Windows 10: New Study Shows Home Edition Users Are Baffled by Updates

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,003
With automatic updates being such a pain in the butt for Windows 10 users, UK researchers from the University College London sought to uncover precisely why with a study presented this week titled “In Control with No Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features.” They ended up constructing a detailed flow chart of Microsoft's update process, which was unsurprisingly very complex and revealed the two biggest issues: the “Active Hours” feature, and how often updates are delivered or the difference between monthly quality updates and semi-annual feature updates. The researchers’ biggest suggestion is that Windows should "obtain explicit permission for restarts consistently."

...among the 26 participants who were aware of the feature, 10 had not changed it from the default settings even though it clashed with their daily schedule. Not surprisingly, that resulted in about half of the survey respondents reporting that they had experienced unexpected restarts. The other noteworthy finding from the research is that users don't understand how often updates are delivered, nor do they appreciate the difference between monthly quality updates and semi-annual feature updates. That can lead to anxiety when an unexpected feature update takes well over an hour compared to the 12 minutes or less that a monthly cumulative update takes.
 

horrorshow

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
8,472
So, Professional and higher you can disable auto-updates right?

I keep getting conflicting information on this..
 

Vittra

Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Messages
909
You can't disable directly on Pro, no. What Pro provides is access to gpedit which gives you some policies to manipulate, one being that you can set Windows Update in such a way that it will notify you there are downloads available to be started and then subsequently autoinstalled. That means you must manually initiate the download process first otherwise nothing ever proceeds. It will still automatically install after the manual download acceptance as the policy name (shown below) suggests.

Local Computer Policy > Adminstrative templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Configure Automatic Updates > "2 - Notify for Download and Auto Install"

The only way to truly turn it off is disabling the WU service, unless the machine happens to be on a domain in conjunction with a WSUS server, or possibly Windows Update for Business, but I know nothing of that particular MS product.
 

Spidey329

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,683
So, Professional and higher you can disable auto-updates right?

I keep getting conflicting information on this..

As others have said, there are a few ways around it. What bugs me is the "Reboot/Shutdown w/ Update" and "Reboot/Shutdown w/o Update" options in the power menu have gone. At least those gave the users some level of control if they needed a quick reboot but didn't want to be forced into a coffee break.

Feature updates (take much longer) should always have a more noticeable acceptance by the user.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,409
There is no denying that Windows 10 could probably manage their updates better. Even I have been frustrated by them on occasion.

Part of the problem is that Windows 10 update flow assumes that it is the sole OS on a computer, and that it is left on 24/7, so it can update in peace during off hours and not bother anyone.

This is likely not true quite as often as Microsoft would like to believe.

I my setup - for instance - I use Linux for most things. I only occasionally boot up in Windows for games. Sometimes this is a frequent occurrence when I go through a phase where I am into a game or another, but other times I can go weeks or months without booting windows at all. And Windows is NEVER left on overnight. I reboot back to Linux as soon as I am done playing a game, and my desktop is never on overnight, only when I am actively using it. Ever since I got a server, I have found there is little value in keeping computers on when you are not using them. Got tasks that need to run overnight? That's what the server is for...

That said, most of the people who complain about having their system force reboot on them, are the ones who repeatedly skip the updates to the point where they are so out of date the OS just forces it on them. If they just installed them when they were available at a convenient time, this wouldn't happen.

So, while I fully acknowledge Microsoft needs to work on their update process, GIVING USERS THE ABILITY TO DISABLE UPDATES IS NOT THE SOLUTION.

I would go even further than Microsoft has. I'd develop an OS that completely firewalls the computer off from all other IP addresses, LAN or WAN if it has gone more than a few days without communicating with the update server. It is wrong of them to force feature updates, but security updates are absolutely CRUCIAL. Too many brainless sheep out there would just stop getting updates if they had the option, and the internet would be even more of a mess than it already is.

My ideal OS would absolutely enforce security updates or stop the OS from reaching the network, and continue to block network use (except for the update server) until all security updates are up to date. It would also permanently disable the network stack of the OS at EOL, so that no dumb moron keeps using it.

Security is #1.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,409
So, Professional and higher you can disable auto-updates right?

I keep getting conflicting information on this..


Maybe, but you still shouldn't. Security is WAY more important than any inconvenience due to waiting for updates or any bugs it may introduce.

Security >> Uptime >> Convenience.

Anyone who disables security updates is a goddamned moron, and even more so if they think they are fine, because they are knowedgleable and careful.

Always patch immediately.
 

likeman

Gawd
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
807
Short answer. No.

