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. This is generally a good thing, but if a driver or update causes problems you can uninstall it and block Windows from downloading it again.

Step One:  See Which Updates and Drivers Were Recently Installed

If you’re not sure which device driver or update Windows just installed that might be causing you problems, you can view the list of installed updates. Boot into safe mode, if you need to, Head to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and click “Update history”. You’ll see a list of updates and the dates they were installed here.

Step Two: Uninstall the Problematic Update or Driver

Next, you’ll need to uninstall the offending update or driver update—but doing so is different for each.

Uninstall an Update from the Settings App

The option to uninstall Windows Updates (not driver updates) is buried in the Settings app. Head to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Update history. Click the “Uninstall updates” link here.

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.

This only lists all the updates that have been installed since the last major update, or “build“, of Windows 10. For example, Windows 10’s Creators Update, Anniversary Update, and November Update were all major updates.

To roll back a build of Windows 10, head to Settings > Update & security > Recovery. If it’s been less than 10 days since you installed a build and you haven’t removed its files with Disk Cleanup, you’ll see a “Go back to an earlier build” option. Click “Get started” to roll back to your previous build of Windows 10. For example, if you used this option after installing the Creators Update, you’d roll back to the Anniversary Update.

Roll Back a Driver from Device Manager

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 whenever it checks for updates. We’ll talk about how to stop that in a moment, but first, let’s talk about how to roll back the driver.

To roll back a driver, right-click the Start button at the bottom-left corner of your screen or press Windows+X and select Device Manager to launch the Device Manager. Locate the device whose driver you want to uninstall, right-click it, and select “Properties”. Click the “Driver” tab and click “Roll Back Driver”.

The option to roll back a driver was added in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update. Previously, you had to uninstall the device from your system and delete the driver so you could reinstall the original driver.

Step Three: 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.

You can download 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.

Alternatively: Stop Windows 10 From Automatically Installing Updates (Not Recommended)

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. Set your connection as metered to prevent Windows 10 from automatically installing most updates. We don’t recommend this, though, as this will prevent important security updates from being installed.

If you don’t want Windows touching your system’s hardware drivers, you can configure Windows to never update the drivers for a specific hardware device. You could also disable driver updates entirely and tell Windows Update to never install new driver versions.

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+.