Insiders can use new utility to stop problematic Windows 10 updates cold

News that users of the Home version of Windows 10 would include automatic, mandatory updates had some saying it was the right move, and others worrying about hardware compatibility and security issues. The latter group has already had their fears confirmed, but the issue isn’t with Windows update, but an Nvidia driver update, and Microsoft has a solution. A tool that allows users to pick and choose updates is available for download, but how long it will stay there and who can use it is still unclear.

The main issue seems to be that Windows Update in the Windows 10 technical preview is attempting to handle driver updates for graphics cards, keyboards, and a number of other manufacturer-specific hardware. The Nvidia updater also handles these drivers, and when the two get out of sync there’s a fatal error.

The solution, as laid out on the Microsoft support page, is to use device manager to remove the offending driver and then simply hide the update. That’s where the special utility comes in. It lets users select available updates and hide them from Windows Update. It also lets you select from a list of hidden updates, and release them to be included in the next update cycle.

It’s not a comprehensive solution, but it is one that will let you put a hold on updates until you can ensure they won’t break your system. The tool works with the newest version of the Insider Preview, but stopping the major updates to the build has its own issues. If you aren’t running the latest build, you won’t be able to access the Windows Store, and if you fall far enough behind, Microsoft will stop pushing security updates to you, and then your build will expire and stop booting.

It’s doubtful the same tool will work for Home users when the OS officially releases. Pro and Enterprise users will be able to select which updates they want to install, and when. Those who stick with the Insider preview have a number of options now for disabling updates, including the defer button built into the Settings page.

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