FIX: Windows update grayed out By Bas Wijdenes

Windows update grayed out, the basics.

Having your windows update grayed out can have various reasons.
The windows update can be corrupted, but it can also happen that a program such as an anti-virus acquired the Windows updates as a task and has made it greyed out for the user (you).

And if you eg. uninstall the anti-virus the register keys will remain and you can no longer run windows updates yourself.


Fixing Windows update grayed out

  1. Right click start.
  2. Click run.
FIX: Windows update grayed out.
FIX: Windows update grayed out.

Type in Regedit and hit Enter.

windows update disabled
FIX: Windows update grayed out.

This will open your register key editor. Make sure you don’t customize any other registry keys, except for the one below.

If you do change other registry keys you have a risk of corrupting your windows. 


For Windows 10

Go to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update

You can also copy/paste the link in regedit nowadays.

First open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Type in soft and hit enter
Type in Micro and hit enter
Type in Windo and hit enter
Type in CurrentVer and hit enter
Type in WindowsUpd and hit enter
Type in AutoUpd
Type in AU ….

  • Right click the white area
  • Click New
  • Select DWORD (32-bit) Value
  • Name it AUOptions
FIX: Windows update grayed out.
FIX: Windows update grayed out.

Double click AUOptions or right click and select modify.
Change the 0 to 1.

FIX: Windows update grayed out.
FIX: Windows update grayed out.

For Windows 7

End of support for Windows 7:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-7-end-of-life-support-information

Go to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

First open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Type in soft and hit enter
Type in Poli and hit enter
Type in Micro and hit enter
Type in Windo and hit enter
Type in WindowsUpd and hit enter

The screenshot is in Dutch:

FIX: Windows update greyed out.
FIX: Windows update greyed out.

Now double click the AUOptions or right click and select modify.

FIX: Windows update greyed out.
FIX: Windows update greyed out.

The value data may vary from 0 to 5.

0 = Windows update greyed out.
1 = Download update but let me choose whether to install them
2 = Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
3 = Download updates but let me choose whether to install them
4 = Install updates automatically/ never check for updates
5 = Enable the option box to choose manually

TIP:  The options 0,1,2,3 and 5 do not give the option Never check for updates. If you choose 4, windows will never check for updates.

Note: Option 1,2,3 and 5 do not give the option ‘Never check for updates’. If you choose 4 windows will never check for updates.

Published by

Bas Wijdenes

My name is Bas Wijdenes and I work as a Senior Services Engineer @ Wortell. In my spare time I write about the error messages that I encounter during my work. I am currently occupied with Azure infrastructure and automating with PowerShell.

One thought on “FIX: Windows update grayed out By Bas Wijdenes”

  1. in my Windows 7 i didn’t found that registry path that you mention it above.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU‘

    last 2 keys and sub-keys doesn’t exist: WindowsUpdate\AU‘

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