How to Stop a Microsoft Update Once It Has Started

By Randall Blackburn

The Microsoft Update feature can be configured to automatically download and install Windows Updates, or can be set to only download, but not install, the updates. You can also completely disable the automated update feature and simply take on the task of manually downloading and updating your operating system. However, some users need to stop an update in progress. For example, if the update is unwanted or if the update is known to cause certain software conflicts, the update can be stopped. As of Windows 8, the Windows Update feature runs through the Automatic Maintenance feature. You can stop the Automatic Maintenance feature to stop a Microsoft Update from downloading and installing once it has begun.

Press “Windows-D” to open the Windows Desktop.

Hover the mouse over the left bottom corner of the Desktop. The Windows “Start” option displays.

Right-click on the Windows “Start”option, and then click “Control Panel” from the menu that appears. The Windows 8 Control Panel interface opens.

Click the “View” drop-down list in the right corner of the Control Panel page, and then click the “Category” view, if the Control Panel does not display Category View by default.

Click the “Action Center” option on the left side of the Control Panel screen. The Action Center screen opens.

Click the downward-pointing arrow next to the “Maintenance” entry. The Maintenance tasks are listed.

Click the “Stop Maintenance” link. The Stop Maintenance dialog box displays.

Click “Yes” to confirm, and then click “OK.” Automatic Maintenance is stopped, and all updates are paused.


Disconnect from the Internet for a few minutes to ensure a downloading update is stopped.

You can also stop an update in progress by clicking the "Windows Update" option in the Control Panel, and then clicking the "Stop" button.