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Forced updates Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More is Windows 10’s boldest feature. It takes the responsibility of updates off your shoulders. At the same time, mandatory updates make life more difficult for those who like to tweak their system. And you won’t ever be safe from broken or incompatible updates.

The new Windows Update How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It's designed to operate in the background, automatically keeping your system safe and running smoothly. We show you how it works and what you can customize. Read More  also covers hardware drivers:

“In Windows 10, your device is always kept up to date with the latest features and fixes. Updates and drivers are installed automatically, with no need to select which updates are needed or not needed.” –Microsoft Support

When you’re using non standard hardware, this process can introduce issues. Moreover, drivers provided by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) are not always the best solution.

If you’d like to keep your custom drivers or if you’re not keen on updating a running system, let us show you how to lock in your drivers.

Undo & Temporarily Prevent Driver Updates

Microsoft admits that “in rare cases, a specific driver or update might temporarily cause issues with your device.” To prevent the troublesome driver (or update) to reinstall automatically, Microsoft offers this solution.

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Roll Back Driver

First, you need to remove the irksome driver. The best option is to roll back to the previous version. Right-click the Start button, select Device Manager, right-click the respective device, select Properties, switch to the Driver tab, and click the Roll Back Driver button.

Roll Back Driver

When you’re done, move on to blocking the automatic driver update, which will inevitably be initiated during the next Windows Update cycle.

Remove & Replace Driver

Should the roll back option not be available, a workaround is to uninstall the driver and replace it with your preferred version. Before you proceed, obtain the desired driver version from the OEM or a third party supplier.

Note that some manufacturers offer utilities to uninstall old drivers, ensuring a clean removal of all driver-related files from your computer.

If you need to manually remove the driver, right-click the Start button, select Device Manager, right-click the affected device, and select Uninstall.

Device Manager

In the following dialog, check the box Delete the driver software for this device and confirm with OK. This removes the driver file from Windows Update.

Confirm Device Uninstall

Next, you need to block future updates for this driver.

Block Driver Update

To prevent this driver from being reinstalled the next time Windows Update runs, you can use the Show or Hide Updates Troubleshooter (direct download), which we have introduced previously.

Briefly, download and run the troubleshooter from Microsoft, on the first screen click Next, then select Hide updates, check the driver/s you would like to hide, click Next again, and you’re done.

Windows 10 Hide Updates List

You can reverse this setting. Select Show hidden updates from the troubleshooter, check the update/s you want to unhide, and click Next.

How to Stop Automatic Driver Updates

To stop Windows 10 from automatically updating your drivers, you have several options. Note that the Local Group Policy Editor is not available to Windows 10 Home users.

Control Panel

For this solution, you need to head into the System portion of the Control Panel Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified If you want to be the master of your Windows experience, the Control Panel is where it's at. We untangle the complexity of this power tool. Read More . Right-click the Start button and select System. In the Control Panel sidebar, select Advanced system settings.

Control Panel System Settings

In the System Properties window, switch to the Hardware tab and click Device Installation Settings.

System Properties

You will be asked whether “you want to automatically download manufacturers’ apps and custom icons available for your devices.” Select No and Save Changes.

Device Installation Settings

Note that if it works, this setting disables all your driver updates.

Local Group Policy Editor

On Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions only, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to disable updates entirely. Some users report that this is the only setting that worked for them. The advantage of this method is that you can also disable updates for selected devices only.

First, you need to collect the device IDs for hardware you don’t want Windows to manage for you. This could be your graphics or sound card ID.

Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager. Double-click the respective device, switch to the Details tab, and select Hardware Ids from the drop-down menu under Property. Using one of the values in the next step should be sufficient.

Driver Hardware ID

Now we’ll head into the Local Group Policy Editor to exclude these devices from Windows Update.

Press Windows key + R, enter gpedit.msc, and hit Enter. In your Local Group Policy Editor, head to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions. Here, double-click on the setting Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs.

Local Group Policy Editor

Enable the Setting, click the Show… button, then for each device, enter its Value, and finally OK all your changes.

Prevent Driver Installation

Alternatively, if you would like to disable all driver updates, you can also Enable the setting to Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy settings. However, we recommend only blocking updates for selected drivers, as described above.

Registry

The Windows registry How to Fix Windows Registry Errors & When Not to Bother How to Fix Windows Registry Errors & When Not to Bother In most cases, fixing our registry will do nothing. Sometimes registry errors cause havoc after all. Here we'll explore how to identify, isolate and fix registry problems – and when to not bother at all. Read More is your last resort How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry Working with the Windows registry? Take note of these tips, and you'll be much less likely to do lasting damage to your PC. Read More . Press Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog, enter regedit, and hit Enter. Now navigate to this registry string:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DriverSearching

Open the SearchOrderConfig value and set Value data to 0. Confirm with OK and reboot your computer Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why. Read More .

Registry Value

Like other methods described above, this setting disables all driver updates and should only be used if Microsoft’s troubleshooter does not allow you to hide specific updates from Windows Update.

Keep Your Drivers Under Control

A bad or corrupted Windows driver update can ruin your PC experience. We’ve shown you how to prevent or reverse such a tragedy caused by automatic updates in Windows 10. This is not to say that all updates are bad, though.

Updating your drivers is essential for maintaining performance, security, and accessing new features. When you do block automatic updates, remember to manually check for critical driver updates How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? First, don't fix it if it ain't broke! If drivers do need updating, though, here are your options. Read More every once in a while.

Have you ever experienced a driver drama and was it Windows’ fault? Which drivers did Windows 10 break for you? Let’s hear your stories!

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