Are Automatic Windows 10 Updates Necessarily a Good Thing?

Windows 10’s October update has had an incredibly rocky release. The first take deleted people’s files, and the second pass caused widespread audio issues. HP machines also suffered major BSOD issues after the updates. Of course, the best course of advice for this problem is to not update your Windows 10 computer; however, Microsoft has been making it harder and harder to dodge their updates over the years. Where once you could delay updates for as long as you please, Windows 10 machines insist on grabbing updates and automatically restarting to install them.

In light of this news, it’s time we had another look at Windows’ automatic updates and question if they’re the best course of action. In this article we’re examining what the advantages and disadvantages are of automatic Windows updates?

The Good Bits


Automatic updates are great for quickly fixing up holes in the operating system. Every so often someone with malicious intent finds a hole through which they can exploit Windows operating systems. When this happens it’s up to Microsoft to roll out an update that fixes it before too much damage is done. By using automatic updates, Microsoft can effectively deliver security patches to people who might not even know the issue existed. Ideally, users should be learning about a problem after they’ve been properly secured against the threat.

It’s also great for people who may not have a good grasp on technology. By allowing the computer to update itself and handle everything, it takes a lot off of the shoulders of the user. This means that people who aren’t so well-versed in Windows can get the updates needed to keep their PC safe, secure, and updated.

The Bad Bits


While this may all sound good, it only really works if you assume every update coming down the pipeline is 100% beneficial for the receiving users. Unfortunately, as you see from above, recent Windows updates have been anything but. With files being deleted and computers suffering BSODs, it’s hard to say that the update plan Microsoft has is perfect.

With automatic updates, a “rotten” patch can be fatal. In the same way that positive updates can fix a threat before the user knows of its existence, a negative one can cause damage without the user fully knowing why. By giving free rein to updates, there’s always the risk that a “bad batch” is downloaded and installed before you can hear the news that it’s bad.

Are Automatic Updates Good?


So now that we’ve seen both sides, are these automatic updates a good idea? Automatic Windows updates would be great if each and every one added pure value to a user’s computer. Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing users’ My Documents folders get deleted, sound issues arising, and HP machines caught with a BSOD bug, all in one update. Until Microsoft gets the quality of their updates in check, we can’t recommend people use automatic updates.

What Should I Do in the Meantime?

This is great and all, but how do you go about fighting Windows’ urge to download updates ASAP? If you want to get Windows to stop updating your system, we’ve previously published an article on how to do that. Have a read on the different ways and see what works for you!

Unsatisfactory Updates

With Windows 10 receiving some unintentionally bad updates, it’s not a good idea to let your PC update by itself. Until Microsoft improves the quality of the updates they push down the pipeline, it’s a good idea to hold off on them until other sites and users can confirm that they’re good!

Do you still trust Windows Updates with this news? Or have you always mistrusted them? Let us know below.

Image credit: Mr ATM on Flickr

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.


  1. Unlike Linux, over time, windows automatic update also makes your system run sluggish. Even with periodic optimization, defragging, etc. the system never run as well as a clean install. To summarize, there is simply too much crap generated on windows desktop over time and Microsoft tend to test their patches on clean and not running desktops.

  2. I have always had problems with Win 10 automatic updates. They cause me hours of work recovering all my files & apps when Microsoft re-start my PC without my permission.
    Ever since installing Windows 10, I have been plagued by forced updates I don’t want & that usually scew up my PC settings.
    I stopped the automatic updates by disabling ‘Windows Update’ in my regestry but was concerened that I would not get important security updates.
    I then set my system to ‘Meetered Connection’ where Microsoft claim that they would only download updates necessary to keep my PC running smothly. I have since discovered that this only works if you are on a Wi-Fi connection. If you are connected by cable then Microsoft assumes you are not on a meetered connection, even though you have set up ‘Metered Connection’ in ‘Settings’ & automatically installs updates & re-starts your PC.

    I now leave ‘Windows Update’ disabbled in my regestry but check for updates once a week & re-boot my PC. This still gives me problems if a ‘Features’ update is included.
    The ‘Features’ updates are full of stuff I don’t want & it is these that 9 times out of 10 screw up my PC.

  3. win8 时就已经不相信windows能够非常安全的自动更新了,更新总会出现莫名奇妙的错误。我觉得理想的更新应该是可以自由选择的

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