News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Fully disabling Windows Update service

    Posted on Moonbear Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Fully disabling Windows Update service

    Topic Resolution: Resolved
    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • Author
      • #2278770
        AskWoody Lounger

        As the topic says, I would like to fully disable the Windows Update service if will not effect anything else on the system.

        I would leave it active if disabling WU stopped me from being able to view the installed updates list after installing them each month.

        I use @abbodi86‘s ESU script to install updates and would also like to know if there is any way disabling WU could interfere with this.

      • #2278837
        AskWoody Lounger

        I suppose it is the same on W7 as it is on W10, I can’t remember now.

        The Windows key and the R key, then type ‘services.msc’ – hit OK

        It opens up the services folder

        Go down to the bottom to where there is an entry for ‘windows update’

        Right click on it, where it says ‘startup type – select disabled

        then at the service status hit the stop button

        down the bottom hit apply then OK

        before leaving the area Elvis & re-booting the computer, have one final look to see if everything is as you want it,then re-boot the computer

        When you want to allow windoze updates again, just set the startup type to manual, OK

        have a good 1  🙂  stay safe everyone


        have a good 1 🙂 cheers

        • #2279060
          AskWoody Plus

          Microsoft is ready for you. What you’ve described is only 1/3 of the process you need to implement if you want Update to go away and not come back. I wish we’d explore this more on this site – it’s too easy to go to extremes on this topic. Either you drink the kool-aid and hand over access to your computer to MS per the EULA, or you dive deep and fully disable update and make it so that it is near impossible for MS to restore it. I wish there were middle ground to facilitate the options offered to us in both XP and W7. Alas, MS doesn’t want to operate in that manner now.

          For full disabling and prevention of repair –

          First, you have to disable Windows Update Service. The procedure above is adequate.

          Second, you have to stop the Windows Update Medic Service. That is a bit harder to do. You can find the procedure to do that on the web – I did. If you don’t stop that service, the medic service will repair Windows Update Service and you’ll be updating before you know it or want it. You have to edit the registry to stop that service. You can’t simply disable it or set it to manual via the Services applet.

          Third, and this is the hardest for me, you have to delete the Windows Update folder in your system folder. That folder is owned by ‘Trusted Installer’, not you. You cannot easily remove that folder. I found the procedure to do it, but haven’t implemented it successfully – yet. Funny, you thought you, as administrator, had the highest privileges on your computer. Wrong. Microsoft owns the highest privileges on your computer. Good luck getting them back.

          I wish there was a utility to control the update services and associated files. Microsoft won’t give us the ability. Any good code writers out there willing to give it a stab? Have I missed a utility that provides the control I desire? Please let me know what I don’t know.

          BTW, my experiment on 1511 on my Lenovo Flex 3 is over. The Flex 3 fails to boot into Windows and my recovery USB failed. I was able to recover all of my files on the C: drive via the emergency Command Prompt C: (glad I remember those DOS commands – xcopy, copy, etc.), and my backups. I really need to learn how to do system and partial-system images for more reliable backups. I didn’t lose anything, and I managed to polish my operating system/file system skills in the process.

          I purchased a new Lenovo Flex 5 – 15.6 inch screen this time. It’s an ok machine, but Lenovo screws up almost as often as MS by changing things that just work. It has a backlit keyboard. That doggone thing automatically turns off after 5 seconds. Good luck if you are typing in a poorly lit space, turn on your fancy backlit keyboard, then pause typing for more than 5 seconds – the keyboard goes dark. Then you have to hit a key to reactivate the backlight, then backspace to remove the errant character you may have just typed, and then you can continue what you were doing – until the light goes out again. Why can’t they leave it the way it was on the Flex 3 – when you turn it on it stays on until you turn it off? Again, if anyone knows something about this that I’m missing – be merciful and let me know! Please!

          I fired up the new Flex 5 without connecting to the web. Created a local administrator account, and a local standard account. The administrator account has a password and security questions; the standard account does not. This is a personal laptop that only leaves the house on special vacations and never experiences my social security number or any account numbers. I don’t to commerce on this machine. I installed Brave as my browser – I like brave. I installed Office 2003 – no ribbon for me. Installed Everything – no windows search either, as far as I can avoid it. I’m pretty much all the way back in business. I’ve got McAfee antivirus for 30 days free. I’ll remove it at the end of the free period and switch to Microsoft Defender or whatever they call it now. I’m in the habit of updating it manually daily.

          In my five years with 1511 on the Lenovo Flex 3 I never updated the operating system and I never used a third party antivirus. No infections. No lost files. No downtime. No unstable windows. No uncertainty about updates or updating. Peace and effective work. It was a successful experiment that I am going to repeat on my new Flex 5.


          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2278840
        Da Boss

        In Win7 you can set the Windows Update Service to Manual and in Windows Update set it to “Never check for updates.” This should leave it inactive.

        If you disable the Windows Update Service, you may not be able to install updates manually.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2278914
          AskWoody Lounger

          OK, The manual updating was my biggest concern.

          I would have never thought about setting the service to manual instead of disabling it.

          Thanks @PKCano

      • #2278843
        AskWoody Lounger

        I read ‘fully disable the service’; while moonbear was there, he/she could have read around the place to see what everything did, moonbear could change things if he/she wanted b4 re-booting the comp.  I just pointed to the place, the 3 paragraphs were a bit contradictory when I read it as I didn’t know what @abbodi86‘s ESU script is

        have a good 1 🙂 cheers

      • #2278866
        AskWoody MVP

        @Moonbear, Another thing to consider is, the Antivirus.
        If you use MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials),
        turning off Windows Update completely will not allow MSE to update definitions!

        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created Pebcak
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2278913
          AskWoody Lounger

          I don’t use MSE. I also didn’t know Windows Update was how it received its updates, I always thought it had its own update system.

      • #2278915
        AskWoody Plus

        0patch Pro is a nice alternative if you have W7 Home Premium.  Haven’t had a problem with it after MS updates ended.

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Geo.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2279010
        AskWoody Plus

        You can do it in a batch file.  I have a file called WinUpdate.bat, which includes the following:

        :: Start the Windows Update service
        sc config wuauserv start= auto
        net start wuauserv
        :: Now run Windows Update. Pause when finished.
        “E:\Utilities\Windows Update 2.url”
        :: Stop the Windows Update service
        net stop wuauserv
        sc config wuauserv start= disabled
        :: Pause when finished


        The pause commands allow me to see what is happening.  Additionally, if Windows Update calls for a restart, the batch file is still running and the service is still enabled at that point.  To run something else which requires the service, just substitute the run command, e.g. for Windows Update Show/Hide it is wushowhide.diagcab. 

        It works for me.  At all times when I don’t want it, the service is stopped and disabled.  (I don’t use WSE.)

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 20H2

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Bundaburra.
        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Bundaburra.
        • #2279052
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          What is in “E:\Utilities\Windows Update 2.url”?

          cheers, Paul

    Viewing 6 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Fully disabling Windows Update service

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.