Sometimes it happens that the security updates for Microsoft products under MS Patch Tuesday cause problems with the OS or third-party software. The issues caused by the updates can be either mass and occur in a large number of users or private that occur in some combinations of an OS and certain versions of third-party software.
If the update causes issues on the computers of many users and it is confirmed by Microsoft specialists, the update is withdrawn and replaced with a new one in some time with the bugs fixed. But if necessary, in OS Windows there is an opportunity to uninstall security updates.
In this article we’ll show how to correctly uninstall the updates in Windows OS (the article covers Windows 7/ 8/ 2008 /2012).
There are several ways to uninstall updates in Windows 7 / Windows 8:
How to Uninstall Updates Manually Using the Control Panel
The easiest and the most intuitive way is to uninstall the updates from the Control Panel. To do it, open the Control Panel and click View installed updates in Programs and Features.
A list of all updates installed in the system appears in the next window. Find the one you need (the one you don’t need, to be precise ), click it and run remove wizard by pressing Uninstall.
Click Yes when prompted if you want to uninstall this update.
And wait till it is uninstalled.
After the update is uninstalled, Windows can require to restart the system.
How to Uninstall Windows Update Using the Command Line
Windows updates can also be uninstalled from the command line. To do it, there is a tool wusa.exe (Windows Update Standalone Installer) in the system.
Uninstall the KB2790655 update using the following command under the administrator privileges:
wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2790655
A user must confirm the removing of the update.
If the update has to be uninstalled in a quiet mode without asking a user and notifying about of the subsequent restart of the system, the command will look like that:
wusa.exe /quiet /uninstall /kb:2790655 /promptrestart
The event of Windows update deinstallation is written in the system log Setup EventID 7 with the source of WUSA:
Using PsExec you can uninstall an update on a remote computer, the command is as follows:
psexec.exe \\RemotePC C:\Windows\System32\wusa.exe /quiet /uninstall /kb:2790655 /warnrestart:600
How to Uninstall Updates on the WSUS Server
If a corporate WSUS server is used in a company to install updates to the computers, the updates can be uninstalled from the Update Manager console. To do it, right-click the Updates branch and then click Search in the menu.
Specify the number of a KB or a security bulletin you need to find and click Find now. In the list containing the updates that have been found for different Windows versions, select the updates to be uninstalled and click Approve in the menu.
Then select a group of computers you need and choose Approved for Removal in the drop-down list.
In our example, we want to uninstall updates on the group of computers under the name Servers (more about WSUS targeting).
After the data of Windows Update on the WSUS clients have been updated (it is scheduled or can be done manually by running wuauclt /detectnow), the corresponding update appears with the prefix (Uninstall:) in its name in the Windows Update panel.
After the update has been uninstalled, this event is displayed in Windows Update History.
How to Uninstall Updates Using the Group Policies
If you want to remove a specific update on multiple computers of Active Directory domain that doesn’t use WSUS, you can use Startup/Shutdown function of the Group Policies.
To do it, create a new GPO object aimed at the necessary OU/ website / computer group. Then create a new script using the command wusa in Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Windows Settings -> Scripts (Startup/Shutdown).
So, we have covered common scenarios of how to uninstall updates on Windows computers. However, sometimes an update won’t be uninstalled from the system. The most likely that you will have to boot from the boot disk and uninstall the updates using DISM or Hotfix uninstall from MSDaRT.