Nope. Just defer them.

Short answer yes if you have pro (gpedit) as in other post

Local Computer Policy > Adminstrative templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Configure Automatic Updates > "2 - Notify for Download and Auto Install"

,,
I would strongly recommend setting windows update to none targeted setting, as well 100 day delay on feature upgrades and 15 day delay on normal updates (so all the home users get to trash there PCs first before ms fixs the bugs and pushes them out to you witch they norm do within 7-10 days) all computers I setup leave the door in the above configuration as my customers are not there to test your broken updates

I don't recommend using the gpedit to pause updates unless your a live streamer or require uninterrupted computer use for a specific task
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
So, Professional and higher you can disable auto-updates right?

I keep getting conflicting information on this..

Nope. Not with certainty. Even if you think you disabled, even if you perform the steps the previous post suggests, even if you set Delay Feature Updates = "365 days" in GPedit, Microsoft can and will still ignore that if they feel like it. They did it with version 1803 (April 2018) -- brute forced it over the top of 1709 with a trojan downloader that was delivered outside of the windows update stream, and it screwed up all of my PC's, rollback resulted in blackscreen, and backup images had to be restored to get 1709 back.

Only way to truly take control back from MS is third party tools. The only SKU they seem to respect their own GP settings for is Enterprise (and LTSC).
 
Last edited:

horrorshow

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
8,472
Nope. Not with certainty. Even if you think you disabled, even if you perform the steps the previous post suggests, even if you set Delay Feature Updates = "365 days" in GPedit, Microsoft can and will still ignore that if they feel like it. They did it with version 1803 (April 2018) -- brute forced it over the top of 1709 with a trojan downloader that was delivered outside of the windows update stream, and it screwed up all of my PC's, rollback resulted in blackscreen, and backup images had to be restored.

Only way to truly take control back from MS is third party tools. The only SKU they seem to respect their own GP settings for is Enterprise.

This was my concern!

So, Enterprise is what I should keep my eye out for when I finally switch to Win10?
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
562
Try LTSC (2018) or LTSB (2016) and you won't be disappointed. Just disable Windows Update and you're good to go!
 

Skull_Angel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
1,664
The problem with Windows 10 update route is that there is currently no guarantee that the update you're receiving is mostly "bug free" (this is the main reason why a lot of people legitimately hate on the idea of forced updates). Ikeman's solution is one way to get around the problem, but there should be a tired option setting for updates (Beta - may have bugs > First Release - critical bug free > First Patch+ - stable). This is why a lot of people love Linux flavors like current Manjaro; the best I can describe it is that it's a pseudo-rolling release that doersn't deliver beta or first-release updates.

Short answer yes if you have pro (gpedit) as in other post

Local Computer Policy > Adminstrative templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Configure Automatic Updates > "2 - Notify for Download and Auto Install"

,,
I would strongly recommend setting windows update to none targeted setting, as well 100 day delay on feature upgrades and 15 day delay on normal updates (so all the home users get to trash there PCs first before ms fixs the bugs and pushes them out to you witch they norm do within 7-10 days) all computers I setup leave the door in the above configuration as my customers are not there to test your broken updates

I don't recommend using the gpedit to pause updates unless your a live streamer or require uninterrupted computer use for a specific task
 

emphy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
358
That said, most of the people who complain about having their system force reboot on them, are the ones who repeatedly skip the updates to the point where they are so out of date the OS just forces it on them. If they just installed them when they were available at a convenient time, this wouldn't happen.

If the update process wasn't broken, it wouldn't matter that people skipped that many updates. On top of that, they wouldn't even be skipping them at all.

The fundamental problem, of windows updates interfering with normal usage, has never been addressed. Indeed, it's not even acknowledged. Instead, microsoft has fallen in love with over-engineered band aid solutions like creepy AIs to predict usage to schedule the updates.

This also happens to be my major beef with the design of any windows version since vista: these OS's are all screaming "look at me being an OS", interfering with the user, instead of getting out of the way and letting one use that darned pc.
 
Last edited:

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,409
The problem with Windows 10 update route is that there is currently no guarantee that the update you're receiving is mostly "bug free" (this is the main reason why a lot of people legitimately hate on the idea of forced updates). Ikeman's solution is one way to get around the problem, but there should be a tired option setting for updates (Beta - may have bugs > First Release - critical bug free > First Patch+ - stable). This is why a lot of people love Linux flavors like current Manjaro; the best I can describe it is that it's a pseudo-rolling release that doersn't deliver beta or first-release updates.


