How to uninstall Windows updates if they cause errors

Windows updates
Microsoft releases security updates for Windows at regular intervals to correct the latest bugs found on the system and prevent hackers and viruses from taking control of the system. Due to the complexity of Windows and, above all due to the fact that Windows is installed on computers with different types of hardware, some updates may be faulty, causing new instability problems or even the freezing of the operating system (generating one BSOD the one blue error screen).
If we have come across this unfortunate problem, we can still remedy it by applying one of the methods described below for uninstalling Windows updates that cause errors or malfunctions even if the computer no longer reboots normally.

How to remove bad Windows updates

For this guide, we will rely on the latest operating system supported by Microsoft, namely Windows 10, but many of the proposed changes or solutions can also be applied on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

Uninstall updates from Settings

In Windows 10 you can see the update history by opening the app Settings from the Start menu, taking us to the menu Update and Security, then on Windows Update and finally clicking on the item View update history.
Windows settings

Once this window is open, we press upon the top Uninstall updates, so as to open the specific window where you can uninstall the latest updates (the ones we suspect caused the problem with Windows).

If the update has changed the current version of Windows 10 installed (i.e. we have installed a Major Update, usually obtained twice a year), we can uninstall it and go back to the previous version, so as to continue to use the computer without problems; however, we avoid skipping too many updates cataloged as Major Update, since we risk falling behind with the news of Windows 10.

Uninstall updates from Control Panel

To remove old-fashioned patches and updates on any version of Windows, open the Control Panel (we can always search for it from the Start menu), click on Uninstall a program (under the section Programs), or press on Programs and features. From the uninstall programs window click on the item on the left View installed updates and look for updates to remove.
Control panel

For convenience, we can use the search box and write the abbreviations (for example KB2982791 is KB2976897) or search by hand by ordering the updates by installation date (click on the column header Installed on). Once identified the update to be removed, press the right button on it, and remove it. Windows may ask you to restart your PC to complete the operation.

Uninstall updates from a command prompt

It is possible for geek and expert users to also uninstall updates from the command line using the tool wusa; in this case, it is necessary to know the number of the update (KBXXXXXXX) that you want to remove and write it by hand, avoiding making mistakes.
To proceed in this direction, press the Windows key on the keyboard, type cmd.exe, right-click on the highlighted item and select Run as administrator to launch an elevated command prompt. Once the black window of the Prompt is open we can remove an update by writing the following command:

wusa / uninstall / kb: 2982791 / quiet

Obviously the KB string must be replaced with that of the update that caused us problems or that we want to remove immediately.
If we have never used the Command Prompt before, please read our article Dos command prompt on Windows.

Remove updates on a locked PC

If the computer does not start or is completely frozen after carrying out a new update, we can restore a version of the system that is definitely working by starting the recovery console and pressing on Troubleshooting, then on Advanced options and finally on System recovery.

We select the system to restore and wait: with a little luck “we will go back in time” before installing the update and we will be able to block it, as seen also in the guide How to block Windows 10 updates and disable Windows Update. We also talked about this solution in our in-depth analysis of how to restore the Windows system configuration if your PC is not working today.

If we can’t start Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 we can repeatedly press the F8 key during the initial computer startup process and remove updates using the latest restore point, by selecting the Last configuration definitely working.
Restore configuration

Alternatively, we can also enter safe mode and remove the update from there, following the same steps seen above; if we don’t know how to get into safe mode, just follow the instructions in our guide How to start Windows in safe mode to solve problems.

Conclusions

Fortunately, errors on updates are not frequent, but they can always happen and, since we work on computers, it is, therefore, worth knowing all the methods available to remove the defective update.

If we want to restore Windows 10 even faster, we can also use a recovery disc, as also seen in our guide on how to create a USB drive as a recovery disk in Windows 10.
If, on the other hand, we need to plan updates at a specific time of the day, just follow the advice given in our study Schedule Windows updates at specific times.

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