The past year was not particularly great for Windows Updates. From the rushed patches to fix the Spectre/Meltdown chip flaws to the disastrous rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft's Windows 10 were quite problematic, to say the least.
It was a weird, strange dance - updates pulled back because of issues, emergency patches rolled out to fix problems caused by another emergency patch, actual advisories from Microsoft to hold off installing the updates - those were confusing times for Windows users.
Updates are supposed to fix problems not cause more problems, right? Well, tell that to the multitude of users who had their files deleted, computers bricked or systems blue-screened-to-death by yet another buggy Windows 10 Update.
To prevent these patchy situations (and maybe a subtle admission that there actually is a problem with its update process), Microsoft is introducing a new feature in Windows 10 that will help you recover from a disastrous update.
Windows 10 Update will now try and clean up its own mess
Microsoft is quietly rolling out a new Windows 10 feature that will automatically uninstall any Windows Updates that are problematic. This feature is meant to help systems recover from buggy updates that have compatibility issues, especially specific ones that prevent them from booting up.
Here's how it's supposed to work: When Windows 10 fails to boot up after an update, it will automatically attempt to uninstall recently installed updates, all without the need for user interaction.
When this happens, your Windows 10 machine will display this message after a successful recovery: "We removed some recently installed updates to recover your device from a startup failure."
Although this will only be triggered after other automatic recovery attempts have been tried, meaning this will be used as the last resort, it's still a welcome change that will save many Windows 10 users from troubleshooting a "bricked" machine via Safe Mode or Windows Recovery.
Windows will also block updates automatically
Here's another new feature. If a buggy update was automatically uninstalled due to a startup failure, Microsoft will then block any problematic updates from installing automatically on the machine for the next 30 days.
According to Microsoft, this move will give the company and its partners time to "investigate the failure and fix any issues." After 30 days, Windows will try automatically installing updates again.
But what if startup issues occur even after that time frame? Judging by how this new system works, I guess the process starts all over again with the buggy updates automatically uninstalled and the 30-day grace period reset back to zero.
Remember, Microsoft already made changes to its update process, and it will only push out an update to your specific machine if its data shows that it won't cause any issues. If they detect that there are lingering problems, such as driver and application incompatibilities, an update won't be installed on your particular Windows 10 computer.
How about manual installs?
It's quite nice of Microsoft to let Windows 10 clean up its own mess, but what if updates were uninstalled in error? In these cases, Microsoft points to its instructions on how to update drivers in Windows 10 or install quality updates manually:
So what do you think? Is this new feature a genuine move from Microsoft to help out its Windows 10 user base? Or is it an admission on its part that its recent Windows 10 updates are terribly inconsistent?
Shouldn't the company focus more on actually improving its updates than pushing out Band-Aid fixes like this? Drop us a comment and let us know!
Back up your data!
Nowadays, applying updates can be nerve-wracking affairs. You just never know if there are any system-breaking bugs that made it to any particular update. This is why it's important to make sure you have a complete backup of your machine at all times.
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In related news, Google strongly advises Windows 7 users to upgrade due to Chrome zero-day attacks
Recently, Google announced a massive zero-day attack on its popular browser program, Chrome. This attack left thousands of people vulnerable to attack, but thankfully Google released an update that can fix this problem. But if you are using a Windows 7 computer, then you might still be vulnerable.