to Windows 11, to make sure that the device stays on Windows 10.

There is a good chance that incompatible devices will never be offered the upgrade to Windows 11 via Windows Update; some estimate that hundreds of millions of devices will reach end of support in 2025 without a chance to upgrade to Windows 11 officially. While it is possible to continue using Windows 10, it means running a system that does not get any security or bug fix updates anymore.

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Blocking the upgrade to Windows 11

There is no switch that users of Windows 10 may flip to block the upgrade. The only real option right now is to use a policy on professional versions of Windows 10, and the corresponding Registry entry on Windows 10 Home devices.

It sets a target release version for the system, and if that is set to the latest Windows 10 version, the upgrade to Windows 11 won't be offered via Windows Update.

Group Policy blocking

block windows11 upgrade

A professional or Enterprise edition of Windows 10 is required to access the Group Policy Editor. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Select Start.
  2. Type gpedit.msc.
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.
  4. Double-click on "Select the target Feature Update version".
  5. Set the policy to Enabled.
  6. Type Windows 10 in the first field, and 21H1 in the second field.
  7. Select OK.

This sets the target version to Windows 10 version 21H1.

Note: Windows Update won't offer the upgrade to Windows 10 version 21H2 in this case. A feature upgrade will be enforced once the set version is no longer supported. You may also modify the version regularly to get the latest Windows 10 feature upgrades, e.g. by setting the target version to 21H2 once it is released.

Registry blocking

block windows 11 upgrade registry

The same target release version can be set in the Registry; this works on all editions of Windows 10, including Windows 10 Home.

  1. Select Start.
  2. Type regedit.exe.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
    1. If keys do not exist, create them by right-clicking on the previous key and selecting New > Key from the context menu.
  4. Right-click on WindowsUpdate and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
    1. Name it TargetReleaseVersion.
    2. Double-click on the new Dword and set it to 1.
  5. Right-click on WindowsUpdate and select New > String Value.
    1. Name it TargetReleaseVersionInfo.
    2. Double-click on the new String and set it to 21H1.
  6. Restart the PC.

Now You: which version of Windows do you run? (via Born)

Summary
How to block the Windows 11 upgrade on Windows 10 PCs
Article Name
How to block the Windows 11 upgrade on Windows 10 PCs
Description
Find out how to block the upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system on Windows 10 machines.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. common sense computing said on November 8, 2021 at 2:44 pm
    Reply

    Imagine the productivity loss being forced to use a very buggy Windows with crippled taskbar and start menu. Big tech has been screaming ‘fuck productivity’ for decades while trying to turn their software and hardware into the equivalent of interactive cable TV. Disgraceful.

  2. Trey said on November 8, 2021 at 5:30 pm
    Reply

    Thanks Martin – applied this in my 10Ent. I think OS “upgrades” should really just be done when a pc is being rebuilt or completely reset.

  3. Peter Louwen said on November 8, 2021 at 6:41 pm
    Reply

    What do those other two keys do? Are they necessary/relevant?

    The only value present in my registry was DisableOSUpgrade (DWORD) with a value of 1.

  4. JonSnow said on November 8, 2021 at 6:46 pm
    Reply

    on my Windows 10 computer I can navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\ but there is no WindowsUpdate? why?

  5. Hans A said on November 8, 2021 at 7:26 pm
    Reply

    Hi Jon

    When I think back, I didn´t have that either. I did this:

    1. Mark “Windows” with the mouse, create a new key called “Windows”.
    2. Then follow the instructions above the comments.

    It seams to work. The information abouth future Windows 11 update dissapeared.

    1. JonSnow said on November 9, 2021 at 5:56 pm
      Reply

      Got it thanks.

  6. Hans A said on November 8, 2021 at 7:28 pm
    Reply

    Sorry, it should be, new key called “WindowsUpdate”

  7. John Wold said on November 8, 2021 at 7:56 pm
    Reply

    I wonder if this will also block Windows 10 21H2, or only Windows 11 21H2?

  8. Anonymous said on November 8, 2021 at 10:27 pm
    Reply

    Thanks. We don’t want this garbage on our computers until its ready. Maybe by 2025 Windows 11 is be usable.

    1. boris said on November 9, 2021 at 6:16 am
      Reply

      It takes Windows about 2 years to get all big bugs under control. It will be safe in 2023.

  9. Trey said on November 8, 2021 at 11:22 pm
    Reply

    @John Wold

    Martin mentions this is the Note: section above the “registry blocking” part. Seems it will hold at whatever version you specify.

  10. Farmers said on November 8, 2021 at 11:58 pm
    Reply

    Or you could just turn off the TPM if it’s not needed – the machine then becomes persona non grata.

    1. happysurf said on November 9, 2021 at 8:44 am
      Reply

      Yes, the simplest way.

    2. Gordon said on November 9, 2021 at 3:34 pm
      Reply

      Worked fine on my computer.

  11. Coriy said on November 9, 2021 at 1:04 am
    Reply

    Well, I put the registry fix in, and got a small surprise. My Windows 10 Laptop decided that I need to update to 21H1,NOW!
    Well, I asked for it, I suppose.

    1. boris said on November 9, 2021 at 6:14 am
      Reply

      21H1 is OK. Has being using it for a while. It has some kinks but completely acceptable.

  12. my hand said on November 9, 2021 at 5:52 am
    Reply

    Imagine having an Operating System you have to protect yourself from, including major upgrades.

    Madness.

    1. imagination said on November 18, 2021 at 4:51 pm
      Reply

      Imagination not required. its FACT.

  13. Benjamin said on November 9, 2021 at 7:54 am
    Reply

    It is what i have done weeks ago… i do not care enough about new features. The one point i absolutely do dislike is the secretive handling of file extension associations which is a pain already in W10 and outright criminal in W11. I want the option back to be able to say which program shall handle specific extensions like it some time ago…

  14. Anonymous said on November 9, 2021 at 9:20 am
    Reply

    Will specifying Win10 in Gpedit without the version block Win11? I’m happy to get any Win10 upgrades.

  15. hg said on November 9, 2021 at 9:22 am
    Reply

    Any way to specify Win10 without limiting the version? I’m happy to get future Win10 updates. 21H2 working fine for me.

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