Deferring upgrades

How to prevent version 20H2 from installing on Windows 10

You can avoid unwanted problems by delaying the Windows 10 version 20H2 as much as possible until you're ready, and in this guide, you'll learn how to complete this task.

Windows 10 20H2 block settings

On Windows 10, when a new feature update becomes available, such as version 20H2, it’s technically a new version of the operating system that includes new features and improvements to enhance the experience and security. The only problem is that because these releases haven’t been tested broadly, during the early days, upgrades may still contain bugs, features may not work correctly, and drivers may break causing compatibility issues.

Although new versions of Windows 10 no longer download and install automatically until you initiate the upgrade manually, eventually, they will. Also, on computers nearing the end of service, Windows Update will install the feature update automatically to keep devices supported.

If you want to keep your device away from the new version as long as possible, Windows 10 includes various settings to prevent automatic upgrades using Group Policy or by setting a network connection as metered.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to block Windows 10 from installing the 20H2 update on your computer.

Important: Using the Settings or Group Policy options won’t interrupt Windows Update from downloading and installing monthly updates. Microsoft is releasing the version 20H2 on October 20, 2020, but it’s recommended to apply the settings to delay the upgrade before the next version becomes available.

Block Windows 10 20H2 using Group Policy

On Windows 10 Pro or Home, the version 20H2 won’t download automatically until you start the process manually. This means that if you want to prevent Windows 10 from installing the new version, the only thing you have to do is not to click the Download and Install now option in the “Windows Update” settings page. However, you can use Group Policy to block feature updates for up to 365 days since the day it was original released.

Windows Update for Business

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

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  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
    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.

    Block Windows 10 version 20H2 using Group Policy
    Block Windows 10 version 20H2 using Group Policy
  8. Click the Apply button.

  9. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, Windows 10 won’t download and install version 20H2 until the day you specified in the policy.

Select target feature update

Alternatively, you can also use the “Select the target Feature Update version” policy to block the feature update. 

Windows 10 no longer includes an option to defer feature updates in the Settings app, but it’s now possible to configure a new option to set the target version to stay on a specific release until it reaches the end of service, or you can specify the next version you want to upgrade.

If the device is running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can use the Group Policy Editor to set target feature update version on version 1803 and later.

To configure a target feature update version with Group Policy, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for gpedit and click the top result to open the 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 target Feature Update version policy.

    Windows Update for Business Group Policy
    Windows Update for Business Group Policy
  5. Check the Enabled option.

  6. Under the “Options” section, confirm the target version of the feature update you want to set the device. For example, 2004 for the May 2020 Update or 20H2 for next feature update coming in 2020.

    Target feature update version of Windows 10
    Target feature update version of Windows 10
  7. Click the Apply button.

  8. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will stay in the current version until the feature update reaches the end of service. If you specified the next feature update, then once it become available it’ll install automatically on your device.

Block Windows 10 20H2 on Home edition

On Windows 10 Home, you don’t have access to Group Policy, but you can always set a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection as metered, which limits access to the internet, including the ability to download and install feature updates automatically.

Set Wi-Fi as metered to delay version 20H2

To set a Wi-Fi connection as metered to block Windows 10 updates, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Wi-Fi.

  4. Select the Wi-Fi connection to access its settings.

    Windows 10 Wi-Fi settings
    Windows 10 Wi-Fi settings
  5. Turn on the Set as metered connection toggle switch to enable and restrict background data usage.

    Set Wi-Fi connection as metered on Windows 10
    Set Wi-Fi connection as metered on Windows 10

Set Ethernet as metered to delay version 20H2

To set a Ethernet (wired) connection as metered to block version 20H2, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on Ethernet.

  4. Select the wire Ethernet connection.

    Windows 10 Ethernet settings
    Windows 10 Ethernet settings
  5. Turn on the Set as metered connection toggle switch to enable and restrict background data usage.

    Set Ethernet connection as metered on Windows 10
    Set Ethernet connection as metered on Windows 10

This method will block all kinds of updates, which means that your device will be unprotected until you disable the metered connection.

This guide outlines multiple methods to stop the next version of Windows 10 20H2 from installing automatically, but you should only use these recommendations if you know something is wrong with the update or you have a good reason not to upgrade. Although updates can introduce new problems, they’re important to safeguard your data and installation from malware and hackers.