Acting Up on My Computer? How to Remove Windows Updates

By 2 months ago

Windows updates frequently add security patches, bug fixes, and new features to your computer, but they can sometimes backfire by causing issues like performance issues or even anxiety-inducing data loss.

After applying an update, you can roll it back to see if that fixes any weirdness you’re seeing.

Windows updates can be divided into two categories: quality updates and feature upgrades. The monthly “Cumulative Upgrades” you’ll notice on the Windows Update page in Settings include quality updates such as security patches, bug fixes, and other minor adjustments.

The larger, yearly updates, known as feature updates, are jam-packed with new features and significant modifications.

Users of Windows 10 and Windows 11 can remove Quality Updates, but they must use the recovery methods to roll back Feature Updates. Here is a guide on how to remove a Windows update.

Uninstalling a Windows update should be simple if it led to strange behavior or ruined one of your peripherals. Even if the computer is booting OK, I normally recommend booting into Safe Mode before deleting an update, simply to be on the safe side.

You should see Windows’ recovery menu when your machine restarts if you open the Start menu, hit the Power button, and then hold Shift while pressing Restart. Hold the power button down while your computer boots (Opens in a new window) to bring up the recovery menu the next time you switch it on if Windows won’t start at all.)

Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart in the recovery menu. You’ll be given a menu of choices after your computer resumes. To enter Safe Mode, press the relevant key.

Windows Quality Updates must be removed

Users using Windows 10 should enter Safe Mode and then navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select View Update History to view all recently installed fixes. At the top of the page, click the Uninstall Updates link.

To examine a list of recent installs on Windows 11, go to Settings > Windows Update > Update History. To access a Control Panel window displaying recent updates, go to the bottom of the page and click Uninstall updates.

Within Control Panel, Windows will show you a list of recently applied updates, replete with links to more in-depth explanations of each patch and the date you applied it. The install date should assist you decide which update to remove if you can recall when your troubles first appeared.

Click the Uninstall button that appears above the list after selecting the problematic update. (Ignore the sidebar command to uninstall a software.) Once it’s done, you can check to see if your issues are still present.

When you check for updates again after uninstalling an update, it will attempt to install itself once more. You can suspend your updates until the situation is resolved to address this issue.

If the Uninstall button is absent from this screen, the patch in question may be permanent(Opens in a new window), which indicates that Windows does not want you to remove it. Although I haven’t personally tried it, I’ve heard of some tricks that circumvents this. To restore your computer to a prior state, Microsoft advises using System Restore or a system backup.

Remove the feature updates for Windows 10

Once a year, Windows 10 releases a feature update. Microsoft extensively tests these updates on various hardware setups before releasing them, and it only does so when it has determined that your hardware is suitable. Windows provides a rollback option because issues do still arise.

A large update may only be uninstalled after 10 days of installation, so act quickly if you believe it may have broken your machine. Microsoft deletes the outdated files after 10 days in order to free up space on your hard drive, and you are unable to roll back.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, then scroll down to Go Back to the Previous Version of Windows 10 to delete a feature update. To begin the uninstallation procedure, click the Get Started button.

If the option cannot be clicked, your 10 days may have already expired or you may have deleted the old data using Disk Cleanup, making it impossible to roll back changes. Use your system backup if you have one right away.

Windows 11 to Windows 10 downgrade

Microsoft provides you 10 days to downgrade back to Windows 10 as if nothing had happened if you recently upgraded to Windows 11 but discover that the OS has problems. In the new version of Windows, select Settings > System > Recovery, then click the Go Back button.

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Microsoft will inquire as to why you want to return and provide you the option to update Windows 11 in an effort to address any problems. Follow the wizard’s instructions until Windows restarts and your old installation of Windows 10 appears.

The 10-day window has either elapsed or you may have already deleted the old files if the Go Back button is grayed out. Your only choice in this situation would be to restore Windows 10 from a system backup.

If Windows Won’t Boot Up on Your Computer at All

After applying an update, Windows should automatically try to roll itself back if you can’t even boot into Windows to follow the above instructions, even in Safe Mode. However, if it doesn’t work, you do have one more choice (before restoring from that backup you definitely have).

When your computer starts up, hold down the power button to switch it off and then back on. (Opens in a new window) Similar to when you boot into Safe Mode, this ought to bring up Windows’ recovery options. Just this time, select Uninstall Updates under Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.

This will give you the chance to choose between uninstalling the most recent Quality Update or Feature Update, which should enable you to restart Windows in a secure manner.

We still advise trying the methods in the aforementioned sections first because it doesn’t provide you with a list of recent updates the way Control Panel does. This recuperation strategy is a last-ditch effort if all else fails.

Melissa Valentini

I am a journalist graduated from the University of New York. In addition, I write short stories and chronicles as a hobby. I currently write for the Techeneis.