How to Uninstall and Block Updates and Drivers on Windows 10

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs all updates. This includes security updates, feature updates, and driver updates provided through Windows Update. If a driver or update causes problems, you can uninstall it and block Windows from downloading it again.

Microsoft doesn’t provide a way to block updates from within Windows 10, but it does provide a downloadable tool to do this. This effectively allows you to “hide” updates like you could on Windows 7.

View Recently Installed Drivers and Updates

Not sure which device driver or update Windows just installed that might be causing you problems? Open the Settings app and select “Update & security.” Under Windows Update, scroll down and select “Advanced options,” and then select “View your update history.” You’ll see a list of updates installed and the dates they were installed here.

Uninstall a Driver

Drivers can be particularly problematic. If you roll back a driver or install a different one yourself, Windows Update will continue downloading and installing that specific driver over and over, overwriting your preferred driver.

You can, however, roll back an installed driver. You’ll need to block the driver update from being installed via Windows Update after you do this. If you just roll back the installed driver, Windows Update will automatically install that driver again when it checks for updates.

Right-click the Start button at the bottom-left corner of your screen or press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager to launch the Device Manager. Locate the device whose driver you want to uninstall, right-click it, and select Uninstall. Check the “Delete the driver software for this device” option and click OK. Windows will uninstall the device and delete the driver software downloaded from Windows Update. You can install fresh drivers software afterwards.

Uninstall an Update

The option to uninstall Windows Updates (not driver updates) is buried in the Settings app. Open Settings and navigate to Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options > View your update history. You’ll see a link reading “Uninstall updates” at the top of the update history list.

(In the Windows Insider Preview, there was also a link here for uninstalling the latest build. If Microsoft rolls out a big update to Windows 10 as a “build” again, you might see a link right under “Uninstall updates” for rolling back to an earlier build.)

This link takes you to the “Uninstall an update” dialog, where you can uninstall an individual Windows Update if it’s causing problems on your system.

Disable Automatic Download of Drivers from Windows Update

There’s still a “Never install driver software from Windows Update” option in the final version of Windows 10, buried in the old Control Panel.

Different people report different luck with this option. Some people report that it prevents Windows from overwriting their custom-installed drivers, while others report that Windows continues downloading drivers even after this option is selected. If Windows keeps replacing your own drivers with its own, be sure to try this option.

Depending on how the driver is being installed, it may arrive as an update from Windows Update afterwards. Use the tool below to disable the driver update if this doesn’t help.

To access this option, open the Control Panel by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Control Panel. Navigate to System and Security > System > Advanced system settings. Click the Hardware tab, click Device Installation Settings, and select the “No, let me choose what to do option. Select “Never install driver software from Windows Update.”

Prevent a Driver or Update From Being Installed from Windows Update

Just uninstalling drivers or updates won’t prevent them from being installed again. There’s no way to “hide” an update or block updates from within Windows itself, but Microsoft provides a downloadable tool to do this. It’s intended for temporarily hiding buggy or otherwise problematic while they don’t work properly on your system.

Download and run the “Show or hide updates” troubleshooter for Windows 10 from Microsoft.

When you run this troubleshooter, it will search for available updates and allow you to “hide” them, preventing Windows from automatically installing them. In the future, you can run this troubleshooter again and unhide the updates when you want to install them.

If you want to temporarily prevent Windows from automatically downloading and installing any updates, you can do it without using the above tool to block updates. Just set your current Internet connection as “metered” and Windows won’t download updates while connected to it — at least until you tell Windows the connection isn’t metered anymore.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 07/31/15
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