You leave your PC running for a few minutes. You go to grab a sandwich and come back to continue the work you were doing. You see the screen and horror sets in. Configuring Update for Windows 10 - 0%, reads the message. You get angry, curse Windows, Microsoft, your ISP, the current government and the universe, after realizing that you didn't save that 50+ sheet Excel file and those 100+ open Chrome tabs.
Windows Update has became a bane point for Windows 10 users since it's release and Microsoft isn't doing enough to soothe it. Over the past major updates, users have got more control on updates but still the forceful takeovers of PCs are happening to many.
So, what does Microsoft needs to do? A lot, actually. Here are the five things we wish that Microsoft fixed about Windows 10 updates.
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1. When To Update
The most problematic thing related to Windows 10 updates is that it randomly takes over PCs and users sometime lose their work. Active Hours were introduced to stop that from happening, but people have reported Windows ignoring the setting and sometimes even changing it on it's own. >
Another problem is that Windows only allows you to set Active Hours for a maximum of 18 hours a day. Clearly someone at Microsoft doesn't understand that many of us have work schedules other than the usual 9-to-5.
Microsoft needs to give even more options to users to configure when to install these updates.
This includes not to force-update during non-active hours if someone is using their PC. Similarly, Windows also wakes up devices for update, from sleep, during the non-active hours. This causes problems in battery powered devices such as laptops.
2. What To Install
Currently Windows allows pausing updates for 35 days and deferring certain updates for up to 365 days. But it doesn't allow choosing of individual updates. The better option would be being able to select what updates get installed. For example, you can choose to not install non-critical updates like drivers, language packs, Adobe Flash etc.
And driver updates have also wreaked havoc on certain PCs where Windows updates an incompatible driver which causes system to crash.
Finally an option to not update at all, indefinitely, except critical security updates, should also be made available.
3. What Not To Install
Ads and sponsored content is everywhere nowadays and Microsoft is not new to this. What started as an innocent Apps suggestion in Windows 8 has blown over to full fledged apps getting installed without even user permission. Chances are, if you open your Start menu right now, you might discover Candy Crush or Bubble Witch Saga installed!
And the worse part is Windows reinstalling them silently after some updates. That hovers close to malware behavior. Further such practice is expected from free apps, but Windows charging $119 for a retail copy and doing this is not acceptable.
Certain updates like drivers should be thoroughly tested before deployment and Windows should not install them if they find the PC hardware not on tested list.
4. How To Update
It's not just that Windows takes over PCs, it also destroys data limits. One of my friend's monthly mobile data limit of 2GB was devoured by Windows in downloading the Creators Update. While we can set individual Wi-Fi connections as Metered, the same facility should be extended to Ethernet as well as USB modem connections.
Moreover, Windows should at least give an estimate of how much data a particular update will consume. Finally, an option where one could go to Microsoft website, download a collection of updates and fixes, and install them. Wait, we had that option in way of Service Packs which Microsoft killed.
5. Don't Change My Settings
The last suggestion is about Windows messing with user settings after every big update. Many users have discovered that their settings like default apps, privacy options and few others get reset after updates. Default Web browser gets reset to Edge, image viewer to Photos app and video player to the Movies & TV app.
We get it, you want Edge and the other Microsoft apps to be adopted by everyone, but changing settings sneakily is not the way to go. The solution is straight forward to this one. Just leave the damn settings as they are!
Are Windows Update Really That Bad?
No, updates in general, to any piece of software are a good thing. Updates bring new features, plug loopholes, fix bugs and enhance security. Windows is no different, but the way with which the execution is done is bad. The scenario is, hopefully, improving with each update. Though there are still isolated incidents being reported on various forums and social platforms.
But let's be honest, the critical work which we do, that is interrupted by an update is mostly browsing dank memes and YouTube-binging. So the bottom line is, if few minutes of downtown is acceptable to you, let the update complete.