Windows 10 automatically installs updates, including new versions of hardware drivers. But you can block Windows Update from installing driver updates, if you like. Early versions of the Creators Update included an easy graphical option to change this setting on Windows 10 Professional, but Microsoft decided to remove it.

Note that your hardware drivers may still be updated by Windows Update in some situations. Driver updates may be bundled with security updates or feature updates, according to Microsoft’s documentation.

Home Users: Stop Driver Updates by Editing the Registry

On Windows 10 Home, you can only change this option via the Registry. You can also do it this way if you have Windows Pro or Enterprise, but just feel more comfortable working in the Registry as opposed to Group Policy Editor. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the Group Policy Editor, as described later in this article.)

This should prevent Windows 10 Home from installing driver updates, but Microsoft could change this behavior at any time and ignore this setting on Windows 10 Home. Microsoft added this hidden option in the Anniversary Update.

Standard warning: The Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

To get started, open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and give it permission to make changes to your PC.

In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key in the left sidebar. You can also copy-paste the following line into the address bar in Registry Editor, assuming you’ve updated to the Creators Update.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

If you don’t see  WindowsUpdate inside the Windows key, you’ll need to create it. To do so, right-click the Windows key, select New > Key and name it “WindowsUpdate.”

Next, you’ll need to create the value. With the WindowsUpdate key selected, right-click any open space in the right pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Name the new value “ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate," double-click it to open its properties window, and then set its value data to 1.

You can now close Registry Editor. You may need to restart your PC before your changes take effect. To undo this change, return to the above location in the registry, right-click the ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate value, and delete it.

Download Our One-Click Registry Hack

If you don’t feel like diving into the registry yourself, we’ve created two downloadable registry hacks you can use. One enables this option, preventing Windows Update from automatically installing driver updates. The other disables this option, restoring the default behavior. Both are included in the following ZIP file. Double-click the one you want to use, agree to add its data to your Registry, and then restart your PC.

Disable Automatic Driver Updates Hacks

RELATED: How to Make Your Own Windows Registry Hacks

These hacks just change the setting we covered above. The “Disable Automatic Driver Updates” hack adds the value to your Registry, and the “Enable Automatic Driver Updates” file deletes it. You can right-click any .reg file and select “Edit” to see exactly what they do. If you enjoy fiddling with the registry, you can make your own registry hacks.

Pro and Enterprise Users: Stop Driver Updates with the Local Group Policy Editor

RELATED: Using Group Policy Editor to Tweak Your PC

If you’re using Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education, the easiest way to change this setting is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. It’s a pretty powerful tool, so if you’ve never used it before, it’s worth taking some time to learn what it can do. Also, if you’re on a company network, do everyone a favor and check with your admin first. If your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that it’s part of a domain group policy that will supersede the local group policy, anyway.

To open the Group Policy Editor, press Windows+R, type “gpedit.msc” into the Run dialog box that appears, and then press “Enter.”

Navigate to the following path in the left pane of the Local Group Policy Editor window:

Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Update

Double-click the “Do not include drivers with Windows Updates” option in the right pane.

Set the option to “Enabled” and click “OK.” You may need to restart your PC before this setting takes effect.

If you want to restore the default behavior in the future, return here and set the option to either “Not configured” or “Disabled”.

How to Block All Driver Updates for a Device

RELATED: How to Prevent Windows from Automatically Updating Specific Drivers

Windows 10 also allows you to prevent Windows from installing new drivers for a specific hardware device. This will prevent you from manually installing a driver update for a device, too, so you’ll have to disable the policy first if you ever do want to install an update. However, this will also prevent Windows Update from installing new drivers for a device.

How to Block an Specific Driver Update

RELATED: How to Uninstall and Block Updates and Drivers on Windows 10

Rather than blocking all driver updates, you could instead choose to uninstall a malfunctioning driver update and block Windows 10 from installing it in the future. This will help if Windows insists on installing a broken driver. However, Windows Update will try to automatically install the next version of the driver update when it’s available, even if you block a specific driver update.