Windows 10 updates have caused one problem after another since the operating system was released. 2018’s updates were a nightmare and 2019 has been more of the same with even more yet to come. Microsoft just announced the upcoming May update will be blocked for many users because installing it could render the computer inoperable. I’ve suggested that Windows 10’s consistently dangerous update failures are a good reason to switch to a different operating system like Chrome OS, Linux or macOS. If you don’t want to do that, there’s another alternative. Disable Windows 10 updates.
Stay safe by disabling automatic updates? How is that possible? As a general rule of thumb, I’d never recommend disabling updates because security patches are essential. But the situation with Windows 10 has become intolerable. Microsoft continues to fail and continues to release update after update that they know, or should know, has serious problems.
A big deal has been made of Microsoft giving users a limited ability to control when updates are applied with the May update. It’s not really a big deal because the update only lets you delay, not disable, automatic updates. You can already do this in Windows 10 (see below). Moreover, if you’re running any version of Windows 10 other than the Home edition, you can disable updates completely right now.
Here’s the latest problem with the May update along with several ways to disable updates if you’re fed up.
Microsoft warns the May update for Windows 10 has problems.
Microsoft recently announced that the May update will be blocked and produce a message for many users stating “The PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10”. The block is triggered if the computer has either the April or October 2018 updates installed and a USB device or memory card is attached to the system.
If the May update is installed in these circumstances, drives could be reassigned to different letters. If this happens, any program that tries to access the drive using its “old” drive letter won’t be able to find the drive and the program will fail. That’s bad. This is worse. Internal drives can also be affected. If that happens, every program on a reassigned drive would become invisible to the system which means your computer just became an expensive doorstop.
This procedure stops all updates until you decide they no longer present a threat to your system. You can manually install patches while automatic updates are disabled.
- Press the Windows key and “R”.
- Enter “gpedit.msc” in the box.
- Double click “Computer Configuration”.
- Double click “Administrative Templates”.
- Double click “Windows Components”
- Scroll to the bottom and double click “Windows Update”
- Double click “Configure Automatic Updates”
- Select “Disabled” on the upper left.
- Click “Apply” followed by “OK”