Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10

Tina Sieber 08-12-2015

Forced updates 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 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It works in the background, and keeps 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.


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 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

Attention: Once you have restricted a driver using the Group Policy Editor, you won’t be able to manually update that driver. To change a restricted driver, you need to disable the setting in the Group Policy Editor, make your changes, then enable the restriction again. Thank you for the hint, Guillermo!

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.


The Windows registry 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 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:


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? "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 Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. 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!

Related topics: Drivers, Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Johny Why
    April 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    "Forced updates is Windows 10’s boldest feature."

    Haven't forced updates been available (if not default) since Windows NT?

  2. cee tee
    February 14, 2019 at 11:27 am

    i foolishly installed multiple virus scanners at the same time but i think my problem was the 2 programs that had updater tools on them. the next day upon reboot my usb ports all stopped data transmission as soon as windows takes over from dell bios. not being able to use keyboard or mouse has made my problem so much worse. on top of that, my inspiron 3252 was gifted to me preloaded with windows pro (so the sticker says) and my backup skills were completely lacking.. i fear im doing everything the hard way just to save personal currently trying to learn to use cmd prompt to roll back the last drivers that were installed :-(

  3. Wouter
    June 5, 2018 at 7:59 am

    I have a Toshiba Satellite Click Mini, running Windows 10 Home, 32 bit. Last April, Windows Update asked me to install a list of 27 drivers (Intel, Realtek, Elan, etc.). I thought it should be alright, so I let Windows install the drivers. After that, my entire device didn't work anymore. No sound, no keyboard, no touchpad, no touchscreen, no battery support. The screen did display the startup screen and Wifi was also working. With an external mouse and keyboard, I was able to get into the laptop. It took me quite a while to figure out which drivers to download and install. Basically I needed to install the entire hardware again. After that, I got the laptop working again. I then "protected" my system with the above Device Installation Settings radio button.

    Two days ago, Windows Update proposed me to install the new 1803 release. I had it installed, thinking I was protected from bad driver updates. Alas, after the update, the laptop had become inaccessible again and I had to repeat the entire driver installation process. So I think I will now stop the driver updates via the registry,

  4. Kazed Wazabi
    March 5, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you.
    I was desperate because win10 never stopped to force a bad driver for my soundcard (SoundBlaster Z) He always forced the driver for SoundBlaster3D or whatever but not the good thing. I've did everything but one thing, the GPO. And after doing it, that did the tricks. Thanks again !
    Even on the microsoft community, no one ever solved my case, they've never talked about GPO.

    • Tina Sieber
      March 7, 2018 at 12:27 am

      Thank you for the feedback! Glad the Group Policy Editor tip worked.

  5. Roberto
    December 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Yep, got one: Focusrite Saffire (external sound card) has no digital signed driver for windows 10 creators update. So it doesn't work with this new upgrade.
    Thing to do after trying everything is go to test mode in W10-Pro.
    Then install the Original saffire driver 2.71 (former working untill W7). You will get a warning from Windows not to install the driver. Do it anyway en restart.
    Voila! Works again, as a charm. BUT: if you go out of test mode windows de-activates the driver again. Even in test mode after some restarts windows kicks the Original saffire driver out.
    I will try all thing suggested above here: my question is: are these methods also working for the 'windows 10 creators update'?

    • Tina Sieber
      December 11, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you for the heads-up and input, Roberto!

      The methods above should still be working with the latest Windows version, though admittedly, I haven't had to test it and we should update the article.

  6. JEan-Philippe
    November 28, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    November 2017. I have a nice working HP 6830S laptop (2005) with a working ATI HD 3430 flat display (900 x 1440). Suddenly one morning the reslution was changed to 1024 x 768. Microshioft was around I am sure. They remove the working driver by a generic shitty one. I spet 1 day searching for an original driver from ATI, resinstalled it and made a recovery point in my W10.

    Now my laptop is working again like before, Ia am hapy and I hope they will not coma olong to put mess in MY laptop.

    • Tina Sieber
      November 29, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      It's frustrating when a driver update messes up your system like that. Hope it won't happen again!

