January wasn’t a particularly good month for Windows Updates. In the aftermath of the Spectre/Meltdown chip flaw security crisis, Microsoft’s emergency patches were quite problematic, to say the least.
First off, the initial January Spectre patch was incompatible with various types of anti-virus software, causing a number of Windows systems to error out or even rendered unbootable. As an inelegant solution to that problem, Microsoft decided not to push nor install security updates to computers that have the affected antivirus software installed.
The next Windows emergency patch raised even more eyebrows. The January out-of-band patch actually disabled Intel’s own mitigations for the Spectre flaw since it was causing Windows machines to error out or randomly reboot. Yep, it was a patch that disables another patch.
While the quick release of these security patches was commendable, they just suggest how companies and vendors are scrambling to issue fixes to protect their customers, no matter how buggy they are.
Should you apply the February patches?
If you are a regular reader of Komando.com, you should know by now that the second or third Tuesday of each month is unofficially called Patch or Update Tuesday. This is when Microsoft usually releases updates and fixes for their line of software products.
We always advise users to apply security updates right way but in light of the buggy January Windows patches, we don’t blame you if you’re a bit apprehensive about updating your Windows machine right away this week.
Who knows? It might cause unforeseen issues or worse, your computer might be rendered unbootable again by another buggy patch.
We don’t usually recommend delaying security updates but if you want to adopt a “wait and see approach” to what February’s Windows Patch Tuesday updates will bring, here are ways you can postpone, defer or delay Windows Updates.
How to delay Windows Updates
Don’t want the February update because you want to wait until all the initial bugs are ironed out? Here are various ways you stop or slow down automatic Windows updates.
Windows 7 or 8.1
It’s quite simple to stop Automatic Updates on Windows 7 or 8.1. Just go to Start >> Control Panel >> System and Security then click “Turn automatic updating on or off” under the Windows Update section. Just set this setting to “Never check for updates (not recommended)” then click OK.
Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise
If you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can defer or postpone for a few months.
To adjust this schedule, click the “Update & security icon” under Settings and go to the “Windows Update” tab. You’ll see what updates are available.
Here you can tweak your “Active hours” (times you commonly use your computer) and Restart options. Adjust these times so as not to interfere with your daily routine. Under “Advanced options,” for more automated updates, you can choose to have other Microsoft apps to update with Windows.
Then there’s the “Defer feature update” option to postpone certain updates. Don’t worry if you can’t find this option if you have the Windows 10 Home version since deferring updates only works for the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10.
Windows 10 Home Edition – use Metered Connection
With the Windows 10 Home Edition, there’s no real way to turn off Automatic Updates.
Windows 10 Home users are limited to what they can do with updates but you can slow them down by toggling Metered Connection to “On” under your Network settings.
Since a Metered Connection is designed to save bandwidth, Windows won’t automatically download the updates.
Here’s how you do this:
- Search for “Change Wi-Fi settings” on your taskbar.
- Click on “Advanced Options.”
- Toggle “Metered connection” to On.
Keep in mind that this only works if you’re connected via Wi-Fi. If your computer is connected via Ethernet cable, you’ll have to switch to a Wi-Fi connection to get the Metered connection option.
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