New working tool that Stop Windows Updates. Only problem... It will run in the background. Now also as Portable version. StopUpdates10 v3.6.2021.705 (Date: 07/06/2021 - July 6 2021) Author: Greatis Software Freeware Spotlight — StopUpdates10 Askwoody.com This year, it seems like installing Microsoft updates is a bit like playing Russian roulette with your computer — or the computers under your care. Everyone wants to take the stance “You go first!” and delay the updates until they can get some sense of how warm or cold the proverbial water is. Windows 10 gives us some control over when updates are installed, but it varies with the version and edition of the OS. For example, older versions of Win10 Home did not include any options for deferring patching, but Version 1903 Home does. The general feeling is that Microsoft has made the whole process overly complicated. Read the whole article in the spoiler... Spoiler: Freeware Spotlight — StopUpdates10 BEST UTILITIES Freeware Spotlight — StopUpdates10 By Deanna McElveen This year, it seems like installing Microsoft updates is a bit like playing Russian roulette with your computer — or the computers under your care. Everyone wants to take the stance “You go first!” and delay the updates until they can get some sense of how warm or cold the proverbial water is. Windows 10 gives us some control over when updates are installed, but it varies with the version and edition of the OS. For example, older versions of Win10 Home did not include any options for deferring patching, but Version 1903 Home does. The general feeling is that Microsoft has made the whole process overly complicated. It might be surprising to learn that there are many third-party utilities offering tools to extend update deferrals — we’re happy to host one that actually works. StopUpdates10 was developed by Dmitry Sokolov of Greatis Software. The program doesn’t just switch off Win10 updating services — it also runs in the background, blocking every attempt by Microsoft to turn automatic updating back on. For example, Microsoft recently sneaked in a new update process called WaasMedicAgent.exe — and the most recent version of StopUpdates10 has smacked it down! StopUpdates10’s site also claims it’ll disable those annoying end-of-support notifications in Windows 7 and Win8. The utility also lets you control when new Windows Defender signatures get added to your system. Most important for some applications, StopUpdates10 can prevent surprise update reboots on Windows systems that must always be up and running — except when an administrator deems it safe to restart them. Free and easy to install To get started, download the StopUpdates10 ZIP file from our OlderGeeks.com page. Unpack the file and run stopupdates10setup.exe. (Note: Firefox might block the download as a “File that is not commonly downloaded.” But you can feel comfortable accepting the “risk” and continuing with the download. The file has a perfect score on VirusTotal and is malware-free, according to Malwarebytes.) You’ll next see the apps’ setup Wizard, shown in Figure 1. The entire process is fast and simple. Figure 1. StopUpdates10’s initial installation screen With the installation complete, StopUpdate10’s next screen tells you that Windows Update isn’t blocked and you should enable the utility’s update-deferral tools. (See Figure 2.) Figure 2. On this example system, StopUpdates10 reports that Windows updates are currently not blocked. Clicking the big red “Stop Windows Updates!” button launches the utility’s “Updates Guard” system, immediately blocking automatic update installs. Every time Microsoft tries to turn auto-updating back on, Updates Guard stops it. (The “Pause Updates” button simply activates Windows’ built-in update-deferral tools. But it does save you the effort of diving into Windows settings.) Clicking the stop-updates button opens a new window with three options (see Figure 3). They might look like unwanted software offers, but they’re harmless — they don’t download anything; they simply take you to informational webpages. They’re the typical promotions you see in many good freeware applications. Figure 3. All the options on this window are legitimate offers. The first button is an online ad for Greatis’s free UnHackMe tool; the second one is an ad for Greatis’s free BootRacer app. The last button lets you offer feedback on the program. You can simply close this window and move on to the main Updates Guard screen, shown in Figure 4. Figure 4. The Updates Guard screen reports that Windows Update is blocked — and, yes, throws in more Greatis ads. When you’re ready to install updates (e.g., you’ve received the green light from Woody and Susan), simply click the Restore Windows Updates button. That’s all you really need to know. Turning blocking on and off will let Windows updates be installed only when you’re ready for them. Some housekeeping: Under File/Settings, you’ll find two tabs: Self Update (Figure 5) lets the program automatically check for its own updates, each time it’s opened. If you don’t keep StopUpdates10 fully updated, Microsoft might slip in a Windows-updating process that the utility doesn’t know about. Figure 5. Keeping StopUpdates10 current is critical to blocking future Windows updates. The ONLY For Power Users! tab (Figure 6) lets you take deeper control over Windows update processes — essentially crippling it. Use these controls only if you’re fully aware of the possible consequences. Figure 6. The options in the aptly named ONLY For Power Users! tab should mostly be avoided. The main menu’s Tools tab is worth a look. Its four simple options include refreshing the Windows updating status, allowing the installation of new Windows Defender signatures,and either shutting down or restarting Windows. And that’s it! This utility has a super-simple interface but lots of power under the hood. Again, you can download a copy from our OlderGeeks.com StopUpdates10 page.