  7. Becky Spurgeon
    August 6, 2017 at 3:46 am

    I am new to this. I think I have a hacker but your ideas sound a lot like my problems. I never even considered entering the realms of the inner PC until Microsoft got me started. I find that all most all of my device drivers have been "migrated" and a generic driver replaced it, frequently not working correctly. I have reset and recovered several times. This is a brand new notebook laptop with windows 10. The one time I did a drivers update all at once it seemed to hve crashed and I had to reset. I read on another site that if I have a hacker they won't go away until I reset with Windows 10 reset disc. I can't use a different windows or my warranty will be voild. I will try these out and let you know how it turns out. How do extra printers that do not belong to me show up on my devices? I enjoyed your site.

    • Tina Sieber
      August 6, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Becky, you could try a system reset, which shouldn't void your warranty because you can do it from inside Windows (press Windows key + I and go to Update & Security > Recovery; under Reset this PC, press Get started). You can choose between keeping your files and removing everything. If you suspect a hacker, back up everything and go with the remove everything option.

      If you followed the article above to stop Windows from changing your drivers again, let us know how it went. Thank you!

  8. Will
    June 25, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I modify the VBIOS for each of the Polaris graphics cards in my ethereum mining rigs. This is done to enable tighter memory timings at higher clock speeds, which improves mining revenue by ~20-30%.

    Unfortunately, the latest version of AMD's Crimson drivers check a hash value for the VBIOS of each installed graphics card, and disable any graphics card (via a Code 43 error) for which this value doesn't match that for the stock VBIOS.

    When I rolled back my drivers to Crimson 16.11.5 (which does not have this issue), Windows 10 would simply reinstall the most recent version of Crimson on boot, causing every installed graphics card to fail simultaneously.

    I ultimately edited my registry to disable all driver updates. It's a mining rig anyways, so having outdated drivers is a non-issue.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks for sharing how you solved this issue, Will!

  9. Brian Hillard
    June 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I recently purchased a SB Audigy FX. Very happy with the card up until I turned the PC off. Came back to no sound etc.. despite Windows saying the device was working correctly. Removed the driver, put the own one back. It worked up until a reboot or two..I have now reinstalled around 7 times. I tried the downloads to hide the updated driver Window installed, but it didn't show up. But.i think I made an error. Perhaps I should have uninstalled the driver from Device Manager and then run the cab. Will try.that before I go crazy. Although up until I switched off the PC last night, an update was installing before it turned off for the night. I had no sound last night. But when I tested today, I had sound again. I'm wondering whether an update sorted it. Will find out later before I try the registry option once putting the OEM driver back if things go south again. I was really swearing at Windows 10 last night. It drove me crazy.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 5, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Hope you managed to fix this issue, Brian. Let us know if you have a clue as to what caused it. Windows 10 is notorious for restoring drivers via Windows Update; until you block it that is. Fingers crossed you'll keep your sound!

  10. Mick
    April 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Windows 10 automatic updates completely broke my workstation with a three screens setup to the point the system only shows black screens and gets hung on booting. I restored the system and disabled the updates service and the computer went smoothly for some time. But today the drivers got broken again, I wonder how the #windows update service got reactivated, but it is evil... uh, no it is #Microsoft. I use my computer for working and now I have to waste my time trying to repair a operating system which refuses to restore. Things this way, Microsoft doesn't deserve the money I paid for my OS license, but bad luck Adobe expensive software doesn't run on Linux.

  11. Guillermo
    March 23, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks for your hint of Local Group Policy Editor. It works like a candy. The only comment besides all this marvel is that you will not be allowed to update the driver even by yourself using your administrator user. For this you have to disable the Local Group Policy Editor setting so you can modify/reinstall the driver. After this and testing, you may enable it again and restrict reinstallation of the driver.

    • Tina Sieber
      March 24, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Thank you for the heads-up, Guillermo! I'll add your notes to the article.

  12. MikeM
    March 4, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I use a custom VID/PID for a USB driver. (legal, I got them allocated by the manufacturer).
    W10 now insists on signature checking- so I have a couple of hundred customers who cannot use their equipment. Thanks, Microsoft.
    Why was W10 a free upgrade? Because they want to take control of your machine. Very Apple.
    Linux beckons...

