Demand for extra control over updates in Windows 10 stems from a fairly progressive step from Microsoft to move users onto automatic updates by default in Windows 10. Historically, users had been lax at applying security patches, and The Register, back in 2005, discussed various viruses and worms that typically exploited unpatched operating systems and browsers. Windows 10 aims to confine the problem to the history books by ensuring that nearly all users are fully up-to-date with their security patches.
For that reason, it's strongly recommended that most Windows 10 users don't tinker with their system to block the automatic Windows 10 updates. For almost all Windows 10 users, the updates will result in a more stable machine and a more secure machine.
However, there is a reason that most operating systems, including Windows, have generally offered the ability for users to choose certain updates to be skipped or to delay updates. Sometimes updates break machines. Windows 10 has seen a successful launch by most reasonable measures, but as expected, given the huge range of different hardware drivers and situations where Windows 10 is deployed, some systems have seen update issues.
Forbes revealed that for those of you who want to keep running Windows 10, but have been having some specific update problems, there are three ways you can stop the forced updates, but not stop security updates.
The first is to simply turn off the Windows 10 update service by running "services.msc," choosing Windows Update and changing the "Startup Type" to "Disabled." The second is to take advantage of Windows 10's default of not downloading updates over a metered connection by simply setting your connection to "metered" in the advanced Wi-Fi options. The final is to use the "Group Policy Editor," however that won't be available to any Windows 10 home users.
The good news for Windows 10 users is that SuperSite for Windows reported yesterday that users will now have control over whether or not apps in the Windows 10 Store will update automatically. Previously, automatic updates had applied to apps.
As with updates generally, most Windows 10 users would be wise to leave the automatic updates running. However, as always, situations will arise where a certain app isn't updating correctly or the user learns of a problem in the media. Windows 10 users can now temporarily turn off updates to avoid losing access to any key apps during those temporary issues.
Overall, automatic updates for Windows 10 are likely to be a good thing, with most users benefiting from better security. However, not all Windows 10 users want to download every single driver and app update, sometimes due to system-specific issues, and it's good to see Microsoft adjusting to feedback and adding some of that control back into the operating system. Maybe they'll follow suit with general updates and render the Windows 10 "hacks" reported by Forbes unnecessary.
[Image Source: Microsoft Media Kit]