Windows 10 has had its share of problems of late. A major report from Beyond Trust in June 2021 showed the OS to have over 1000 current security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. These include vulnerabilities like “PrintNightmare” that lets hackers get remote access to the OS and install their own programs, as well as a vulnerability in Windows Hello – the facial recognition and biometric fingerprint feature.
Why are we saying this? Because it stresses just how important keeping Windows 10 up to date is. In early July, Microsoft moved to fix many of these security holes in the system, so it’s essential you stay up to date. The problem is that Windows 10 updates can bring their own problems, so we’re here to talk you through what to do when Windows 10 updates do more harm than good.
We’ve rounded up the latest Windows 10 update problems, along with the fixes for them.
Note: if a problem here is marked as “FIXED,” it means Microsoft has rolled out an update that fixes the problem, and the solution is simply to make sure your system is fully updated. If a problem is not yet “FIXED,” then either read that entry for workarounds to that specific problem or scroll down the page for advice on how to roll back updates.
- Error Code 0x800f0831
- [FIXED] November 2021 - KB5007215
- [FIXED] October 2021 - KB5006670
- How to Fix and Avoid Broken Windows 10 Updates
- Install Optional “Quality” Update
- Uninstall Windows 10 Updates
- How to Roll Back Windows 10 Builds
- Check Your Windows 10 Build
- Block and Defer Windows 10 Updates
- Completely Block Windows Updates
Error Code 0x800f0831
Problems: Update fails to install
Before moving onto the update problems relating to specific Windows updates, let’s cover one of the more common errors that might occur when you try to update Windows 10 or Windows 11 (yep, new OS showcasing the same old problems!).
The above-listed error code essentially means your update has failed, and there are several things you can do to troubleshoot this problem:
- Conflict with your VPN or proxy server. If you’re using a VPN or proxy, then make sure it’s completely disabled when trying to update Windows. You may even need to uninstall and reinstall the software.
- Scan for corrupt system files.
- For this and other update errors, you can try finding the update you’re trying to install in the Microsoft Update Catalog and installing it manually from there.
[FIXED] November 2021 – KB5007215
Problems: Remote printer problems | MSI Installer not repairing or updating apps
Update: This error was fixed in update KB5007262. Install that update to fix the error
Microsoft Installer (MSI) is one of the more important tools in the Windows shed. The “.msi” file format is a proprietary Windows installer package that helps install, maintain, reinstall and repair software on your PC.
As of the above update however, MSI no longer works as it should, failing to repair and update apps. Not all apps are affected, though one notable one that has been is Kaspersky. Once the app fails to update or repair, you may then not be able to open it, and have to reinstall it.
It’s the third month in a row now where an update has caused printer problems too, and again users are reporting that they’re getting errors when trying to print things over a remote network.
Microsoft reports that these issues are fixed by the KB5007262 build update. To get this update you first need to update your Windows 10 version to “21H2” through the Windows Update window.
[FIXED] October 2021 – KB5006670
Problems: Update not installing | Printers slow/not working
Those printing problems return once again in the recent KB5006670 security update for Windows 10. Much like the September update, this one is causing issues specifically for network-connected printers.
Some users have reported that the update has caused delays to printing, with the print command taking a good 15 seconds to kick in before printing begins. A Reddit user has also pointed out that one of these recent security updates makes Windows Server change the network type to “private”, so you may manually have to change it back to “domain.”
Another solution that user offered was to restart nla-service, which will temporarily fix the problem until the next reboot.
It seems that for now the best proper solution is to roll back the update (which you can see how to do further down in this guide).
How to Fix and Avoid Broken Windows 10 Updates
If Windows 10 Updates are failing to install, try updating through PowerShell
If the problem you’re encountering with a new Windows 10 update is that its install stops at a certain percentage, or more generally, that it’s failing to install the update, then you can try installing the update from Powershell.
First, open PowerShell as administrator (You can just type it into the Start menu search.)
In PowerShell, type:
It may ask you to install and import the NuGet provider. Press “Y” for Yes and let it install the package.
You can then check for the latest Windows updates by typing:
Finally, once you’ve confirmed that there are updates to install, type:
Then press “Y” or “A” to confirm that you want to install the updates.
Install Optional “Quality” Update
If you go to the Windows Update screen (Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update -> Check for Update), you may occasionally see an option called “Optional quality update available.” These updates are designed specifically to address problems with recent Windows updates and become “proper” updates a few weeks later once they’ve been thoroughly tested.
These updates are still pretty stable, though, so may be worth a shot if a recent update has broken something on Windows 10 for you.
Uninstall Windows 10 Updates
You can uninstall smaller Windows 10 updates (to roll back builds, see the next section) by doing the following: in Windows, go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> View update history -> Uninstall updates.”
In this window, scroll down in the main pane to the “Microsoft Windows” heading, and you’ll see all the KB and security updates for Windows 10 along with the dates they were installed. Simply right-click the one you want to uninstall and reboot your PC.
How to Roll Back Windows 10 Builds
After every major update, Windows 10 gives you a 10-day window to roll back to a previous version of Windows. It’s a useful feature and should give you enough time to judge whether you have a problematic update. Of course, this won’t recover your files if Windows 10 deletes them, but at least you’ll be on a more stable version of the OS.
To do this, go to Windows 10 Settings, then click “Update & security -> Recovery.” Below “Reset this PC,” you should see the option to “go back to the previous version of Windows 10.” Click “Get started,” then follow the steps to roll back Windows 10. Again, this option is only available for 10 days after a Windows 10 build update.
Check Your Windows 10 Build
Before looking into rolling back and fixing broken Windows 10 updates, you need to check which build of Windows you’re currently on, which will confirm which issues are affecting you. To do this, just go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> View update history.”
In the new window, click the arrow next to “Feature Updates” to see the version of Windows you’re currently using and click “Quality Updates” to see all the smaller “KB” updates you have installed.
Block and Defer Windows 10 Updates
The first thing you can do to avoid getting the above update problems and more is to take over the control when your Windows 10 updates. This way you can hold off getting updates the moment Microsoft rolls them out, monitor the news for a bit to see if any major errors crop up, then manually do the update yourself.
In the meantime, if you’re on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, Education or S, you can postpone updates by going to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.” Here, select the option “Choose when updates are installed” and pick the number of days you’d like to delay it.
Completely Block Windows Updates
If you want to block Windows updates completely until when you see fit, you first need to disable the Windows Update Medic Service, which triggers the main Windows Update service to switch itself back on automatically.
You have to disable this through Registry Editor. Click start, type
regedit and open Registry Editor.
Once in registry editor, navigate to:
Here, right-click “Start -> Modify” then change the “Value data” to “4”. Reboot your PC, then go to the Services window, and you should see that ‘Windows Update Medic Service’ is ‘Disabled’.
This means you can now also disable the Windows Update service in the same window. Right-click “Windows Update”, click Properties, then in “Startup type” select “Disabled”. Windows Update should now remain disabled until you re-enable it again.
Few things on PC are more frustrating than an update – ostensibly to improve performance – borking your system, but unfortunately, Microsoft has form in this respect. Other teething issues with Windows 10 include the Start menu search not working, the Windows Store not working, and a malfunctioning microphone. We can help you with these, too!
Image credit: Worried Man at Computer with System Failure Screen at the Workplace by DepositPhotos