    • Tina Sieber
      March 6, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Uh, that's frustrating. What's your workaround going forward?

  13. diego
    December 15, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    well my case was this: update to win 10 from a fresh start fx8350 r7 16gb ssd. after that update amd drivers from and site (crimson). and everything whent fantastic. day 2 something wrong on video, some games not working good also youtube videos were bad, reinstalled amd drivers an fixed. day 3 after boot wrong again uninstal clean reinstal fixed. day 4 agani bad after boot, tryed allsolutions here and nothing, fixes work until next boot. Final solution: uninstal amd drivers let windows take control didnt install amd latest.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 18, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Diego. Did everything work after you let Windows 10 install drivers?

  14. Martin Koopman
    November 15, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    My hardware lock is not recognized. Now I cannot use my software called StormNet.
    It is a safenet hardware lock.

    • Tina Sieber
      November 16, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Have you reached out to the manufacturer of the hardware lock for support, yet?

      Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with hardware locks or the StormNet software. Is this even a driver-related issue? If yes, have you tried installing the old driver?

  15. oink
    October 27, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Windows 10 borked my dual card nvidia setup...

    • Tina Sieber
      October 28, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Were you able to fix it by installing your own drivers?

  16. Galt
    October 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Windows 10 drivers simply do not seem to be widely available. Did microsoft promise them some sort of amazing backwards compatibility so that they never bothered to make windows 10 drivers for their hardware lines? Big name-brand companies that make wireless and video cards just stop working. Why would it take away my functioning perfectly well video driver when there is no newer one available? It seems like bait and switch to say, hey update to windows 10, and then when they do they mark your driver as old and remove it when there is no new driver for it yet. In some cases, even if you were willing to buy newer models, they often STILL TO THIS DAY do not have any proper windows 10 drivers.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 25, 2016 at 10:35 am

      If no Windows 10 drivers are available, you can try Windows 8 or 7 drivers. They should be backwards compatible. If they're not, Windows should not have let you upgrade to 10 in the first place. That would be a failure on Microsoft's end. Sorry for your frustration!

  17. Simon
    October 14, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Microsoft's version of the Intel NIC driver doesn't support wake-on-lan, but the latest version direct from Intel does. Thanks to this article I can keep it working the way I need :)

    • Tina Sieber
      October 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you for the feedback, Simon! Glad this article helped you in fixing the issue. :)

  18. Ran
    October 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you for this article!

    My 4-year old laptop has a switchable graphics. Unfortunately, the ATI card broke, and every time Windows tries to use it, the device freezes. The fix was to uninstall the ATI Drivers from Device Manager. Unfortunately, Windows 10 keeps trying to reinstall the driver (downloading it from Windows Update), and once it does, the laptop freezes again.

    The Group Policy did the trick. Even though the ATI drivers are downloaded, it wouldn't install. Finally, I can use my laptop again

    • Tina Sieber
      October 11, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Thank you for the feedback, Ran. Glad you found a fix for this issue!

  19. imnotrich
    October 7, 2016 at 5:41 am

    My Windows 10 was a fresh install a few months ago when I bought a new Crucial SSD. Spent several months tweaking and fine tuning drivers, uninstalling Groove and Xbox malware, and disabling OneDrive so it wouldn't fight with my Spideroak cloud sync/backup solution. Then the dreaded Windows 10 Anniversary update arrived earlier this week, reinstalling Groove and Xbox, re-enabled some telemetry also borking my AHCI driver, Network card driver, and sound card driver. It also uninstalled my printer, which screwed up network printing and the kludge I had created to use my non-air print printer with air print on my apple devices. I don't get why the forced driver updates fail to check driver versions before overwriting the current driver with one that is 5 years old! I was able to fix everything, but then yesterday AMD released a new AHCI driver and when I try to install it, Windows 10 says the best driver is already installed. No, it's not. And now Windows 10 can't keep accurate time either. I have properly set to sync with NIST and time zones etc are correctly set but Windows insists I'm in Mexico city several hours ahead. It's not a CMOS battery issue, this is a dual boot machine with Linux and the bios clock is dead on. No, I think it's because W10 is looking at my DNS server's IP in Mexico city and incorrectly assumes that is my location. Time zones in Tijuana are complicated anyway because we're actually on Pacific Time same as California but the rest of Baja California is not. However, this is not new. Windows should know better.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 7, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Windows 10 can offer a really poor experience. I've also had it mess with custom settings and cause issues (e.g. screen flickering) that were completely unnecessary. At first, I thought my hardware was broken, but eventually I found the culprit. Those things really suck! I hope they'll get their act together.