For feature updates I'm with you.

For security updates, no way. Better a buggy security update that causes a PC to crash, than no security update at all.

People need to get their priorities straight. Security should come first every single time.
 

tetris42

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
4,518
For security updates, no way. Better a buggy security update that causes a PC to crash, than no security update at all.

People need to get their priorities straight. Security should come first every single time.
Okay, let's put aside the fact that some people use their PCs for work projects and what you're describing could cost people money, hours, irreplaceable work, if not their job. Outside of Wannacry and Spectre / Meltdown, how many cases have there been of completely compromised systems from average users (not corporate systems) SOLELY because of system exploits on a system with with active antivirus? You're talking like people are running unpatched XP and going to the shadiest sites they can find. Is Windows 10 THAT unsecure these days?

Security is important, sure. Security at the cost of system stability? That's a tall fucking order. If you're dealing with banking info, classified info, yeah, maybe. If you're doing a complex rendering project, no, I'd rather work on a less secure, but stable system and keep anything confidential off it. In fact, for everyday use, I value STABILITY above all else. Additionally, not all security updates are equal. I want to say the majority of them depend on the attacker having local access. For many people, that doesn't even apply. But hey, nice hearing you say you would rather see blue screens than knowing an attacker who's broken into your own house could theoretically login in your system with an undocumented key combo. I think your view on this is myopic.
 
Last edited:

Delicieuxz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
1,402
I've saved myself from the offensive and totally moronic Windows 10 updates regime by switching over to Windows 10 LTSC. It's a much better experience than Home, Pro, and even Enterprise. It's the real Windows 10 (albeit with some bugs like all the other Windows 10 versions).

It's actually very calming and stress-reducing to know that your PC is safe from malicious, unwanted, and meaningless updates and that it will be a persistent experience with no unavoidable changes anywhere on the horizon.

What Microsoft is doing with Windows 10 updates is immoral and psychologically unhealthy, and is no doubt imposing a net loss in overall societal health.

Windows 10 LTSC: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...rategy+500.TRS0&_nkw=windows+10+ltsc&_sacat=0


For feature updates I'm with you.

For security updates, no way. Better a buggy security update that causes a PC to crash, than no security update at all.

People need to get their priorities straight. Security should come first every single time.

No way. Windows 10 updates are a major security issue, themselves. Since 2015, I've had to reinstall Windows 10 three times due to Microsoft updates borking the system. In the same time, I've ran a Windows 7 OS without any updates since 2015, and it hasn't had a single issue. It's been more stable and reliable and bug-free than every Windows 10 installation that I've had. So, I've found that letting Windows 10 update itself is a reckless and costly thing to do.

If Microsoft actually cared about people having secure PCs then they wouldn't combine the security and feature updates together. But, Microsoft does combine them together, forcing people to have to not install security updates to avoid the abysmal feature updates. Because Microsoft has taken the possibility for people to install security updates without feature updates away, the responsibility for anyone's PC having issues due to not having security updates due to wanting to avoid the feature updates rests squarely on Microsoft. When you take responsibility away from people, you take that responsibility on, yourself. And Microsoft has forced people's hand to disable Windows Update to protect their PCs from the critical threats that are Windows 10 feature updates.

Microsoft doesn't offer security updates separately from feature updates because Microsoft actually doesn't care about whether people's PCs are secure and actually only cares that people have Microsoft's data-harvesting, spyware, and monetized new programs shoved down their throats. And it's to try to intimidate people away from not installing Windows updates that Microsoft spreads propaganda and FUD against not updating Windows. But, it's because of Microsoft's own evil choices that not updating Windows is necessary to have a sane and reasonable OS. Microsoft is not a wolf in sheep's clothing, but is an evil abominable monster in wolf's clothing.



There is no such thing as a security-first Windows 10 OS because Microsoft's Windows 10 updates do not equal security - they're major security risks of their own.

So, a person has to think for themselves what actions will lead to the most reliability, stability, and security for their system and needs. I've found, through painful experience, that leaving Windows Update enabled on a Windows 10 system represents the biggest security risk of all.
 
Last edited:

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
For feature updates I'm with you.

For security updates, no way. Better a buggy security update that causes a PC to crash, than no security update at all.

People need to get their priorities straight. Security should come first every single time.

I'd prefer if Microsoft just got their updates straight instead:

1) Separate security updates from all the other useless crap - feature updates, failed social and phone apps, candy crush, etc.
2) Hire back the QA team they got rid of and do proper, professional testing before they push out updates. Because the results of abusing customers as free "testers" have been abysmal.

