- Windows 10 has a lot of valuable features, but the automatic Windows Update won't let users adjust it.
- Not all updates improve performance, especially the automatic drivers’ update.
- Take a look at our Windows 10 Hub to get the best out of your PC and programs.
- To find more easy-to-apply tips, just like the ones below, you can check out our How-To section.
Many users are determined to prevent Windows 10 from automatically updating drivers, even if Microsoft stated that this is a positive feature, primarily for security reasons.
The drivers are installed without users confirmation and that can lead to all kinds of issues, like unusable hardware, all-around underperformance and, eventually, to the Blue Screen of Death.
So, we’ve prepared some temporary workarounds that will let you surpass the automatic drivers’ update. For more info on how to do that, check the solutions below.
How do I fix the auto-updating drivers in Windows 10?
1. Use the Group Policy Editor
- Right-click on Start, and choose Device Manager.
- Find the wanted device and open Properties.
- Go to the Details tab.
- In the Property drop-down menu select Hardware Id.
- Select all Ids, copy + paste in any text editor (be sure to save it).
- In the Search Windows type gpedit.msc, and choose Run as administrator.
- In the left sidebar follow this path:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation\Device Installation Restrictions
- On the right side open Prevent installation of devices that match any of these devices IDs.
- In the Policy window, click Enable, and then Show.
- Copy Ids one by one from the saved document and paste them in separate Volume columns.
- Save changes and exit Group Policy Editor.
- At the next update, you should be prompted with an error. That is the confirmation that the tweaks were successful. Selected drivers won’t install anymore.
This is a complex workaround that won’t work on Home edition of Windows 10. You’ll need Professional, Enterprise or Educational version in order to access Group Policy Editor.
If you fulfill these requirements, you could try it out. Have in mind that it is not advisable to make rush moves since this is a quite powerful tool.
The main advantage is that the update is still enabled. Namely, Windows Update will still download drivers but it won’t install them. You’ll first need to find hardware ID for a wanted driver.
Keep in mind that updating your drivers is an advanced procedure. If you’re not careful you can cause permanent damage to your system by downloading the wrong driver versions.
We strongly recommend DriverFix to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.
This great tool was developed so that you do not have to worry about manually downloading and installing your drivers yourself.
Already installed drivers can also be stored in an archive and used, for example, when the system is restored.
DriverFixAvoid any permanent damage to your PC by updating your drivers automatically with this great software.
2. Prevent auto-updating on a metered Wi-Fi connection
- Open Start and click Settings on the left.
- Go to Network & Internet.
- Choose Wi-Fi on the left side-panel and click Manage Known Networks.
- Select your Wi-Fi network and click Properties.
- Enable Set as metered connection.
- If you are using more wireless networks, you’ll have to set them up individually.
Since Microsoft forgot to implement standard selection, we must use tricks. This is a simple workaround that will prevent Windows 10 from updating.
Have in mind that this shuts down the update completely, so you’ll skip on various security and stability updates. This makes it a temporary solution.
While a metered connection is enabled, PC updates are on hold. Consequently, your system assumes that you are using an alternative connection like phone tethering or another limited data package.
Windows automatically sets limited connections to metered, but you can do it with your Wi-Fi, too.
3. Block auto-updating on a metered Ethernet connection
- Open Search, and type Regedit.
- Right-click on it, and choose Run as administrator.
- In the left sidebar follow this path:
- Right-click on DefaultMediaCost, and choose Permissions.
- Select Advanced, and click Change at the top.
- Type your Microsoft account e-mail address in the Enter the object name box.
- Click Check name and confirm.
- In the Permissions for the DefaultMediaCost window select Users group.
- Check the Full Control box, and confirm.
- Right-click Ethernet and choose Modify.
- In the Value Data box type 2 instead of 1.
- Save the settings.
When it comes to the Ethernet connection, things are not as simple as this. Apparently, Microsoft thought that all the Ethernet connections have unlimited data, and we know that is not the case.
In order to tweak wired connection, you’ll have to use a registry edit. Have in mind that Registry Editor misuse can cause all kinds of trouble, so use it carefully.
Additionally, you’ll have to tweak permissions in order to make changes.
4. The Show or Hide updates tool hides troublesome drivers
- Download the Troubleshooting tool.
- Let the tool scan for the available updates.
- If there are available updates, you can choose whether you want to hide them or not.
- Hide unwanted updates and confirm.
- When the next update occurs, selected updates will be skipped.
Since even Microsoft is aware of possible driver malfunctions that may occur after updates, they prepared a downloadable tool. You can’t block updates with built-in software, so this is a viable solution.
Microsoft presents this tool as a temporary solution, but we think you can use it as long as you want.
You should use this troubleshooter software before you install updates, so it is worth to use it as often as you can in order to hide unwanted updates.
5. Uninstall malfunctioning drivers
- Open Search, and type Windows Update Settings.
- In the right section, click View Update History.
- Select Uninstall updates.
- Find the unwanted ones and uninstall them.
Moreover, you can additionally try and roll-back drivers from Device Manager. This way you’ll retrieve the older, functioning version of the driver.
- Right-click Start and open Device Manager.
- Find a faulty device driver.
- Right-click it and open Properties.
- Open Driver tab.
- Click Roll Back Driver.
If everything is as should be, you’ll get the pre-update version.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all Windows generic drivers and obtain drivers from the official site of the device producer. That is the best way.
Microsoft insists on automatic Windows Update no matter what the users say. However, there is a positive side to this.
People were ignoring updates to previous Windows versions too often. And, in some cases, their system security and all-around stability suffered because of that.
That’s about it, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, just let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.