      To fix the time zone, did you try to manually set your location in the Settings menu or Control Panel? Settings > Time & language > Region & language > Related settings > Additional date, time & regional settings (Control Panel) > Change time zone etc.

      You could also try to turn off the location setting under Settings > Privacy > Location to prevent Windows from updating stuff based on a rough location. Alternatively, you could try to set a precise location (beyond just the country) under Settings > Privacy > Location > Default location > Set default.

      Hope you'll find a fix for the time zone. Do let us know if you're able to make it stick to the right time!

  20. Eric D
    July 21, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I was close - I needed to export the outer container as well as the individual key
    in the .REG file
    I'm guessing the &REV_09 matters.
    Not sure if it's case-sensitive.
    DenyDeviceIDsRetroactive is the key set by the checkbox - presumably it unloads existing drivers, as well as preventing updates/installs.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




    • Tina Sieber
      July 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you for sharing your solution so elaborately! Amazing work, Eric. Hope everything works now and will continue to work through future updates!

  21. Eric D
    July 21, 2016 at 7:40 am

    We desperately need this to work.
    I haven't tried the 'Stop all updates' options - some of them will be beneficial or important!

    The wushowhide.diagcab microsoft solution only seems to show a very limited sub-set of updates - not many drivers.

    Windows 10 *Home* doesn't encourage Group Policy Editing.
    Someone has made it available as a download.

    Many options are not available, including 'Device Installation'.
    Copied DeviceInstallation.admx from a Win10pro PC, but it didn't appear in PolEdit.
    Policy Editor only seems to support adding *.ADM not *.ADMX !

    I went back to the Win10pro PC, and set up the 'Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs' policy on the wrong PC, using the HardwareID.
    In RegEdit, I searched for the HardwareID, and exported the registry key as a .REG file.

    I couldn't uninstall the old drivers (awaiting reboot!) so I reformatted C: and re-installed Win10 from scratch.
    I disabled the WiFi, installed the desired driver and imported the .REG file, and rebooted.
    Everything was OK until I re-enabled WiFi !

    Then the undesired driver was automatically installed.

    Two questions - I used the second HardwareID ; without the revision number - would that matter? ('&REV_09' in your example)
    What does the 'Also apply to matching drivers already installed' checkbox do ?

    I have two PCs that need this treatment:

    An Acer Z5763 that needs stereoscopic 3D drivers:
    the originals from the recovery DVD work -
    Both Windows-Updated and Nvidia-latest drivers respond to a '120Hz' refresh setting with a 119Hz rate, then complain that only 120Hz is supported for 3D !

    I have a Sony Vaio vpcz21v9e that just buzzes very loudly when the RealTek audio drivers are installed, but sounds fine with a fresh Win10 install, before any drivers are applied !
    It didn't work under Windows 7 either.

  22. Maja
    June 28, 2016 at 10:18 am

    No sadly it did not work.

  23. Maja
    June 28, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for this step by step manual. I hope I will now kep my internet connection!
    After updating to Win10 - NO WIFI.
    On phone to Microsoft: "your computer contains out-of-date parts"! The computer was just 1 year old.
    Tried to roll back to Win8.1 - failed. I was stuck with Win10.
    Disabled driver, restarted mashine. Wifi worked, sometimes for 10 minutes sometimes for 2 hours - the again: NO WIFI.
    Yesterday I found a new driver on Lenovos support site, and installed it. Wifi worked for 2 hours.

