One of Windows 10’s most reviled “features” since its release is its update schedule. People frequently reported that the operating system would restart itself during sensitive actions with no easy way to stop it. There are unofficial methods, but Microsoft was always adamant that automatic updates were for the best.
This move was to help users keep their systems secure, offering better protection against zero-day viruses and exploits as they were found. If users were given the choice to delay updates, they may have put it off to the point their PCs got infected by the malware – such was the idea.
The Problem with Automatic Updates
However, we saw Windows Updates causing problems instead of fixing them. The October Update was a notorious example: it saw delays several times because it caused problems with people’s computers. Unfortunately, people found it hard not to download the update because Windows 10 was so keen to get it and automatically download it.
As such, it has become clear that having Windows automatically update itself is a bad thing. Right now Microsoft can’t really be trusted to supply an update that actually works, and people may even ditch the operating system if they continuously get updates that lock up their PCs.
How Microsoft Will Fix It
Microsoft has announced they’re finally giving users the power to control their updates. It’s scheduled for the May 2019 update, which will see a lot of extra scrutiny being the (hopefully!) last automatic update for the system.
Once it’s out, you can review and download updates manually. You can still check for updates whenever you please, but unlike the current system, this doesn’t automatically download and install the update. At the end of the day you have control over when the update is installed.
Not only that, but Microsoft promises their updates will be “smarter” with regard to when they’re installed:
“The active hours feature, introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, relies on a manually configured time range to avoid automatically installing updates and rebooting. Many users leave the active hours setting at its 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. default. To further enhance active hours, users will now have the option to let Windows Update intelligently adjust active hours based on their device-specific usage patterns.”
And finally, Microsoft has stated that they’re shifting a focus toward quality updates in the future. With the recent updates leaving a sour taste in users’ mouths, hopefully, Microsoft will follow through with this statement and begin providing quality updates.
Can You Delay Updates Indefinitely?
If you’re looking to prevent updates from happening at all, you’re unfortunately out of luck. You can only put off an update for thirty-five days, after which you need to update the OS in order to re-activate pausing. Still, thirty-five days should be long enough to discover if an update is harmful or not, so there isn’t much reason to keep putting the update off.
Updates on Updates
With Microsoft’s reputation for Windows Updates currently at a very low point, they have to disable automatic updates to give people a chance to avoid bad updates. In the May update, we’ll be able to have more control over when Windows Updates happen.