Windows 10: Hide (and stop/abort) an update that is already in progress (Downloading, Preparing, Installing)

There is a lot of discussion surrounding Windows 10 and updates these days so I figured I would share something (potentially) useful I discovered when creating a Windows 10 image recently.

Hiding updates in Windows 10 requires the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter, which can be found in the How to temporarily prevent a Windows Update from reinstalling in Windows 10 article from Microsoft. When installing from scratch, you must first check for updates before the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter will let you hide available updates. If you neglect to change the default settings which install updates automatically, you may find yourself in a situation like mine. That was, I checked for updates so the troubleshooter would give me an option to hide them, BUT the updates began installing automatically before I finished hiding them!

In a frenzy of clicks and trial and error, I found a way to stop, halt, or abort a Windows 10 feature update I hid that was already being downloaded, prepared or installed. The following worked for me:

1) In my case (and subsequent tests) the feature update I was attempting to hide was in one of these states: Preparing, Downloading, Installing (less than 33% complete)

Example of update in "Preparing" status that was hidden too late

2) Use the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter to hide the update(s) in question. Once done, this does not abort the installation of the hidden update(s) if it is already in progress

3) To abort the update installation, open Advanced options under Update Settings (Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update -> Update Settings (section) -> Advanced Options (link) ). On the Advanced options screen, toggle Pause Updates to ON. Wait a moment, then toggle Pause Updates to OFF.

Toggle the Pause Updates options from OFF to ON, then back to abort updates that are in progress

4) In my testing, this aborts the download, preparation and installation of updates that are in progress and “resets” Windows Update. If the update in question was hidden with the tool, subsequent “Check for updates” cycles no longer pick it up.

This seems basic and trivial in hindsight, but I hope it helps someone wresting with a similar issue.