• How can a Win10 1903 user keep 2004 off their machine?

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    Interesting question from CN: Windows 1903 Home user…  I searched the forum for help with this, and I found a post, but I can’t find all the replies
    [See the full post at: How can a Win10 1903 user keep 2004 off their machine?]

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    • #2284012
      1. Go into the Group Policy editor and push things out for 365 days;
      2. Make sure the network connection is set to metered; and
      3. Download and run Windows Privacy Dashboard (WPD).


      Also checking regularly with wushowhide from microsoft to hold things off. I know the question comes from a Windows Home user, I’m currently running 1903 Pro on my machines and nothing is being pushed.

    • #2284013

      Privacy tools that can block ways of Win10 to phone home can work since they may disable the communication lines what MS uses to send telemetry data and determine whether a device is eligible for the 2004 update.

      I talk about O&O ShutUpTen, Debotnet/SharpApp, etc… I for example use a free version of SpyBot Anti-Beacon and it helped in a similar situation last year in a Win10 Home which had been on 1803. MS has started to deploy 1903 as early as summer of ’19 and this method successfully blocked the update until late November ’19.

      That time there were already warnings displayed in the WU UI and even in the login screen telling that this version is out of support and you have to upgrade immediately, yet the 1903 update still haven’t offered until I removed the telemetry blocks in SP A-B.

      Does this work this time? I’ll see. It’s still on 1903, telemetry blocked with SP A-B and no 2004 update offered yet, not even a notice that the machine is eligible or not.

      In theory a block of communication providing the eligibility data for MS’ shiny ML system can block the decision. Hopefully.

    • #2284069

      StopUpdates10 works.  It’s brutal, but it works.  Free.


      I’ve had good success with setting network to metered too.  Sometimes updates show up, but they don’t download without my saying yes [Win10-1909 Pro].  YMMV.


    • #2284086

      IM not so HO, you HAVE to upgrade to pro.  Anything else won’t give you the peace of mind and control you need/want.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2284087

      I’ve not had any updates forced on me. I installed Windows Update Blocker V1.5 or later. You select disable updates, and check Protect Services Settings. The program apparently locks the service setting so MS cannot turn it back on. On the weekend before MS Tuesday, download the cumulative for the previous month, re-enable the service, run the updater, and disable again. It’s been working on my two 1903 laptops for over a year.


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      • #2284320

        I can vouch for the fact that Windows Update Blocker’s “Protect Services Settings” works and keeps MS from turning the update service back on.  There was one time when I first started using WUB that I forgot I had it installed and active.  I tried running one update in particular and it failed.  I went through all the Microsoft troubleshooting that was available, and nothing worked.   Until I remembered…

        So WUB is very robust at keeping the service off.  I like the workflows that Artic Eddie and Steve S. have outlined.  The difference in my procedure is I use PowerShell and PSWindowsUpdate.  That allows me to scrutinize the updates that are available and hide the ones that I don’t want.

        However, regarding the OP’s use of the Home version, I agree with Susan Bradley that the extra control that is available through the Pro version is critical.  I would say the most important is the ability to disable automatic updates through local group policy.

    • #2284097

      Note that answers that talk of disabling the update service do not answer the OP’s question, which is how to still do Cumulative updates (when we’re at MS-DEFCON-3) while avoiding the forced update.

      What I think might be possible–but I’ve never tested–is to manually download the updates (from the website, not from Windows Update), then unplug your computer from the Internet, then re-enable updates, then install. Then after that use the above methods to disable updates and only after that plug your computer back into the network.

    • #2284109

      I download the update from the catalog but it won’t run unless the update function is turned on and online. As soon as it’s done then you can go offline and re-enable the blocker then go online later. You can do that at any time of the month but I wait until the weekend before MS Tuesday. I also make an image of the main partition with Clonezilla before the download.

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    • #2284121

      I did not verify it, but i think the TargetReleaseVersion registry works for Home editions too

      if he want to try

      reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate /f /v TargetReleaseVersion /t REG_DWORD /d 1

      reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate /f /v TargetReleaseVersionInfo /t REG_SZ /d 1903

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      • #2284135

        That would be a solution… if it works…

        • #2284155

          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

          • #2284175

            Since when we should believe MS docs to be absolutely correct? There are apps that use this registry setting claiming to work on Home edition as well. We won’t know until someone actually tests it.

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          • #2284450

            The target version registry keys do work for home edition, there has not been any further attempts to upgrade to any new feature update.

            • #2284559

              same here – Targetversion reg keys working on Win10 home edition – just tested it with v1809 home

          • #2285433

            The REG key solution on Windows 10 Home to defer feature updates potentially works today.  But it might not keep working.

            I’m going to take a moment and translate Microsoft speak in their official documentation based on both experience and IT policy guidelines.

            First: when MS says something is not supported, it doesn’t mean it won’t work today.  It may very well work fine right now.  But it can (and often does) mean that the thing might break, or be changed, or be dropped without any warning.  Conversely when they say something is supported, we at least have some assurance that it “should work” on that platform, and that if it’s changed in the future we should in theory get some advance notification about the change.  (Yes I know, their track record on this last is somewhat lacking.)

            Second: this means that a REG key change that is “supported” in Pro, but marked as “NOT supported” in Home – may or may not work based on a bewildering set of combinations of patch status.   It might work on Joe’s machine on 1903 today, but maybe Joe’s been using other hacks to prevent patching.  At the same time it might NOT work on Cheryl’s machine, which is fully patched at 1903-current.  Or vice-versa!

