Windows 10 bugs: Microsoft reveals more on automatic removal of broken updates

The next version of Windows 10 will include a feature that can uninstall severely buggy software updates.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has updated a support page about a new feature describing why Windows 10 would automatically uninstall seriously buggy updates. 

The company has clarified that currently it is only testing the auto-uninstall feature with Windows Insiders running build 18351 or later from the 19H1 branch. The build is part of what will become Windows 10 version 1903, which Microsoft is expected to release in March or April. 

That build was released to the Windows Insiders Fast ring on March 5 and came to Slow ring testers on March 11

Microsoft's original support note didn't state which version of Windows 10 could automatically uninstall buggy updates, only that Windows would do it if it detected a startup failure.  

Despite its presence in the latest Slow ring release, Windows Insiders wouldn't have known the auto-uninstall feature is there unless they'd experienced a startup failure.  

The new support note includes a disclaimer that the auto-uninstall feature has not been released publicly, a screenshot of the error message, plus some more context around when an update might be uninstalled. 


This is the error message Windows 10 users will see when auto-uninstall has done its job.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft explains that uninstalling an update is "only done as a last resort". 

"Occasionally, startup failures can occur due to hardware issues, file corruption, or incompatible third-party software," Microsoft notes. 

"If Windows detects that your machine cannot start up successfully, it will try to diagnose and resolve failures due to disk issues, system file corruption, invalid registry keys, or other such causes. 

"If all these steps are unsuccessful and your machine is still unable to start up properly, Windows will determine if the startup issue was introduced after recent driver or quality updates were installed. If so, these updates may be uninstalled automatically to get the device back to a workable state. This is only done as a last resort."

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)    

Microsoft has also given more context around blocking removed updates from installing automatically for 30 days. 

The company now says it will block them if Windows detects that removing the buggy updates enables a machine to boot successfully. 

The idea is to give Microsoft and third parties time to investigate the failure and resolve any issues. Previously, it only said it would block certain updates for 30 days without explaining that the block would only be in place only if it detected that uninstalling specific updates actually resolved a startup failure.  

Users will still have the option to manually install the updates if they believe the updates should not have been uninstalled. 

Previous and related coverage

Microsoft: Windows 10 can now automatically uninstall buggy updates

Along with blocks on releasing Windows 10 to certain users, Microsoft will now remove updates that aren't compatible with the installed version of Windows 10.

Microsoft to Windows 10 users: Call, tell us what you think of Alt+Tab shortcut

Now Windows 10 users can set up a call with Microsoft to chat directly with its engineers about features.

Windows 10 graphics: Intel warns, patch 19 severe driver flaws now

Update Intel Windows graphics drivers, and stop using Intel Matrix Storage Manager and USB 3.0 Creator Utility.

Microsoft: To ensure Windows 10 update quality, these are the tools we use

Microsoft offers Windows 10 users a look at how they use data to improve the quality of Windows 10 updates.

Windows 10 latest preview: Sandbox gets new features, but VMware's still broken

Microsoft improves its Windows Sandbox feature for running risky apps in a safe container.

After Windows 10's buggy patches, Microsoft talks up its 'high-quality' fixes

Microsoft promises its software updates will improve next year.

Windows 10 update is freezing games: Microsoft's fix? Uninstall it for now

Microsoft's latest update for Windows 10 users has been causing "massive lag spikes" in some games.

Windows 10 previews grind to halt over GSOD bug that Microsoft can't fix

Microsoft has hit pause on part of its Windows 10 Insider preview program due to a green screen of death glitch that it can't fix. 

Microsoft: You really should bookmark this Windows 10 update history page

The Windows 10 version 1809 update history page alone has over one million page views and counting.

Microsoft security chief: IE is not a browser, so stop using it as your default

Internet Explorer is a 'compatibility solution' and should only be used selectively, warns Microsoft exec.

Microsoft just made Windows 10 updates a little easier to understand

Microsoft once again changes definitions of Windows 10 updates, but it should make life simpler.

Windows Update problems: Fixed now but here's what went wrong, says Microsoft

Microsoft says Windows Update DNS outage is fixed and things should return to normal for all customers soon.

How to turn features on and off in Microsoft Windows 10 from the Control Panel TechRepublic 

Microsoft decided to conceal the traditional Control Panel, but you can still access it if you know how.

How to reinstall updates that Windows 10 automatically uninstalled CNET

Microsoft this week will try to resolve a startup failures issue by uninstalling recently installed updates. But if you want to keep them, here's how to reinstall the updates.

How to clean out junk files in Windows 10 CNET

Free up gigabytes of space on your desktop, laptop or tablet -- no special tools required.

Editorial standards