Question Managing and controlling Windows updates?

Sep 1, 2021
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If you saw my previous thread, you know I blame a sneaky and ill-documented MS Windows update for screwing up my computer. This is not the first time - nor the second! It was one of the worst for me personally. Although the update that pushed Edge onto our church computer and made it hijack every browser and PDF event had very negative consequences until we figured out how to delete the offending program (Edge!!).

With that being said, is there a safe way to manage and control updates? Using the Windows update through the Control Panel gives you very minimal information on everything that is included in an update (like the Office 365 or other tidbit that screwed me this week, or the Edge takeover that bullied my church). And much of the explanations are couched in vague tech-speak that sound like the update doesn't apply to to my computer anyway. Yet if I don't update, I leave myself open to who-knows-what - but if I do, I'm liable to "welcome" a "feature" that acts like a bug - or worse!!

Is there an easy, safe, convenient, user-friendly method to know completely what an update is all about, control whether it uploads to my my computer or not, and then remove it completely if I think it might be the source of conflicts on my computer?
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator
Given that the VAST majority of Windows users have absolutely no issues whatsoever with updates you need to be looking inward for your problems. A corrupted OS installation is the single most common cause of problems. Stopping Windows updates is exactly how viruses and other malware spread. The Edge issue you described is simply your failure to understand how to change defaults. Takes less than a minute to do this after an update resets them to MS defaults.
 
Reactions: velocityg4
Sep 1, 2021
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The Edge issue you described is simply your failure to understand how to change defaults.
And that's you as-u-me-ing that I didn't try all the simple stuff first, to no avail. I had to do a registry hack to fix this one. Trying to blame my computer problems on my lack of understanding is like trying to blame food poisoning on restaurant patron instead of the cook.

When I get medicine, I also get a list of possible side effects and what to do if something unforeseen happens. Then I can decide if I want to take that medicine or not, or at least be prepared to mitigate any effects. That's all I'm asking for here: a good description of what all is contained in an update - beyond "fixes various issues in Windows" - and what it might do to legacy programs that haven't caught up to this update. Or what options I might have to keep older programs working. That was my question -- NOT how to forever avoid updates.

I bought this computer in 2015 with Windows 8.1 preloaded. And because I preferred the way Windows 7 looked and felt at that time, I installed IvoSoft Classic Shell to make it look and run like Win7, and just never took it off. I work with Win10 every day on my job, so removing the shell wouldn't be a big deal now, in case that's causing issues. But I don't have the original disks for my Win8.1 install.
 
Sep 1, 2021
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Good luck with that.

Your issue with Office seemed to be a shortcut thing, not Microsoft purposely deleting your old Office install.
The registry hack is doing fine so far. Why wouldn't it? Perhaps an update might undo or overwrite user changes? (Thus proving my point ....)

No, it wasn't a shortcut issue. I found the exe files for both Word and Excel and attempted to launch them directly. Every attempt failed with the same error - "We can't find your program." The only explanation for that error directly attached to the exe is a redirect. Since I found no virus or malware, I feel I can safely conclude it was an "unintended consequence" of an update.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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'Registry hacks' found elsewhere often result in major problems.

Should only be implemented if you know exactly what they do, and if you've made both a full drive backup, and an export of the Reg before doing whatever it said.
 
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Somehow I feel I'm not going to get a reasonable answer to my original question. Only resistance against any notion of declining any update.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Thank you!! That is quite a bit more than I anticipated - but I guess if I really wanna know, there it all is.
Now...is there a way to know beforehand how a particular update will interact with your specific unique hardware/software stack?
No.

Every system on the planet is unique.

Your Win 8.1 system is not exactly the same as my neighbors. Even if you share the exact same hardware.

With every update, across all OS's (Linux/Apple/Windows), some few systems have issues.

The vast majority of systems do not have any issues. But there are a few that do.
 

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