    Now as you have described here, i have disabled driverupdates. I really hope it will do the miracle.
    Thank you so much.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 28, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      It sucks that the rollback failed! Do you have a Windows.old folder on your system drive? That is a backup of your old Windows installation. If it's there, maybe you can still get the downgrade to work. But you only have 30 days from when you first upgraded.

      If fixing the rollback is not an option, have you tried to reset Windows 10? This comes with the option to keep your personal files. You might have to try more drivers.

      Some manufacturers, including Samsung, actually don't recommend upgrading to Windows 10 due to driver incompatibilities.

  24. Craig
    June 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    And I second Marks comment - "newsflash to software companies - sometimes we actually want to use our computers to do productive work, and not spend time endlessly updating OS software and drivers"

  25. Craig
    June 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Nvidea display driver updates. I have old ones from Windows 7 (2012 drivers) that work perfectly. Windows 10 certified drivers never worked, and windows 10 constantly wants to update them, and when it does, the video only displays in VGA, and secondary monitor stops working altogether.

    now I think of it, I think newer drivers for win7 also had the same issue, but it was easy to block the updates in win7, so I set it and forgot about it.

    I had prevented updates using the show/hide utility, and all had been well for the last several months, until this morning when a newer release of nvidea drivers was made available.

    I've now set the gpedit options using hardware ids with the instructions above...hopefully this will do it.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Fingers crossed it will, Craig!

      Keeping everything updated, including drivers, is a good thought, but in those cases where it causes damage it's really annoying.

      • Craig
        July 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm

        So far it's been working, however, it regularly (every couple days) alerts in the message center telling me "windows could not update your driver, click here to fix it" I had been clicking "clear all", but yesterday I made a mistake, and "clicked here to fix it" - the message went away, and I thought nothing of it. a few hours later, I returned to my PC drivers installed. Agggghhhh broken again. screen was just black. so I had to RDP into my PC to cleanly reboot and then I was able roll the drivers back once again.

        Now it's working, the auto-update still seems to be blocked as it's giving me the oh so helpful messages again, but now I take care to ensure I dont "click here to "fix" it"

        • Tina Sieber
          July 4, 2016 at 7:24 pm

          You might be able to turn off the message, either via Action Center notification settings in the Settings menu -- Windows + I > System > Notifications & actions -- or via a Group Policy settings.

  26. Anonymous
    June 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    It just kills me how Microsoft is continuing with the forced updates and they think this is working, I really wish somebody with very Deep Pockets would sue them on this whole nonsense because it is nothing but a pain in the neck for me in the Dr office network I take care of. I feel like I'm fighting off an organized crime family that's trying to take over my network.

    • Michael Davis
      September 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      That is the perfect analogy! I feel exactly the same way. I still like Windows 10 but the forced updates and privacy intrusion is an absolute catastrophe. It has caused a lot of issues, like our VPN solution. Will not work on Windows 10 because it completely changed some of the networking. We had to change to a whole new VPN. But once you finally get Windows 10 working, you're still not safe. Because now they have decided that instead of releasing security updates and patches, they are constantly "evolving" the operating system. So you never know when the core infrastructure in Windows 10 will suddenly change dramatically and break something that, up until that point, has worked perfectly. From here, instead of the OS making your life easier with productivity and features, you have to constantly fight updates and "upgrades" to stay running. Very frustrating! Sure sometimes an update would break something in Windows 7 but Windows 7 was always Windows 7. It looked and functioned the same as it did in 2008. God knows what Windows 10 will be like in a year or two.

      • Tina Sieber
        September 29, 2016 at 7:53 am

        You're making a key point of why certain professionals should avoid Windows, Michael. A Windows 10 update could put a small company out of business if a piece of software or hardware they depend on suddenly failed to work.

        Many research labs depend on Windows XP because key instruments lack the drivers to run with newer versions of Windows. Upgrading to newer hardware is not always an option or it takes time to obtain the funds to do it. Without forced upgrade that's not a problem. They just isolate those computers within their network and only use them to run said instruments. Done. With Windows 10, that won't be possible anymore.

