Posted on November 7, 2014 · Posted in Windows 7

How to Correctly Uninstall Updates in Windows

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If the update causes issues on the computers of many users and it is confirmed by Microsoft specialists, the update is withdrawn and replaced with a new one in some time with the bugs fixed.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:

Attention! The opportunity to uninstall updates is a temporary solution to be used, firstly, to restore a system or an app and, secondly, to make sure that the issue has been caused by the new security update. This problem should be reported to Microsoft support and you should wait for a new version of update. Never disable automatic system update, neither uninstall updates in order to improve the performance of your system, nor to clear some space on the disk (to do it, the latest Windows versions have an update cleanup wizard that allows to remove older versions of the updated files).

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.

Uninstall Windows updates from Control Panel

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.

Uninstall update in windows

Click Yes when prompted if you want to uninstall this update.

confirm update uninstall

And wait till it is uninstalled.

Please wait while updates are 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.

delete security update with wusa

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:

Windows update «Security Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2790113)» was successfully uninstalled. (Command line: «wusa.exe  /quiet /uninstall /kb:2790113 /promptrestart»)

wusa event id 7

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.

Search Update in WSUS

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.

Approve updates in WSUS

Then select a group of computers you need and choose Approved for Removal in the drop-down list.

WSUS Update approved for removal

In our example, we want to uninstall updates on the group of computers under the name Servers (more about WSUS targeting).

WSUS update removal

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.

Prefix Uninstall:

After the update has been uninstalled, this event is displayed in Windows Update History.

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).

GPO Startup/Shutdown Scripts

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.

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