Windows 10 has a fairly aggressive automatic update policy and the knobs and levers required to change it are well-hidden. While I think this is a good idea for average consumers, it frequently causes problems with my VM that includes GPU passthrough – automatic update restarts seem to bypass the scripts that disable the GPU upon shutdown and problems ensue.
Here's what I've been doing to disable automatic updates and restarts – but note that these steps only work in Windows 10 Professional or higher editions:
Changing Automatic Update Behavior
Open the Local Group Policy Editor by running
gpedit.msc. Then, navigate to
Local Computer Policy >
Computer Configuration >
Administrative Templates >
Windows Components >
Windows Update and select
Configure Automatic Updates. Select the
Enabled radio button and choose the desired behavior from the
I usually select
2 - Notify for download and notify for install.
Disabling Automatic Restarts
In the same section of the Local Group Policy Editor, select
No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations and then select the
Enabled radio button.