        For small businesses, non-profits, and research institutions, Windows 10 could be a disaster.

  27. Marks
    May 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Tons of pages (thank you all, don't misunderstand!) about this subject, but almost none pointing out the most immediately annoying problem with automatic updates:
    1) THEY;
    3) YOUR;
    4) WORK.
    Tens of minutes waiting with your customer on the phone asking why his logo is not yet online while you promised him that a few minutes earlier.
    Enough said...

    • Tina Sieber
      May 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      In the Anniversary Update (due in July), you can set active hours, during which Windows Update won't attempt to install updates or reboot the computer.

      Meanwhile or if that's not enough, have a look at ways to temporarily disable Windows Update.

  28. Khan T
    April 27, 2016 at 2:35 am

    My MSI GT80 Titan nVidia 980m drivers crashes everytime this stupid windows 10 update the drivers the whole screen crashes and divides into two. I can't take risk this machine is Hell expensive I adopted all of your options..

    Thanks a lot

    • Tina Sieber
      April 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you for the feedback. I hope you won't have to deal with those driver crashes anymore.

  29. Daniel
    April 21, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Great post. Nvidia FX370m driver automatic update caused bluescreen several times.

  30. Sudhir Kulkarni
    April 21, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for a very useful article.
    I enthusiastically upgraded to Windows 10, in August 2015. Every thing was fast, smooth and nice.
    But the honeymoon was over last month or so.

    First my computer stopped shutting off from shut down button. - Tried many things thinking that this may be problem with my laptop. Finally made it a habit to shut the PC with physical button on the laptop

    One fine day my WiFi stopped. Even the WiFi option disappeared. Practically made my laptop unusable except when connected to Ethernet cable. Tried all steps mentioned - rolling back - not working. Uninstall and reinstall latest version - not worked. Windows 10 kept giving some message -Bad or invalid data.

    My USB port stopped detecting my smartphone and tab. Again uninstalling and reinstalling latest version (from phone manufacturer) did not help. Device manager started showing 'generic Android device' and did not connect.

    My printer (Canon) purchases just 2 years back disappeared. My Acrobat DC stopped.

    Finally, fully fed up, I ran a clean installation of Windows 8, and lo and behold, every thing started working.

    Big thumbs down for the Windows 10 for bullying and destroying ongoing systems

  31. Nicholas
    April 12, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Group Policy Editor method prevents any installation of any driver for the specified device and removes the visibility of the device from Device Manager, making it an abysmal solution.

  32. Brian Nordin
    April 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Windows update crashed my Windows 7 / Nvidia GEForce 660 card on or about March 27. No idea how to fix it - was working great for months / years before. Now, it might work for a day, a minute or an hour - and black screen; sometimes recovers, most times not. Mostly happens during games, but has also happened while just reading article on CNN -

    Second episode - updated to Windows 10 as tired of daily "reminder" to do so - about six months ago - so many crashes - made computer unusable - so un-installed and reverted to Windows 7 (which I love!). Was told that even after uninstalling Windows 10 leaves a "legacy" on your machine and will continue to auto-update. Somehow, with help from on-line sites, I finally disabled that - and now ....

    here we go again!

    • FriendlyNeighbour
      April 5, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Download geforce experience, it will keep your video drivers up to date, windows update installs just some basics buggy video drivers.
      Google: "GeForce Experience" and update your video drivers only from there, doing that will guarantee that you have latest Nvidia drivers with gaming, and rendering optimization.

      BONUS: After upgrading to windows 10 I had the same experience as you. But I like keeping things up to date and found a best solution to all the problems I encountered after Upgrade.
      Upgrade to windows 10 and then do a refresh (Settings > Update&Security > Reset this PC. Select option to leave your personal files, it will only empty files that are from previous windows installations on Windows disk partition) you'll love the windows 10 after that.

  33. Lain_K
    March 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Hiding the updates does nothing anymore. Hide the update all you want, but it will still install the update (or downdate in many cases) the next time WU runs.

    I'm also tired of all the people saying to just block all updates. I do not want all updates blocked. I only want to block the specific drivers that I update from the OEMs, mainly video card drivers.

