While you’re probably a little more than mildly interested to see what’s in store for you with Windows 10, you’re almost certainly fretting a bit over the changes to Windows Update, where all updates to the software and drivers are forced on users who wish to keep their OS secure. You can’t defer upgrades to features and apps on Windows 10 Home and you can only stay on a certain branch of Windows 10 with the Professional license for up to eight months. This means that any updates to the drivers for your machine, or for software on Windows 10, will be always installed automatically, so there’s a very likely chance that you’ll receive an update that either breaks something small, or it crashes your entire system. It seems that Microsoft realises now that this is somewhat of a bad idea, and has released a tool to block certain updates from installing on your system that may be incompatible with it. Hit the jump to learn more.
The tool is creatively called “Show or Hide Updates”, or otherwise known as KB3073930, and it plugs into the Windows Troubleshooting service to do its thing. This is separate from the setting you can toggle in the “Device Installation Settings” window, which is searchable from Start, where you can permanently block any drivers from installing through Windows Update. The tool is actually just a script that you can download from Microsoft’s support forum, which starts up the hidden feature.
This is what it looks like in Windows 10.
Having used Windows 10 Enterprise before in my tests as an Insider, I’ve seen this window before. You can launch it using Group Policy if you wish, and it is scriptable, although that’s as far as I’ve toyed with it there.
Toggling the option to hide the update/s will hide them forever. They won’t get reinstalled later on just because Microsoft feels like it, and using this tool to block updates to Windows Defender, for example, won’t then block other updates from being installed either. Presumably there’ll be some sort of tool made by someone in the tech community that eventually exposes all the options for Show or Hide Updates, and then you’ll be able to select an option to only install security updates, if that’s what you want.
Knowing that most consecutive Microsoft OSes also include a lot of the same code for the shell that runs over the Windows kernel, I used this tool on Windows 7 and 8.1 to satisfy my curiosity. This is what it looks like on Windows 8.1.
And it still works on Windows 7.
Microsoft’s decision to force-install updates to Windows 10 is still an unpopular opinion with many, and it has yet to reach the general public, who won’t be pleased with the idea that they have less control over their computer than they had to begin with on their previous OS. I expect a lot of computer techs will have their hands full over the next six months.