Windows 10 How To: blocking the automatic reinstall of a driver or update in Windows 10

Windows Update

Microsoft is introducing Windows 10 as the last Windows ever and is switching to a Windows as a Service model. This switch should provide more frequent ongoing updates and continual enhancements rather than separate iterations of Windows.

As part of that model though, Microsoft has said that regular Home edition users will not be able to stop updates, and Professional editions can only delay them. This will help ensure that your PC is always kept up to date with the latest security features and malware protection, but it will also potentially force users to install faulty updates. Most recently, this occurred when a bad graphics driver was automatically installed by Windows Update and caused headaches for many who have multiple monitors.

It is instances like this, and plenty of others in Microsoft’s past, that can cause Windows users to cringe when they hear there is nothing they can do about updates being forced upon them. But there is good news as Microsoft has provided a troubleshooter for blocking Windows Updates and drivers for Windows 10 Insider Preview. This guide will cover the step by step process for first uninstalling either an unwanted driver or an unwanted Windows Update, and then show you how to stop Windows Update from reinstalling the bad driver or update you just got rid of.

To uninstall a bad driver:

First, open Device Manager, either by right clicking the Start button and left clicking on Device Manager, or by searching for Device Manager and selecting it from the Search box.

Device Manager

Next, from the Device Manager window, locate the driver that is causing problems. It may be nested within certain groups in Device Manager, for example a graphics driver would appear after clicking the group for Display Adapters.

Once you have found the specific driver within Device Manager, right click it and select Uninstall from the menu.

Then when the uninstall dialog appears, check Delete the driver software for this device.

To uninstall a bad Windows Update:

First type “view installed updates” in the Search box. Click on the search result for Viewed Installed Updates – Control Panel. This opens the list of installed updates within the Programs and Features function of the Control Panel.

From the list of installed updates (which can be sorted by date of install) search for the Windows Update you wish to remove. Once you find it, left click to select and then click the Uninstall button at the top of the list, or right click the selected update and click Uninstall from the menu.

To hide or block Windows Updates or driver updates:

Once the Windows Update or driver update is uninstalled, you need to prevent Windows Update from automatically reinstalling the problem that started all of this. Fortunately, Microsoft has provided a new troubleshooter to show and hide updates that simplifies this process with KB3073930.

To get this troubleshooter, go to the Microsoft Download Center to download wushowhide.diagcab which can be downloaded here:

The troubleshooter will then provide step by step instructions to hide updates so that Windows will not automatically install them. The same troubleshooter also allows you to show Windows Updates that have been hidden, so that they can be automatically installed by Windows Update in case you change your mind.

Show Hide updates

That’s all you need to do to remove unwanted updates and to keep them away in the Windows 10 Insider Preview. These fixes from Microsoft are being listed in support pages for the Windows Insider Program, so it remains to be seen if and how the show/hide option for Windows Update will persist after the launch of Windows 10 this week, as it would conflict with how Microsoft has previously described the automatic update process.

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