Windows 10 has a quality control problem. While Microsoft has made improvements, updates remain a minefield and this month alone just one broke Search, the Start Menu and caused USB and audio problems for good measure. Now Microsoft is making changes every one of its 800M Windows 10 users needs to know about.
Picked up by BleepingComputer, Microsoft has confirmed it is changing the Windows 10 update experience so users will now be warned which updates they do not need to install. Given that in the last month alone, the aforementioned problems along with screen discolouration and spiking CPU usage were all caused by updates users didn’t need to install, this should make a big difference not just to Windows 10 stability but users’ peace of mind overall.
It should also be familiar. For those with short memories, this is exactly how Windows 7 operates: Microsoft sorted updates into ‘Important’ and ‘Optional’ categories so users could better judge what they wanted to be installed on their computers. The fact this was scrapped in Windows 10 in favour of lumping all updates together and that it has subsequently taken Microsoft over four years to bring it back is mind-boggling.
That said, Windows 10 users still won’t have quite the same level of control over their updates as Windows 7. This is because Windows 7 frequently classed drivers, NET framework, quality updates and more as optional, while drivers – a frequent source of problems – will still update automatically in Windows 10 by default.
Tip: if you want to disable automatic driver updates you have control to do that in the ‘Device installation settings’ screen.
When will Windows 10 users get this new optional update control? Not until Spring 2020 when Microsoft releases the Windows 10 20H1 upgrade. Windows Insiders can grab an early build now but preview releases by definition contain more bugs, so that may prove counterproductive.
No, this change alone is not a magic bullet for Windows 10 update problems (Microsoft will see to that) but it is a massive step in the right direction. It’s also one that should have been taken years ago.