Updates for Windows 10 are regularly pushed out to improve security and stability, and Microsoft's pushing hard to make these updates mandatory and keep every PC up to date. And while that's a nice idea in theory, sometimes something goes wrong with an update and you're stuck with issues.
We've seen problems with an update breaking webcams, driver issues, apps crashing, freezing issues, and settings not migrating correctly after an upgrade — just to name a few. Sometimes it's not a problem with the update, but actually an issue that occurred during the installation process. The solution? Uninstall and reinstall that particular update.
In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to uninstall and re-apply an update that may be causing a problem on your device. In addition, you'll learn the steps to prevent Windows from trying to install a problematic update.
- How to uninstall an update on Windows 10
- How to reinstall an update on Windows 10
- How to prevent specific updates from installing on your device
How to uninstall an update on Windows 10
- Open Settings.
- Click on Update & security.
- Click on Windows Update.
- Click the Update history link.
- On Update history, you can view which updates were installed successfully and which those that failed with a timestamp, which can help you pinpoint which update is causing the problem. Click the Uninstall updates link.
- Microsoft hasn't moved everything to the Settings app, so you'll now be taken to the Uninstall an update page on Control Panel. Select the update and click the Uninstall button.
- Click Yes to confirm the uninstall.
- Click Restart Now to reboot your computer and complete the task.
Depending on the update you're trying to uninstall, the process may take a few minutes.
How to reinstall an update on Windows 10
- Open Settings.
- Click Update & security.
- Click on Windows Update.
- Click the Check of updates button to trigger an update check, which will redownload and install the update automatically again.
- Click the Restart Now button to complete the task.
Once your computer reboots, hopefully, the update would have installed correctly, and you can go back to be productive with your Windows 10 device.
How to prevent specific updates from installing on your device
If after reinstalling the update, you continue to experience problems on your computer, then it could actually be something wrong with the update. In this case, you can temporarily hide the problematic update to prevent Windows from trying to re-apply it to your computer.
In previous versions of Windows, we were able to stop updates from downloading and installing automatically using Windows Update, but since Microsoft made them mandatory on Windows 10, the feature has been removed. However, the company still provides a small tool to help you hide temporarily any update that may be causing issues.
To uninstall an update while preventing Windows from installing it again, do the following.
- Uninstall the Windows Update with the problem with the instructions mentioned above.
- Download the Show or hide updates troubleshooter from Microsoft support.
- Double-click the .diagcab file to launch the tool.
- Click Next.
- Click Hide updates to continue.
- The tool will check online and list the available updates currently not installed on your PC. Select the Windows Update that is causing problems, and click Next.
- Click Close to complete the task.
After uninstalling and hiding the update that isn't working correctly, your Windows 10 device won't try to download and reinstall it again until there is a new update that replaces the old version.
Remember that you can always show the update again by following the same instructions mentioned above, but on step 5, you have to use the Show hidden updates option. Then you can go through the process of reinstalling the update on your Windows 10 PC.
Did you ever encounter any problems installing Windows updates? How did you fix the problem? Tell us in the comments below.
More Windows 10 resources
For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:
- Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know
- Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
- Windows 10 forums on Windows Central
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Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.