            (Thanks for volunteering to be class examples Cheryl and Joe, a round of applause for our victims please!  You may return to your seats now . . . )

            Shorter version of this point:  You cannot rely on it long term.

            Third: Even though it works today, a future non-feature patch could (and very likely will) break the feature on W10-Home. And then you’ll be facing trying to block the feature update another way.  In Pro – because it’s supported as an official feature – we at least have some sort of commitment from Microsoft that the REG key or GP setting will work.  (It might still break from a buggy future patch, but hey – it’s still a stronger sense of trust than zero support.)

            TL:DR Given that this specific REG key setting is for a feature deferral that may take place up to 18 months from now – I cannot conscientiously recommend that you trust this setting will work on Windows 10 Home for the entire time remaining until your current build expires.


            ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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        • #2284172

          My 2 1903 Home machines have that registry setting.
          1 says “not ready for your device” and it used to offer the update with a click to install button. The other has no mention of the feature update.

          cheers, Paul

          p.s. for documentation purposes, Acer = “not ready”, Asus = not offered.

      • #2284228

        It definitely worked for win10 home when I tested it a month ago.   However, CN reported that a 2004 install had been initiated on his computer, and that the install was subsequently paused until September.  It’s conceivable that a reset of windows update might be required, in addition to setting TargetReleaseVersion.   Allowing the 2004 install to complete, rolling back to the previous OS, and then setting TargetReleaseVersion might be another approach.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2284239

          Very useful, I missed your early post. Thanks for the testing and letting us know!

        • #2284338

          I am asking for definitive confirmation: TargetReleaseVersion Registry Key definitely works on Home machines.


          On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
          offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
          offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
          online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
    • #2284157

      For several years, I have been successfully using the combination of Windows Update Blocker (now ver. 1.5) and Microsoft’s utility wushowhide.diagcab.

      Between each month’s patch Tuesday, I keep WUB set at “Disable Updates” and “Protect Services Settings”.  As an added backstop, I set my internet connections to metered.

      When I get the go ahead from AskWoody each month, I open WUB and wushowhide.diagcab side by side on my desktop. First I uncheck the box for “Apply repairs automatically” in wushowhide. Then I “Enable Updates” in WUB and click “Apply Now”.  I then IMMEDIATELY click “Next” on wushowhide and let it run.

      After wushowhide has done its check, I hide any updates I have previously determined undesirable and DON’T want installed. After closing wushowhide, I do the unthinkable and click on “Check for Updates” in Windows settings! :-O

      (I know, sacrilege, but I’ve used this approach on 5 Win 10 machines – both Pro and Home – for several years now and nary a problem..)

      Once the updates are downloaded, installed and any reboots are done, I reopen WUB asap(!)  and reset it to “Disable Updates” and “Protect Services Settings”.

      Done until the next month!

      Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2284171

      Perhaps this is a silly question, but is there a summary somewhere listing reasons why we want to stay on v1909 or v1903?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m staying on v1909 for now on my critical systems out of prudence, though I DO have v2004 updated in a VM for testing and being very honest it’s not failing. But I certainly don’t put the pressure on it that I do my actual hardware systems.

      I presume there’s a bit more bloat and nothing really to want the new version for, but what’s actually worse at this point? Are there things that no longer work?


    • #2284256

      Well, with Home, control is hit and miss.  With Pro, there is far, far more control; first thing I always recommend is an upgrade to Pro.  Currently there are some excellent discounts on Pro available.   This one ends Aug 1, jump on it NOW:


      The registry entry mentioned in the posts above appears to work on Pro, has for me so far.

      I’m currently on 1909 with June’s updates downloaded from the Windows Update Catalog and this combo is very stable; earlier this year 1909 was flaky for us, especially with wifi.  Consider going to 1909, which is very similar to 1903 and will at least give you a longer buffer to upgrades.

      Make a shadow copy before any upgrade: Control Panel>System>Advanced system settings>System Protection>Create a restore point.

      Pro, best I know, is mostly contained in Home already, upgrading enables many of its features.  I’ve never had a Pro upgrade go bad, but back up anyway.

      Gpedit in Pro completely changes the usability and control of Windows.  Of course MS hides it.  It’s here: C:\Windows\System32\gpedit.msc


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      • #2284314

        Thanks for the link!  I was debating upgrading to Pro on my wife’s new laptop at the $99 price point – seeing it for less than half of that pushed me to do it.

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by PKCano.
        • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by cobber2076.
    • #2284530

      Thank you all for your suggestions (I am the original CN that Woody posted about).  I am a very basic computer user, and unfortunately I didn’t understand or think I could follow most of these suggestions.  Given that Win 2004 was already half-way installed when I caught it and paused the installation, I think I am going to have to allow it to finish installing when I resume updates at the end of August.  I only use Office, the Web, Dropbox, and OneDrive.  I think I might be all right.  If none of the August updates looks urgent, I may keep pausing until the end of September.  Perhaps some of the Win 2004 updates will be gone by then.  Thank you all again, and a huge Thank You to Woody for being so helpful

      • #2284737

        It’s really easy to set those registry values and then reboot.

        1. Press Windows+R to open the “Run” box.
        2. Type “cmd” into the box and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run the command as an administrator.
        3. Copy the commands from post #2284121 above and paste (right click in the title bar, Edit > Paste).
        4. Assuming all went well, reboot.

        cheers, Paul

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