How to Disable Automatic Updates in Ubuntu

Most of the Linux distributions including Ubuntu have by default automatic updates enabled. Using this option, we can keep our system updated, protected with the latest security patches. However, this may be annoying sometimes as this can slow down the system or provide no control to a user when to install an update and whether to install it or not.

So, this article will cover two methods to shut off the automatic update in Ubuntu:

1: Disable Automatic Updates from GUI Desktop

To disable automatic updates from the GUI desktop in Ubuntu, you can follow these steps:

First method on the list is using the GUI desktop and default Software Updates program in Ubuntu.

Step 1: Open the “Software & Updates” app from the applications menu.

Step 2: Click the “Updates” tab and select “Automatically check for updates:“. Here, you can choose between “Never”, “Every day”, “Every two days”, “Weekly” and “Monthly”. Select “Never“.

Close the “Software & Updates” app.

2: Disable Automatic Updates from Command Line

Alternatively, you can use the terminal to disable the automatic updates as well:

Step 1: Open terminal using “Ctrl+Alt+T“. Type below-mentioned command to open the upgrades file in nano editor:

$ sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades

Step 2: Inside the file, add the following lines:

APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists "0";
APT::Periodic::Download-Upgradeable-Packages "0";
APT::Periodic::AutocleanInterval "0";
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade "1";

In order to save the file, press “CTRL+X” [Exit] followed by “Y”[yes] and “Enter”.

Please note that disabling automatic updates may leave your system vulnerable to security threats and it is not recommended.


Disabling automatic updates in Ubuntu can be beneficial for users who want more control over when updates are installed or who are concerned about data usage or system performance during updates. Disabling automatic updates through the GUI or the terminal is a simple process, but it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides and to take responsibility for keeping your system up to date.

About the author


I am an Electrical Engineer. I love to write about electronics. I am passionate about writing and sharing new ideas related to emerging technologies in the field of electronics.