Windows 10 doesn’t include the ability to turn off Automatic Updates. You get ‘em whether you want ‘em or not, unless you’re attached to a Windows Update server (WSUS, WUB, or some other variety). Sometimes life ain’t fair.
For those of you using Windows 8.1, 8, 7, or Vista, I strongly recommend that you set Windows Automatic Update to “Notify but don’t download.” For detailed reasons and an explanation of the options involved, see my Windows Secrets article, New Years resolution: banish automatic updates.
Here’s how to set Windows to Notify but don’t Download:
Windows 8: While looking at the old-fashioned Windows desktop, hold down the Windows key and press X, then choose Control Panel. Then follow the instructions for Windows 7.
Windows 7 and Vista: Using an administrator-level account, click Start, Control Panel, and then System and Security. Under Windows Update, click the Turn automatic updating on or off link. In the drop-down box, select Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them, then click OK.
If you’re using Windows XP, you’re just begging for problems. Get rid of the machine. Replace it with a nice Chromebook or, yes, shell out the $200 for a new Windows 10 computer. Life’s too short.