How to avoid Microsoft's problematic Windows 10 updates

Over the last few months there have been a seemingly endless stream of reports of updates from Microsoft that have caused various problems with Windows 10. From breaking the Start menu and interfering with game audio, to preventing printing and causing issues with Edge, Microsoft's quality control has been brought into serious question of late.

So how do you like the idea of avoiding updates while Microsoft -- hopefully -- sorts itself out and starts to implement more rigorous update tests before unleashing them on the public? Here's what you can do.

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The most drastic steps you can take is to disable updates altogether. We stress that this is not really a good idea, but it's still handy information to have so you can make a choice. If you have access to the Group Policy Editor, things are nice and easy; just follow these simple steps:

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type msc and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Windows Update, and double click Configure Automatic Updates.
  3. Select Disabled and click OK.

If you're using a version of Windows 10 that doesn't grant you access to the Group Policy Editor, you can edit the registry instead:

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type regedit and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Policies\ Microsoft\ Windows.
  3. Click Edit > New > Key, name it WindowsUpdate and press Enter.
  4. Select the new key and click Edit > New > Key, name it AU and press Enter.
  5. Select the new key and click Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value, name it NoAutoUpdateand press Enter.
  6. Double click the new item and set its value to 1 before clicking OK.

You may feel that disabling updates is a little extreme; there is another option available to you. You can also opt to pause updates for a while, in the hope that quality control will improve in the meantime.

  1. Click the Start button followed by the Settings
  2. Click Update & Security and then click Advanced options.
  3. In the Pause updates section, you can use the dropdown menu to choose a date in the future. No updates will be installed until this time.

Image credit: Bartle Halpin / Shutterstock

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