With Windows 10, Microsoft doubles down on forced updates and reboots (save your work!)

I’m not entirely sure that they shouldn’t.


WORKAROUND: set every network to metered connection. You can turn that off and on so turn it on only when you are read to run update.

Fuck Microsoft.

Why not just turn off automatic updates if you’re going to do that?


Q) Why do you think so many people disabled automatic security updates?
A) They didn’t. They disabled the automatic downloading and installation of bugs that broke their systems.

Security updates should be transparent and have no noticeable effect on the system to end-users more than 99% of the time. Updates that randomly change the UI around, mess with (or delete!) the user’s configuration, install unwanted apps, cause programs that have been working for years to suddenly stop working, and crash the entire system for a reboot every single time are not properly-done security updates. There’s a reason people turned them off.

We got put into this situation due to the incompetent deployment of the updates.

Security updates ideally should be automatic, but they also shouldn’t crash your system or mess it up.


You really have been away from windows for some time. Windows 10 now only operates with automatic updates by default, you can block individual updates though with the wushowhide tool but the recent version upgrade was ignoring this without taking additional steps to re-hide it.

Incidentally, i brought this issue up well over a year ago but it didn’t gain anywhere near the traction it seems to have now that we’ve been living with this telemetry leaking, adware riddled service. With, presumably, some OS features included.

Though they have been forced to pull back on some of those concerns thanks to the EFF and swiss government

By “default” or “at all”?

At all i would say. If you take no steps the default is you get them when they’re pushed out. Basic steps are - use metered connection and/or schedule update installation. More complex steps are obviously registry, group policy and wushowhide but as i say, the latest upgrade to v1607 was ignoring all of it.

So you’re saying that you cannot turn off updates if you choose to do so? Weird.

Not on windows 10 no, not unless you take the more complex steps which i imagine your average user is not gonna do. Isn’t that what this whole blog post was about? Forced updates. I’m surprised this is still news to people.

By the way, two really good resources for keeping track of microsoft’s ongoing crap are woody leonhard over on askwoody and susan bradley over on windows secrets (paid subscription).

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Outside of a virtual machine, I’ve refused to run Windows in any full time way since I left in 2006. I’ll stick with OS X for my desktop and Linux for my servers.


And this is the key issue i think. Even if you go through all the steps of locking down win 10 to how you want it the next big update resets everything and you got to start again. As long as it remains a service then windows will never be ready and in perpetual beta and the fact they’ve laid off so many of their QA staff means customers are now their beta testers.

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As opposed to the other operating systems that are nothing like this? Linux and OS X both have constant updates. Why? Well, for one reason, in the current world, if you don’t, then security problems cause your users to get pwned.

I’ve certainly updated Linux and had the new software completely failed to work afterwards. Of course, their users are their QA…

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Chrome simply puts an icon in the tray telling you to restart the computer when convenient.

The “active hours” thing on Windows is pretty useless nowadays when people work very varying hours and then shut down their laptops. I came across one only the other day (W7) where no updates had been applied for two years. Why? Because the user had set to do updates at 2a.m. and the computer had never been on at 2a.m.

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Because you can’t. Windows 10 does not allow that.

Windows 10 bit my ass exactly this way. Lost 6 hours of work 12 hours before deadline, and had to wait a half hour to learn that. Subsequently missed 6 hours of sleep.

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And this is why we can’t have nice things.
Seriously like I said above they tried to make it easy for you and people balked and let their machines get owned en masse. I am not particularly fond of it but the other choice I hate more so I live with it.

You don’t need to do it within the operating system. If it’s your house, your network, administrated by you, then you decide whether or not Windows 10 boxen are allowed to phone home for updates. The OS can insist, but you still (presumably) control the network it needs in order to be notified of updates and have them delivered.

You can’t turn WU off or configure it in any user friendly manner. You can’t even select what does and doesn’t get applied - it’s all or nothing. Bad driver being pushed down? Well, fuck you, you’re getting it whether you want it or not.

It’s awful.

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It sure sounds like it.
That said, I still support mandatory security updates.


I don’t think anybody here is opposed to the concept here – I know I’m not. My opposition is to the execution…

The fact that you have no/little control over the update experience anymore and that your computer can and will reboot from underneath you whether you want it or not.

Apple products require security updates too but they will never pull crap like this. Oh, they will nag you on a daily basis until you do apply important updates, but there’s never a “yeah, fuck you, we’re rebooting you now whether you want it or not… hope you weren’t doing anything important!” moment. Also on OS X the impact of reboots is minimal compared to Windows which is a complete context loss.

Maybe one day Windows can get to this point and then this will largely be a non-concern. I don’t see that happening any time soon, though. The current “resume from reboot” support Windows has today is a patchwork of weak APIs, opt-in, and leaving most of the hard work in the lap of the developer to restore state versus how it is in Mac OS which is pretty damn comprehensive.