Windows Updates

Toby Frost

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My laptop has started to try to download Windows updates. It invariably fails to install them properly. It's highly irritating. Does anyone know how to either force the laptop to install the updates or make it stop trying?

Thanks.
 
You should be able to turn off automatic updates in the control panel (I think it’s under system or security). I turned mine off on my laptop but can’t remember the exact route. You should be able to google it.
 
My laptop is Windows 10 and the updates have been switched off for about a year so it should work:)
 
I think the "pro" version (which I have, luckily) gives you much more control over updates. @Foxbat, do you have that one? Maybe Toby has the home version.
 
I haven't got Windows 10, only Windows 8.1 (and, previously, XP, Vista and Windows 7)...

...which provides four options (if one goes into the Control Panel, clicks on System and Security, then Windows Update/Turn automatic updating on or off.

Windows 8.1's four option are:
  1. Install updates automatically (recommended)
  2. Download updates but let me choose whether to install them
  3. Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
  4. Never check for updates (not recommended)
I've usually set my Windows machines to option 3, but that was when I had only a few Meg of broadband (and I didn't want it to be eaten up suddenly at an inconvenient time). So it strikes me that, with a current download speed of about 50Meg, I should move to option 2.

I have, by accident**, had it set to option 1 in the past, which caused me to lose some edits in Word my machine forced a restart just before Word did one of its regular automatic saves. I don't know whether or not Windows 10 would force a restart while I was doing something. I do know that, when I have instigated an update, Windows 8.1 will sit there doing nothing (i.e. waiting to restart itself) if I happened to have one or more Windows applications (such as Word or Excel) open.


** - In the set up process of a previous (Windows 7) machine from HP (and when I had slow broadband), option 2 was not offered, so I chose option 1... then forgot, after the set up was complete, to go into the Control Panel to change it to option 3.
 
If you're using windows 7 and have anything other than option 4 set now, you just lose performance for no reason.
As microsoft no longer support W7 there are no updates to be found, and worse, if the auto update tries to find anything it can't even find anything on the MS website to say there isn't anything new. So it just keeps looking over and over again, which uses resources.

So if you have got W7, check that setting, and change it to 4 if it isn't there already. You'll notice a definite improvement in your machine's speed.
 
I would not turn updates off. You can try this.
Start , Settings, Update & security ,Troubleshoot, Additional Troubleshoot. When finished shut down and restart , Settings, Updates, check for updates.
 
I think the "pro" version (which I have, luckily) gives you much more control over updates. @Foxbat, do you have that one?
Haven’t got a clue which version. Sorry.
Edit. Just switched it on and had a look. It says Windows 10 Home.
 
Last edited:
I would not turn updates off. You can try this.
Start , Settings, Update & security ,Troubleshoot, Additional Troubleshoot. When finished shut down and restart , Settings, Updates, check for updates.
^^^^
This

Not updating is only a viable option if you never connect to the internet. If you are connecting to the internet not having updates may open you up to exploits, hacking etc... Plus I've found that usually everything runs smoother after an update. (Normally, unlike Ursa, I get a days warning on the machine that an update is incoming, so I usually just close everything down and manually force it to upload.)

@Toby Frost I assume you have googled for possible solutions? Like these: Windows Update Won’t Install Updates? How to Fix This Issue.
 
I had terrible problems with McAfee virus scans interfering with Windows Updates. I finally uninstalled McAfee and now rely on Windows Defender. As a side benefit, I no longer have to pay yearly update fees.

The McAfee issue was caused by McAfee trying to scan files while Windows Update was trying to install them causing a deadlock. Updates would run for hours and I would lose patience and restart the machine multiple times, often across one or two days, to get the update to take. If this describes your problem, your virus scan tool may be the culprit.
 
I run ESET AV. It's relatively cheap, I've never had any problems caused by it, and it's won loads of awards. But hardly anyone seems to have heard of it.
 
I kinda hate Windows updates. It repeatedly reverses the privacy settings I set up and keeps trying to get me to sign in with a Windows account. I will not. You don't need to do that, all it does it give Microsoft marketing data... bad Microsoft, bad!

As to the original issue, have you tried going to a previous restore point and trying to update from there?
 
This happened to me with one of those laptops with the smaller digital(chip) hard drives. There was no longer enough room to do updates.
I ended up buying a sim card to extend the storage--however I think I had to look up some instructions on how to force the update to use that card.

Good luck with this if it is a disk space problem.

I kinda hate Windows updates. It repeatedly reverses the privacy settings I set up and keeps trying to get me to sign in with a Windows account. I will not. You don't need to do that, all it does it give Microsoft marketing data... bad Microsoft, bad!
Some settings allow you to generate a personal profile--part of the problem is that your changes get written to a standard MS profile and the updates over write that. With the personal profile, the update doesn't have any way of overwriting that.
 
I recently had to temporarily shift some files to a USB stick on my laptop, as there wasn't enough space for the Windows update. If space is the problem, you could also try Windows Disk Cleanup though may need to be careful about what you delete.

I agree with those who advise not to disable updates. However annoying they are and however much Microsoft tries forcing various products on me, the updates are important for security reasons.
 
Just had a big Win10 update today on my PC. It seems to have gone well. Also, coincidentally, an update on my iPad today. So far both running okay. Updates always make me nervous ever since my old Win8.1 laptop died on me in the middle of one. Took me a whole day to get it back working again.
 
I updated my laptop from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04 last week and had nothing but problems with wifi connectivity because of it - after having to mount a drive differently just to get the update to finish installing properly...

A few hours of tweaking later - during which time I have no clue what I was really doing - and it seems to be okay again, though it still drops connection periodically :)
 

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