How to defer feature updates using Group Policy on Windows 10

Although Windows 10 Settings no longer include deferral option, you can still enable the feature using the Group Policy Editor.

Windows 10 defer feature update with Group Policy
Windows 10 defer feature update with Group Policy

Starting with the May 2020 Update (version 2004), Windows 10 is removing the option to defer feature updates up to one year from the Settings to avoid confusion.

The decision was made considering that feature updates are no longer automatic, and only devices with a version of Windows 10 nearing the end of service will receive the update automatically.

However, the deferral option isn’t entirely gone. If you wish to use this option as an extra layer of assurance that the device won’t upgrade to a new version, it’s still possible to defer feature updates using Group Policy.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to defer feature updates using the Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education.

Block new versions of Windows 10 from Group Policy

To use Group Policy to defer a Windows 10 feature update, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for gpedit.msc, and click the top result to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

  3. Browse the following path:

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business
  4. Double-click the Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received policy.

    Group Policy Windows Update for business policies

  5. Select the Enabled option.

  6. Under the “Options” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Semi-Annual Channel option.

  7. Select the number of days (up to 365) to defer upgrades.

    Windows 10 defer feature updates

  8. Click the Apply button.

  9. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the system won’t download and install new feature updates, such as Windows 10 20H2, until the day you specified in the policy.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].