Windows Update not only automatically updates the Windows 10 operating system – it also automatically updates hardware & # 39; s. That resulted in many bugs, but Microsoft makes improvements ̵
How Windows 10 has updated your & # 39; s driver
Much has been written about Windows 10 & # 39; s automatic operating system updates, but hardware & # 39; s often overlooked. Device manufacturers can upload new versions of their & # 39; s drivers to Windows Update and Windows 10 installs them automatically when they are available.
Hardware drivers & # 39; s can contain serious security issues or bugs that lead to serious operating system instability. Most people do not update their & # 39; s hardware drivers manually, and most PC manufacturers have terrible & # 39; s driver updating tools. That is why Windows provides hardware drivers and their updates via Windows Update.
This also makes it possible to install Windows 10 on a new PC without detecting most hardware & # 39; s – Windows will automatically find and install the relevant & # 39; s relevant drivers.
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
Unfortunately, this automatic update process has repeatedly led to the intrusion of bugs. Here are just a few examples. The following drivers were all installed automatically by Windows Update, causing hardware to suddenly break for no apparent reason:
- In March 2017, Microsoft released a device driver that broke the MTP protocol used by Android phones, media players, and other portable devices. They are only shown in File Explorer when you have completed a 13-step process in Device Manager to undo the damage.
- In October 2018, Microsoft released an update to the Intel audio driver that interrupted audio playback on some systems. Microsoft said the audio driver update "was pushed to devices incorrectly".
- A month later, Microsoft released a graphical update to the Intel graphics driver that interrupted audio playback on other systems. Microsoft said that Intel had issued the wrong versions of its display driver & # 39; s to PC manufacturers.
- In February 2016, chip maker FTDI used Windows Update to push an update that identified counterfeit chips and switched them off to the design. Of course they were fakes, but FTDI used Windows Update automatic driver updates to break functional hardware that had been misled by some people. This was the second time that FTDI used Windows Update to attack counterfeits. In 2014, FTDI used Windows Update to push a driver that actually "confused" the counterfeit hardware, making it non-functional.
We have heard anecdotally from many other cases of automatic driver updates that cause damage to well-functioning systems. . These are just a few examples that we remember.
It would be nice if these updates were better tested and if some were optional. Microsoft does exactly that with a few recent changes.
Get ready for optional driver updates
Microsoft now allows driver manufacturers to mark driver updates as "Manual" instead of "Automatic" when uploading to Windows Update. This new option was made available to manufacturers on February 19, 2020.
Starting with Windows 10 & # 39; s forthcoming 2004 update, also known as 20H1 and expected in the spring of 2020, these drivers & # 39; s will be available behind a new "View optional updates" link on the Windows screen Update settings.
This screen shows optional driver updates for your PC's hardware. It says: & # 39; If you have a specific problem, one of these drivers can help. Otherwise your updates will keep your driver & # 39; s up-to-date. In other words, Microsoft encourages most people not to worry about these updates.
Important driver updates with security fixes and patches for other serious bugs are still marked as "automatic" and are automatically installed by Windows Update.
RELATED: What's new in the 20H1 update of Windows 10, in the spring of 2020
All automatic driver updates get a slow rollout  Microsoft's announcement says that all its partners can now mark hardware driver & # 39; s updates as "automatic." In the beginning that sounds a bit doubtful: do we really need more automatic hardware driver updates?
However, it looks like Microsoft is about to do much more testing of this & # 39; s. When a new driver version is marked as & # 39; automatically & # 39 ;, it is slowly rolled out to Windows 10 PCs & # 39; s with & # 39; throttling & # 39 ;, just like important updates for Windows 10. First only gets a small number of PC users the update. Microsoft can automatically detect problems and pause the rollout. Windows Update does not only automatically offer the driver update on all PCs.
Microsoft & # 39; s Kevin Tremblay explains how driver updates should make buggy less in a comment about the Microsoft Tech Community:
All drivers & # 39; s published as automatic are subject to flight from the driver and gradual rollout. During these periods we evaluate telemetry about the performance of the driver and its effects on the overall health of the system. In this way we deal with many driver problems before they write the Windows user file. From the end user's perspective, we believe that this will result in delivering higher quality drivers (stable, high performance) and a better ability to stay current.
It is unclear how many hardware drivers & # 39; s previously went through this gradual process until the February 2020 change. However, it was not all. An article published in 2019 on Microsoft & # 39; s Hardware Dev Center portal for hardware manufacturers says, "Eventually, all & # 39; s drivers that are submitted to Windows Update will be rolled out gradually." This suggests that some driver updates were immediately pushed to all applicable devices without the gradual deployment process.
Microsoft fights against the bugs of Windows 10
Microsoft is still struggling with bugs – just look at the recent bug in a security update that causes people to lose files.
In general, Microsoft has made the Windows 10 updates more stable. The November 10 update of Windows 10 was the best so far, and Microsoft is currently giving the 2004 update a long period for bug testing.
Driver updates are not bugs overnight, but driver & # 39; s must be gradually installed testing process is a wise step that should improve things.
RELATED: Windows 10 & # 39; s update from November 2019 is the best so far