Do you religiously update your Windows machine with the latest patches and fixes? If you do, you are likely familiar with the term “Patch Tuesday” by now. It’s the unofficial nickname of the second or third Tuesday of each month when Microsoft regularly rolls out updates and fixes for their line of software products.
These updates usually contain bug fixes, security patches, and malware database refreshes for supported Windows operating systems and a slew of Adobe and Microsoft software products, including Windows, Microsoft Office, and Flash Player.
We here at Komando.com, we regularly tell you everything you need to know about these monthly critical updates so you can protect your computer system against potential exploits as soon as you can.
However, all the recent Windows Patch Tuesday updates this year were so problematic and buggy, it forced Microsoft to release emergency patches to fix the confirmed bugs in each release. We can’t blame you if you want to hold off until you’re certain that they won’t impact your computer adversely.
What’s up with Microsoft’s updates lately?
Windows Patch Tuesday updates used to be relatively reliable and out-of-band and emergency patches were rare and far between. But the past few months, it’s hit or miss (mostly miss) and the updates have been buggy and worse, even causing some Windows PC to be rendered unbootable.
To be fair, the issues are not entirely Microsoft’s fault. All of this year’s updates so far included Intel’s own buggy fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws. But these patches were such duds that it forced the chip maker to stop their own deployment until it has developed another patch without the system-breaking bugs.
January’s Windows Meltdown patch, in particular, was found to be incompatible with various types of anti-virus software. To counteract these issues, Microsoft released an emergency patch in late January to disable that patch.
March’s Windows updates were likewise riddled with critical bugs and it forced the company to roll out more out-of-band emergency patches to fix the nagging problems. Even worse, all the Windows 7 patches this year were found to harbor security holes that are yet to be fixed.
Should you apply April’s updates?
So take this as a warning, April’s Patch Tuesday updates may be no different. If the buggy Windows update trend continues, April’s patches may cause unforeseen issues or worse, your computer might be rendered unbootable again by another buggy patch.
If you want to adopt a “wait and see approach” to what the latest Windows updates will bring, there are ways you can postpone, defer or delay Windows Updates. Here’s how:
What you need to do now
Don’t want the April 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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