  34. William
    March 27, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Windows 10 updates yesterday crashed my system. Got no clue what the root cause of the problem was. But it was stuck on black screen with blue flag, and constant loading circle animation. Tried all options in recovery mode with no luck. the command prompt did not have admin priv, so couldnt actually repair much on the drive. Gave up and reinstalled Windows

  35. James
    March 20, 2016 at 4:35 am

    A big F U to Microsoft.

  36. Hans_NL
    March 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

    This information was crucial to me, thanks so much! My problem was with an iMac with El Capitan which I wanted to dual boot with Windows 10 through Apples Boot Camp Assistant. After initial installation auto update comes with a faulty Intel graphics driver that completely crashes the Windows installation: black screen, a lot of noise from the speakers, reboots in a loop until you can't boot at all anymore. It gave me a couple of nights of hard work and headaches because the iMac was useless to me this way.

    But reinstalling Windows without an internet connection and excluding the graphics adapter from having updates through LGPE before connecting worked perfectly: all updates are neatly installed except for the bad one for the graphics adapter.

    You've been a great help!

    • Tina Sieber
      March 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Wow, sounds like this was a real pain to get to work. I'm glad to hear you managed in the end!

  37. MLO
    March 3, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Is the method of using gpedit reversible? If using it to block a driver from a specific device, can drivers for that device still be installed manually?

    • Tina Sieber
      March 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      You can undo changes made to Group Policies, simply by going in and choose the original settings again.

      • MLO
        March 4, 2016 at 5:34 am

        Well I went ahead and did it setting Hardware IDs for my video card, Intel Onboard Video, and Soundblaster Z sound card. I guess I'll find out if this works next time a new driver for those devices come out on Windows 10 update.

        • Lain_K
          March 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm

          My understanding is that this will prevent not only windows update, but also you yourself from updating the drivers in question.

        • Nicholas
          April 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm

          Correct, I tried it out and it completely disables access to the device. It stops it appearing in Device Manager, driver installers can't detect the device, Windows Update can't detect it, no way to manually install the drivers using Group Policy Editor.

  38. digimon
    March 2, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you for a great post, Tina!

  39. Anonymous
    January 12, 2016 at 11:40 am

    That is why sometimes my WiFi adapter becomes unavailable. I then have to uninstall the drivers with completely removing the drivers from the system checkbox checked in. Later install the WiFi drivers originally provided by Manufacturer, which in my case being ASUS.
    I will try this method to stop automatic driver updates from installing on my system.

  40. Aec
    December 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Doesn`t work.

    Any of it.

    Still get AMD driver update after starting up windows update.

    • digimon
      March 2, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      I got ASUS R7 240 and only the last option (registry setting modification) helped.
      I had Ethernet cable unplugged to prevent Win 10 downloading updates, installed the latest driver for Win 10 from CD, modified registry and restarted. Then plugged the Ethernet cable back.

  41. Saundra
    December 14, 2015 at 3:27 am

    I just updated to windows 10 and i am having trouble with my graphics driver. I try to play minecraft and it keeps telling me to update the graphics driver but the driver is already updated. Can anyone help with his?

  42. Perry
    December 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    UNWANTED UPDATE In "Settings" ==> "Windows Update" I keep getting an update for a device I uninstalled months ago [an update for a driver for an old printer - I changed printers months ago]. It won't install and it won't go away. I tried "hiding" it using some methods on this "Take Back Control" page to no avail. Like others, I'm concerned that this unwanted update is somehow interfering with me getting my wanted updates [I get a message from my anti-virus[!?] saying my Windows is not "properly updated"[?]]. If someone can tell me how to remove this unwanted update from constantly being "offered" ["hide" or whatever works or whatever you want to call it], I will be grateful. I'm an unsophisticated average "end user". Thank you in advance!

    • Tina Sieber
      December 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Perry, check whether the printer is listed in Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners. If it is and you're no longer using it, try removing it from here.

