Microsoft releases tool to block Windows 10 updates

Microsoft has been releasing updates to build 10240 on an almost daily basis since it hit RTM. Most of the patches are important security or bug fixes and rather useful but some have reported crashes occurring as a result of the updates. As we had previously reported, Microsoft has made updates mandatory and automatic, thus stopping users from opting out of unwanted updates or till the update has been checked by other users. A new troubleshooting package, KB3073930, however, allows you to hide or block Windows or driver updates.

With Windows 10 being released in a few hours, bookmark the knowledge base article or download the update blocker tool mentioned in the article right away. While one can debate the merits – or lack thereof – of forced automatic updates, there’s one huge, giant misstep Microsoft has taken with this: they will also force graphics drivers updates through Windows Update, and without this tool, there’s no way to block them.

I have had such horrible experiences with graphics drivers updates over the course of my life – from back in the 3dfx days all the way up until my current Radeon 970X Special Overlocked Whatever Edition With Kittens – that I am very careful and deliberate about these updates. I generally schedule some time for these late on Friday, but only when I know I won’t have any work over the weekend so I have a few days of performing possible fixes.

So, when I checked Windows Update last night and say that Microsoft secretly wanted to shove an AMD Radeon graphics driver update down my throat, I nearly panicked. To be clear: my machine is running the official AMD drivers from the AMD website, and not the AMD drivers Microsoft itself distributes through Windows Update. Had I not blocked this update, who knows what could’ve happend with possible conflicts or version mismatches or whatever.

Luckily, I found this tool and blocked the update – and as it turns out, that was probably the right thing to do. This past weekend, Microsoft forced a completely broken NVIDIA graphics driver update to its Windows 10 users, causing a whole slew of problems.

My view might be horribly jaded, but I have the suspicion that graphics driver updates are a huge source of issues with Windows. As such, who in their right mind at Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to force these update upon users?

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