How to Stop Windows 11 Update Pending Restart Effectively

In this article, you will learn how to ensure system security before major operations and 4 effective ways to stop Windows 11 Update pending restart. Learn more about this below!


by Ivy Updated on December 14, 2023

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Windows Update Says Upgrade to Windows 11 Pending Restart 

Some people want to stay on Windows 10, but find Microsoft downloads Windows 11 Update automatically, and says pending restart. And then it will automatically restart computers and perform Windows 11 pending install. Just like you can see in the case below.


I recently turned on my laptop but I found it has downloaded the Windows 11 update in the background, and on the Windows Update settings page it says "Pending restart". I do not want to update my laptop to Windows 11, and I don't want to update it in general. This is a ticking bomb. Because based on previous experience I know that at one point it will automatically reboot without asking for my consent, or even notifying me. How do I get rid of the pending restart update?

- Question from Reddit


Don't worry about it too much! Although it says this update is ready to install, you still can stop Windows 11 Update pending restart effectively with 4 ways in this article. And don't forget to backup your system before major operations, which helps you ensure system security. 

Always backup your system before you make major operations

Backing up Windows 10 system is necessary when Windows Updates says "Upgrade to Windows 11 Pending Restart". There are reasons for two aspects:

  • On the one hand, if you have some problems updating to Windows 11 21H2, 22H2, or 23H2, or if you don't like the new version, you can easily revert Windows 11 to Windows 10 even if it downloads and installs Windows 11 automatically.
  • On the other hand, you need to make some major steps like modifying the Registry or Local Group Policy to stop Windows 11 Update pending restart and any incorrect operations may cause irreversible damage to your PC. 

So you need to make a system backup before we begin to cancel Windows 11 update. And in this way, you can protect your system. AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free backup software, which works well in a system backup.

It not only allows you to backup system to multiple devices, such as external drive, USB flash drive, network drive, NAS, etc, but also runs this task with daily, weekly, or monthly scheduled backup. And you can backup more efficiently and save disk space with different features, such as automatic splitting, normal compression, incremental backup, etc. 

To get started, download AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it on Windows 10. 

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(PS: This software also works on Windows 11/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP. But if you are a server user, you need to use the premium version - AOMEI Backupper Server!)

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard and click BackupSystem Backup.


Step 2. Select the destination path as you want. You can backup Windows 10 to external devices, such as, external drive (HDD or SSD), USB flash drive, etc. And you can also backup Windows 10 to network drive or NAS. 

Select Destination

Step 3. Set daily, weekly, or monthly schedule backup and then click Start Backup to backup Windows 10.

Schedule Backup

Stop Windows 11 update pending restart without a system crash (4 Methods)

After creating a system image in Windows 10, you can cancel Windows Update pending restart without any worry. And there are 4 methods you can use in the following, select them depending on your needs, temporarily cancel, or stop Windows 11 Update forever. 

  • Try Method 1 or Method 2 if you just want to temporarily cancel Windows Update pending restart. 
  • Try Method 3 or Method 4 if you are sure to stop Windows 11 Update forever.

And then, check methods in detail and stop Windows 11 download pending update with one of them.

Video Tutorials: from 2:06

Graphic Tutorials:

👉 Method 1. Clear your SoftwareDistribution folder
👉 Method 2. Pause updates to get rid of pending restart via Settings
👉 Method 3. Modify the Registry Editor
👉 Method 4. Disable update on restart by Group Policy

Method 1. Clear your SoftwareDistribution folder

Windows 10 will store the download updates in the SoftwareDistribution folder, and it is an important part of Windows Update. So you can delete files to stop upgrading to Windows 11 pending restart.

Note: Windows will create files in the SoftwareDistribution folder after the Windows Update is run.   

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and click Run as administrator.

Step 2. Type net stop wuauserv to stop the Windows Update Service. And press Enter.

Step 3. Type net stop bits and press Enter.


Step 4. Open This PC on your desktop and navigate to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.


Step 5. Press Ctrl+A to select all the files and delete them. When prompted, turn on the "Do this for all current items" checkbox and click Continue.

Method 2. Pause updates to get rid of pending restart via Settings

You can pause Windows Updates for several days to stop Windows 11 update pending restart.

Step 1. Click Start > Settings > Update and Security. Click Pause updates for 7 days.


Step 2. If you want to pause them for more than a week, you can click Advanced options to expand it for up to 35 days.


Method 3. Modify the Registry Editor

To get rid of the pending restart, you can modify the Registry Editor. And as a major operation, wrongly modifying will cause system damage. So don’t forget to backup your system before you modify the Registry.

Step 1. Press Win + R and type regedit to open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Navigate to the following path, if you cannot find the WindowsUpdate, you can create a new key named Windows Update.


Step 3. Now click WindowsUpdate then right-click the right panel and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.


Step 4. Change the value name to TargetReleaseVersion, and change the value data from 0 to 1.


Step 5. Then right-click the right panel again and select New > String Value.


Step 6. Name this value as TargetReleaseVersionInfo and double-click on it.

Step 7. Type 21H2 under Value data and hit Enter, if you are on Windows 10 version 21H2. And then restart your computer to cancel Windows 11 update.


Method 4. Disable update on restart by Group Policy

You can enable some options to disable update on restart option using Group Policy Editor and block Windows 11 update. Pay attention to backup your system before you use this method as incorrect editing may cause system crash.

Step 1. Press Win+R, type gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy Editor.


Step 2. Navigate to the following path and select Turn off auto-restart for updates during active hours.

Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update


Step 3. When the policy is enabled, you can set the start and end times for active hours.

Step 4. Navigate to the following path and double-click Select the target feature update version.

Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update>Windows Update for Business


Step 5. Click Disable and then click OK. And you can also set Windows 10 as product version and 21H2 as target version of feature update in the Options. 



This article provides you with 4 effective ways to stop Windows 11 Update pending restart, and among them, you need to modify critical settings in the Registry and Local Group Policy to stop installing Windows 11 forever. Thus, it's suggested to backup your system with the best free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

And it focuses on continuous backup to keep track of changes made in the further and is capable of minimizing disk space usage at different levels. You can enjoy the default options, such as normal compression, incremental backup, etc, or use premium features like high compression, differential backup, automatic backup cleanup, etc. 

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.