Microsoft recommends that users keep their Windows 10 installations up-to-date, and while this is a good practice for security, there are times when Windows updates can cause more harm than good. Botched updates can ruin everything, from Start menu to desktop to the Action Center and the complete operating system.
In this guide, we will explain the steps required to uninstall Windows updates that have known issues or that are causing problems on your computer. With this guide you will learn how to remove updates via Settings, Control Panel and a Command Line tool.
Uninstall Windows Updates with Settings and Control Panel
- Open Start menu and click on the cog icon to open Settings.
- In Settings, head into Update & security.
- Click on the 'View Update History' or 'View installed update history'.
- On the Windows Update history page, click on 'Uninstall updates'.
- On the next screen, you will be presented with a list of recent Windows Updates. You can sort the list by installation date or you can also search through all of the installed/active updates using the search box at the top right.
If you have noted the Knowledge Base (KB) number of the update, simply enter it in the search box to find it quickly. After determining the update that you want to uninstall, follow these steps:
- Select the update.
- Simply click the 'Uninstall' button.
- Click 'Yes' on the confirmation box to uninstall the update.
- A reboot may be required to finish the process.
Uninstall Windows Update with Command Prompt
If you are unable to remove an update from the Settings app or Control Panel, you can also use the Windows Update Standalone Installer, or wusa.exe, command line program to uninstall Windows updates.
In order to use this tool, you will need to know the KB number of the Windows update. If you don't know the KB number, you can follow this guide to get a list of installed Windows Updates and their KB number.
To uninstall an update, open an Elevated Command Prompt (admin) and then type the following command after replacing the KB ID with the one that you wish to uninstall:
wusa /uninstall /kb:[id]
Example: wusa /uninstall /KB:4023057
If you want to uninstall the update without your interaction and automatically restart the computer, you would use the following command:
wusa /uninstall /kb:[id] /quiet
Example: wusa /uninstall /KB:4023057 /quiet
If you want to uninstall the update and prompt to restart the computer, use the following command:
wusa /uninstall /kb:[id] /quiet /promptrestart
Example: wusa /uninstall /KB:4023057 /quiet /promptrestart
If you want to uninstall the update without a forced system reboot, use the following command:
wusa /uninstall /kb:[id] /quiet /norestart
Example: wusa /uninstall /KB:4023057 /quiet /norestart
If you want to uninstall the update and force system reboot, use the following command:
wusa /uninstall /kb:[id] /quiet /forcerestart
Example: wusa /uninstall /KB:4023057 /quiet /forcerestart
The use of wusa.exe is particularly useful for system administrators who wish to remove an update for a large amount of computers in a domain through login scripts or other automated methods.
Uninstall Windows Update at Boot with Advanced Options
Finally, if you are unable to start Windows or are dealing with a particularly stubborn update, you can boot into Windows 10 Advanced Startup to remove the update. To use this mode, please follow these steps:
- Open Settings.
- Navigate to Update & Security > Recovery.
- Click on Advanced Startup.
- On Advanced Startup screen, click on Troubleshoot.
- Click on Advanced Options.
Click on Uninstall Updates.
On the Uninstall Updates screen, you will see two options - Uninstall latest quality update or Uninstall latest feature update.
In this case, quality updates stand for the monthly cumulative update. The features updates are new versions of Windows 10 such as Windows 10 May 2019 Update and October 2018 Update, which are released twice a year.
After selecting an update to uninstall, enter your login to your Windows 10 account with your username and password.
Finally, click on Uninstall quality update or Uninstall feature update to remove the updates.
Restart the computer when prompted.
After the restart, the Windows update will have been removed.