      • Perry
        December 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm

        Hi Tina, Thank you for kindly taking the time to respond. I double checked what you described, and it was not there. It was removed when I uninstalled the old printer. But the driver update still keeps appearing in Settings > Update & Security, Windows Update ....!

        • Tina Sieber
          December 14, 2015 at 9:33 am

          Yes, it's odd. Did you check whether the printer was still listed in Device Manager?

    • Anonymous
      December 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Perry. To remove the old printer driver and files, open Device Manager by pressing the Windows key with the X key then press M key. On the toolbar at the top of the Device Manager window, click on View then on Show Hidden Devices, then expand the Printer Queues category and find the name of your old printer then right-click on it. Now click on uninstall and, in the dialogue box that opens be sure to tick the Remove Files on this Computer box before confirming the uninstall.

      Afterwards, check again in the Printer Queues and Printers categories to make sure it has been removed. This should fix the problem.

    • Anonymous
      December 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      PS You should also check in Control Panel>Programs and Features for any program(s) (eg scanner, photo print) for the old printer that need to be uninstalled

  43. firewolf
    December 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    yes! the last update crashed my computer completely had to use the emergency disk, luckily I had backed up everything on another hard drive! it still won't load it , it will try then say can't load then says reversing everything then if lucky a hour later back up . glad found you site so I could turn off temporarily until I figure this out or they do, before that I just wasn't letting it shut down. thank you

  44. AngelaM
    December 10, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Hello! I have a touch screen monitor that ceased being a touch screen with the Windows 10 update. I was told this is a Microsoft driver issue and they have not issued a fix for it yet. Do you have any idea when the driver update will come out that will make my monitor be a touch screen again? I have two other touch screen laptops that I have not updated for this reason. Thank you!

    • Tina Sieber
      December 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      That's a bit of a letdown.

      Have you tried to setup and calibrate your device? Click the Windows key, type "calibrate" and select Calibrate the screen for pen or touch. This will open Tablet PC Settings. In the Display tab, try both the Setup... and the Calibrate... buttons.

      If it's a driver problem introduced by a new driver, you might be able to roll back to your previous driver. Go into the Device Manager (right-click on Start), find the category Human Interface Devices, and double-click HID-compliant touch screen. In the Driver tab, click Roll Back Driver. If that option isn't available, try Update Driver. You might have to download a driver from the device manufacturer.

      Do let us know what helped you fix the issue. Thank you!

    • Angela M
      December 17, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Tina - thank you for your help. I finally had a minute to try the suggestions you have and neither worked. The calibration was for color only. In the HID, there is no choice for HID Compliant Touch Screen - it doesn't exist. I tried to update all the drivers and it says they're all up to date already. I'm so frustrated as I paid extra for a touch screen and now I can't use it. And we have two touch screen laptops that I am not going to want to pay to upgrade to Windows 10 if we go past the one year period. I can't reach anyone at Microsoft for an answer about it. :-(

  45. Anonymous
    December 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I think it is possible that Windows Update does not push new drivers in all cases come what may.

    In my case I know there is at least one newer version for my Broadcom WLAN driver and 3 or 4 newer versions of the NVIDIA driver which WU has never offered. I have tried these newer versions by manually updating and found them unstable, but even after rolling back to the previous versions WU never offered the newer ones.

    Since doing a clean install of Windows 10 1511 at the end of last month I have left the drivers installed by Windows then untouched and, again, WU has never offered any of the newer versions.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Maybe they have become smart enough to only push drivers that they've tested or to withdraw drivers that caused other users issues. They are releasing updates in a rolling wave after all, which gives them the chance to collect telemetry data about how the updates are doing on machines they were deployed to, and pull or stop updates in case they see issues.

      • Anonymous
        December 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm

        I think that is probably a large part of the reasons for known new drivers not being pushed, especially on newer machines. A lot of users were (like me) running the pre-release insider versions on older devices, and there was less concern then about the privacy issues surrounding performance and reliability data being collected by Microsoft, so it may be the case that they are still short of enough data to push these updates for newer devices. (The apparently increasing number of users who are disabling the performance feedback settings may not be helping here either)

  46. Merlin
    December 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Cool! There were a few I didn't know yet.