Most people wouldn't have a problem with a "security updates only" mode, but as long as they're insisting users accept all the other crap being pushed down the same update pipe, many are just disabling outright.
 
Last edited:

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,409
Hire back the QA team they got rid of and do proper, professional testing before they push out updates. Because the results of abusing customers as free "testers" have been abysmal - W10's update track record is awful

Welcome to the era of "Agile" software development.

I'd agree, it would be better if they went back to the old ways, but in the 20-teens Agile is king, and Agile means you value getting shit out fast over getting it right, and essentially beta test on your users.

I'm not sure we can put that genie back in the bottle. :(
 

Iching

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
1,879
Been using MacOS and iOS for oa few years. My God, Android and Windows must be designed for retards. Windows 10 is so annoying it is beyond me. Even blocking and unblocking automatic updates is pain in the ass. Don;t get me started on Android.
 

surlyroad

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
88
I would dump Win 10 in favor of Linux in a heartbeat, but I just don't want to have to tinker with Linux to get the games I like to work. I used to like tinkering. I just don't really have the time for it these days. And even dual-booting isn't something that I want to mess with.

Well, as I spend like 90% of my computer time just doing web browsing, I guess I should reconsider dual booting.
 

misterbobby

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
3,814
Windows 10 seems to do whatever it wants whenever it wants. Every major update screws up at least one game from the Windows store some of which have never ran properly again. Every major update changes my audio to 5.1 even though I dont have a 5.1 setup. Every major update resets all kinds of other stuff too that I have to go back and enable or disable. And even just every week or two my pc will randomly change the power plan to high performance and turn on system restore. I had NONE of these issues when using Windows 8.1 on the same pc.
 

likeman

Gawd
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
807
Not sure why your power plan is changing never seen that before (more likely something installed is doing that)

what's the problem system restore been enabled, I have problems with Windows 10 not enabling system restore by default on a clean installs on random but specific systems (reload same system that system restore defaults to off even after 2 reloads) same usb stick on another systems it's on by default even after reload

System restore saved me having to reload on a bunch of systems when a broken update broke them all in there own unique ways (login service destroyed, black desktop, and bunch of other stuff)
 

c3k

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
2,314
I want a single page in any OS which allows me to set my defaults, my preferred values, etc. One page. Click...there it is. Once I set my preferences, it should be written in stone.

Always ask permission to download an update/upgrade.
Never let Cortana do a damn thing.
Absolutely no data collection.

Etc.

Instead, MS has W10 resetting these and overriding some...if you can even find the settings.

That's where/why it's confusing and causing a bit of a pushback.
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,142
So, Professional and higher you can disable auto-updates right?

I keep getting conflicting information on this..
No, you can't. Not even in the pro version. Unless you choose the pause updates option, which effectively disables updates. But that's not what we want. I want to install security updates, but at a time of my own choosing, preferably when I shut down my computer. This was easy in W7. Just select download updates but let me choose when to install them. And when a new update was available there was an option called "install updates then shut down"

There is no longer such an option in W10. It will always auto update "critical" fixes. No matter what in all versions. Which results in unexpected reboots of unattended computers, even when you have logged in users and open applications. Unless of course pause updates is selected. Which is temporary anyway. And a giant pain in the neck that you have to go to the settings and select pause updates each time you want to leave the computer running unattended.

The only difference between the home and pro versions is that in home all updates auto-intstall even unwanted feature and driver updates.
 

Dv8ted212

n00b
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
6
People were not updating their systems, so Microsoft removed the choice of not updating.
 
Last edited:

steakman1971

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
2,433
For the non-tech people I deal with (aka friends and family that want free tech support), I think current operating systems are too complicated and overkill for what they need. One moved to a Chrome OS system - my life became so much easier. They wanted to access the web and occasionally write a document. That's it. Perfect.
Another (my wife) uses her phone 99% of the time - my tech support now consists of me telling her to use a computer for certain tasks. It'd be easier!
 

The Mad Atheist

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
1,525
Can you still turn on metered internet to stop the updates?
Got sick and tired of the updates disable-ling my laptop dedicated GPU drivers forcing me to use the CPU's GPU.
Had to revert to one of the earlier Win10 builds and toggle metered mode to stop them.
 

ChadD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
5,901
I would dump Win 10 in favor of Linux in a heartbeat, but I just don't want to have to tinker with Linux to get the games I like to work. I used to like tinkering. I just don't really have the time for it these days. And even dual-booting isn't something that I want to mess with.

