Blocking Driver Updates

How to exclude driver updates when updating Windows 10

You can now stop Windows 10 from installing driver updates — Here's how to do it.

Windows 10 driver update option

Windows 10 includes a new option to prevent installing driver updates on your computer. On this version of the operating system, updates are mandatory for everyone, and you don’t only get patches for Windows 10, but driver updates too.

Although this can be considered a good approach to keep devices secure and always up to date, sometimes updates roll out with bugs or compatibility issues that can cause more harm than good.

For this reason, Windows 10 includes an option to allow users to stop the OS from including driver updates when you update your system using the Local Group Policy editor and Registry.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to stop getting driver updates when installing new updates on your computer.

How to prevent Windows Update from installing driver updates using Group Policy

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education, you can use the Local Group Policy editor to stop Windows Update from installing driver updates during the rollout of new quality updates.

To exclude driver updates on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for gpedit.msc and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

  3. Browse the following path

     Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
  4. Double-click the Do not include drivers with Windows Updates policy.

    Group Policy for Windows Update
    Group Policy for Windows Update
  5. Select the Enabled option on the top-left.

    Exclude driver updates from Windows Update
    Exclude driver updates from Windows Update
  6. Click Apply.

  7. Click OK.

How to prevent Windows Update from installing driver updates using Registry

On Windows 10 Home, you won’t have access to the Local Group Policy editor, but you can stop driver updates using the Registry.

Warning: It’s very important to note that modifying the Windows Registry can cause serious problems if not used properly. It’s assumed you know what you’re doing and you have created a full backup of your system before proceeding.

To exclude driver updates on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for regedit, and click the result to open the Registry.

  3. On the Windows 10 Anniversary Update browse the following path, go through the additional steps, and then continue with step No. 4:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
    1. Right-click the Windows (folder) key, select New, and click on Key.

    2. Name the key WindowsUpdate and press Enter.

    3. Right-click the WindowsUpdate key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    4. Name the key ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate and press Enter.

    If you’re on the Windows 10 Creators Update, the path is different. You’ll have to use the following path and continue with step No. 4:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings
  4. Double-click the DWORD ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate.

  5. Change the DWORD value from 0 to 1.

    Exclude driver update Registry setttings
    Exclude driver update Registry setttings
  6. Click OK.

Once you disable the option your computer will no longer get driver updates through the Windows Update service.

Keep in mind that preventing Windows 10 from installing driver updates can also have a negative effect, as outdated drivers can also cause issues in the long run. However, it’s a good option if you prefer to manually install device drivers you download from your PC manufacturer’s support website.

Another scenario where this option can come in handy is when the latest driver update is causing problems, in which case, you can roll back the old driver, and clear this new option in Settings to prevent Windows 10 from re-downloading the update.

Remember that you can also use the Show or hide updates troubleshooter tool to block problematic updates.

Update, March 24, 2017: Originally published in January 2017, updated on March 2017. This guide has been updated with alternative method to block driver updates using Windows Update, because Windows 10 removes the option from the Settings app.

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