How to Remove Installed Windows Updates and Block Them Afterwards

If a recent Windows update has messed up your PC, here’s one way to deal with it …

If you have installed the updates that Microsoft released on this patch day you may have noticed issues with your machine afterwards. Users on Windows 7 started to notice that Windows Defender would not start up anymore for example, and that the Diagnostic Tool of the operating system was not working correctly as well.

Some users reported that Windows would not start at all anymore and several other issues such as that the Microsoft Management Console would ask for admin credentials while logged in as an admin or that the installation of Microsoft Security Essentials failed.

The update that caused the issue this time is KB3004394. It is an update for the Windows Root Certificate Program which speeds up the updating of root certificates from once per week to once every 24 hours.

Windows users who ran into issues with the update had no choice but to remove it from the system again. This guide walks you through the steps of uninstalling Windows Updates and blocking them from being installed automatically.

Uninstall a Windows Update

uninstall windows update

The way you do that works similar in all recent versions of Windows.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key on your keyboard and type remove a program.
  2. Select the result add or remove programs from the list of search results.
  3. This opens a Windows Control Panel window which lists all installed programs on the system.
  4. Select view installed updates on the left side of the window.
  5. This displays all updates installed on the system.
  6. You can use the search at the top now to find the update you are looking for, or browse the listing manually if you prefer it that way. If you do the second, click on the installed on header to sort the updates chronologically which often helps find the problematic update faster.
  7. Once you have located the update right-click it and select uninstall from the menu.
  8. This removes it from the system.
  9. Note that you may need to restart the PC before the process ends.

updates uninstalled dialog

It can happen that you cannot boot into Windows which is problematic as you cannot remove the update then using the method described above.

Options that you have at this point are to boot into Safe Mode if Windows boots still into it, or to use recovery media to run System Restore to undo the update.

Block Windows Updates from being installed

hide update

The update that you have uninstalled may still be offered to you via Windows Update. Depending on how Windows Update is configured, it may even be downloaded and installed automatically again.

It is possible to block individual updates from being downloaded and installed automatically.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key and type Windows Update.
  2. Select the result from the list. This opens the windows Update Control Panel applet.
  3. Locate the update that you want to block and right-click it. Select hide update to do so.

Hiding the update blocks it from being downloaded and installed automatically.  It can still be installed manually on the system though.

Our in-depth Windows Update guide offers additional information

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