Well, as I spend like 90% of my computer time just doing web browsing, I guess I should reconsider dual booting.

Depends what type of gamer you are really. Hey if your the type that has to have the latest AAA 80 dollar titles the day they drop every month... dual boot. If your the type that waits till they are on sale on steam... burn windows with fire. lol

Steam Play can handle the vast majority of most gamers catalogs... very little tinkering required. Steam win games are mostly click install play right now. Of course there are titles that may require you to tinker slightly... but in my experience the last 4-6 months for the most part tinker might mean adding a custom launch option to steam or something. As far as non steam goes... as long as its not loaded with DRM things install easy peasy via wine. With a proper end user distro like Manjaro really its as easy as installing wine.... and installing your game. DXVK requires one simple terminal command script run, we have our AUR install script down to "setup_dxvk install" that's it. However in the near future that should as well get down to a click if its not simply bundled with a wine.

https://www.protondb.com/ The Linux gamer community has been playing, reporting, finding fixes.... and every Steam update more and more stuff just works.

IMO Linux with AMD GPUs is easier... 100% free drivers are the official drivers, and its almost like old times where every month a new driver adds performance you actually notice. Nviidas drivers are closed and bolted on. A few years back everyone would say if you want to Game on Linux go Nvidia. (cause the AMD closed and open drivers where pretty terrible). Now the reveres is true imo. AMDs open drivers are much better integrated outside of games.... and their game performance has really taken off. At this point in many cases AMD cards are performing better under Linux then windows. Still a few things in progress.... freesync is just now spinning up, and AMD still lacks a good GUI advanced settings panel.

Anyway give it a go if your curious. Dig out an old spinner drive you have laying around... unplug your windows drive. Grab a Manjaro ISO burn it to a USB, install ... and run your updates. (which will take a few seconds) Steam is prrinstalled, go into settings and select use steam play for all titles... add something out of your steam library you expect to be a PITA and see if it runs. You might be pretty surprised.
 
Last edited:

WaltC

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
1,129
Windows 10 Home Edition is *not* for people who want to "control" much of anything, imo...Win10x64 Pro is the only way to travel for folks who want control of their environment and who want solutions instead of scapegoats. Pro, for instance, let's you turn off driver updates--and it works fine as far as I can see--I always update drivers manually.
 

EODetroit

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
1,485
I would go even further than Microsoft has. I'd develop an OS that completely firewalls the computer off from all other IP addresses, LAN or WAN if it has gone more than a few days without communicating with the update server. It is wrong of them to force feature updates, but security updates are absolutely CRUCIAL. Too many brainless sheep out there would just stop getting updates if they had the option, and the internet would be even more of a mess than it already is.

My ideal OS would absolutely enforce security updates or stop the OS from reaching the network, and continue to block network use (except for the update server) until all security updates are up to date. It would also permanently disable the network stack of the OS at EOL, so that no dumb moron keeps using it.

Security is #1.
And I will never install that operating system on my hardware. I will sooner completely firewall off Microsoft's update servers from my network so that my computer never even knows that an update is available than let my computers be updated at the whim of anyone else. I'll temporarily remove the blocks only when I determine that an update is needed, at a time of my choosing.

Security is #1? How is letting some dev at Microsoft install whatever he thinks is important today considered "security"? Windows 10's history is littered with examples of updates gone wrong. Including legitimate software being forcibly removed. Its fucking outrageous, and it will not happen on my hardware.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,409
And I will never install that operating system on my hardware. I will sooner completely firewall off Microsoft's update servers from my network so that my computer never even knows that an update is available than let my computers be updated at the whim of anyone else. I'll temporarily remove the blocks only when I determine that an update is needed, at a time of my choosing.

I'd design it such that if it cant reach the update server for X days, all network traffic (except the update server) is blocked and cannot be unblocked.

Security is #1? How is letting some dev at Microsoft install whatever he thinks is important today considered "security"? Windows 10's history is littered with examples of updates gone wrong. Including legitimate software being forcibly removed. Its fucking outrageous, and it will not happen on my hardware.

I agree, Microsoft has really screwed the pooch in how it pushes poorly validated updates, and doesn't make good distinctions between security and feature updates, but in the end, it is orders of magnitude better to have a hosed system that is down, than to ever have a compromised system. I don't care what the downtime costs, having your data stolen or ransomwared is ALWAYS worse, so even a tiny decrease in risk of this happening is well worth the risk of downtime.

The top three priorities of any computer, phone, tablet or IOT device are security, security security. Better to brick it than to have an open security hole.[/QUOTE]
 
Top