Deferring upgrades

How to prevent Windows 10 from installing version 2004

You can avoid unwanted problems by delaying the Windows 10 version 2004 as much as possible until you're ready, and in this guide, you'll learn how to complete this task.

Windows 10 version 2004 blockers

On Windows 10, feature updates, such as version 2004, are technically new versions that ship with new features, changes, and improvements to enhance the experience and security. The only caveat is that because these releases haven’t been broadly tested, during the early days upgrades may still contain bugs, some features may not work correctly, and drivers may break as a result of compatibility problems.

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

If you want to keep your device away from the new version as long as possible, Windows 10 includes various methods to prevent automatic upgrades using the Settings app, Group Policy, and even a metered connection.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to block Windows 10 from installing the spring 2020 update on your device.

Important: Using the Settings app or Group Policy options won’t interrupt Windows Update from downloading and installing monthly cumulative updates. Microsoft is planning to release version 2004 sometime in spring 2020, but it’s recommended to apply the settings to delay the upgrade before the next version becomes available.

How to block Windows 10 version 2004 using Settings

On Windows 10 Pro or Home, version 2004 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 further make sure, or if your device is nearing the end of service, you can use the Windows Update settings to block feature updates for up to 365 days since the day it was original released.

To block Windows 10 version 2004 with the Windows Update settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Update.

  4. Click the Advanced options button.

    Windows Update settings with Advanced options
    Windows Update settings with Advanced options
  5. Under the “Choose when updates are installed” section, select the number of days, up to 365 days to defer installing Windows 10 version 2004.

    Delay Windows 10 version 1909 using Settings
    Delay Windows 10 version 2020 using Settings

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 won’t try to install a new version until after the defer time you specified.

In addition, you have an option to defer monthly updates, but you can only postpone these updates up to 30 days. However, you can use the Pause Updates option that temporarily prevents new updates (including new major releases) from being installed for up to 35 days.

How to block Windows 10 version 2004 using Group Policy

You can also block Windows 10 version 2004 using the Local Group Policy editor.

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
    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 2004 using Group Policy
    Block Windows 10 version 2004 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 2004 until the day you specified in the policy.

How to block Windows 10 version 2004 on Windows 10 Home

On Windows 10 Home, the defer option won’t be available, 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.

Setting a Wi-Fi connection as metered to delay version 2004

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

Setting an Ethernet connection as metered to delay version 2004

To set a Ethernet (wired) connection as metered to block feature updates, 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 version 2004 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 hackers and malware.