How can I stop Windows Update installing unnecessary RealTek Drivers?

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  1. alexncfc's Avatar
    Posts : 103
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 (19042) x64
       #1

    How can I stop Windows Update installing unnecessary RealTek Drivers?


    One thing that really bugs me about Windows Update from Windows 10 and beyond is the inability to select which updates you want to install and not with checkboxes and the ability to hide updates, like on all older versions of Windows. With security and system updates, I am not overly bothered about them being installed automatically. But why does Windows 10 insist on installing drivers automatically, seemingly at random?

    This is the situation - when you go into Windows Update in Settings, there will be a section called "View all optional updates" and in there is a sub-section called Driver Updates. Under this list, I see no drivers I want to install. For a start most of them don't seem to make much sense (such as the one I've got called "INTEL - SYSTEM - 1/1/1970" with no further details available for any of them) but I do see a few "RealTek" sound related entries in here too, that I don't want as my current sound drivers are the latest, so I don't select to install these. Unlike other Windows Updates, these optional driver ones have checkboxes to give you a decision to install or not.

    However, I notice that with the RealTek ones, Windows will randomly install them when it wants - even though they are supposed to be optional. This happened last night, and it's a problem because I know the drivers I have for my onboard sound are the latest (they are May 2021 versions and I get them from the MSI website) and also once Windows installs these drivers from Windows Update, it makes my boot process last much longer (I made a post about my boot process taking longer a few months ago, turns out this was the culprit, as again Windows decided to install these RealTek drivers even though I didn't select them)

    Why is it doing this and how can I prevent it? There must be a way to stop the so-called "Optional Updates" not actually being optional at all?

    How can I stop Windows Update installing unnecessary RealTek Drivers?-realtek.jpg
    (the driver's showing as installed in Windows Update History above - I did not select these "optional updates" to install)


    Thanks for any advice
      My Computers

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,930
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, you can hide updates - just not as easily.

    a. WUmgr- Wndows Update Manager (free) - scans for update with option to hide (like some other such tools).
    b. From the Tutorial section - have you had a look there? Free to browse and search.
    Hide or Show Windows Updates in Windows 10

    or perhaps
    Prevent Windows Update from Updating Specific Device Driver


    Google yields useful results too:
    How can I stop Windows Update installing unnecessary RealTek Drivers?-1.jpg
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #3

    I feel you! This is a pesky issue that has been around since Windows 10 was released. There were several cases where I had to repar an installation just because Windows 10 installed wrong drivers.

    The killer feature you're looking for is available in Group Policy Editor. Sadly only Windows 10 Pro, Education and Enterprise and above has this. In these editions you can simply disable driver updates and Windows Update will not offer those at all. You don't have to hide them one by one, with just a simple click, all of them will be gone, even future ones.
    The home edition doesn't have this capability sadly. Disabling driver updates there is difficult.
      My Computer

  4. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,930
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #4

    @ish4d0w - alexncfc does have Pro.
    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

    But perhaps they don't wish to disable driver updates altogether- which is why I suggested the options I gave.
    (There's a tutorial for that too..).

    And there's this option:
    Turn On or Off Device Driver Automatic Installation in Windows 10
    Last edited by dalchina; 18 Jun 2021 at 04:54.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #5

    Thanks! Does the REG file trick work in the Home Edition? If so, that should do the same as the group policy change.

    The others are partial solutions only. I tried those and WU still updated drivers. Only the group policy change killed them for good.
      My Computer

  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,930
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #6

    Yes.

    For Option 2, this is extended to Home, but only if you read this comment by Brink:
    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

    Reading it strictly the tutorial text states at the top it addresses Pro upwards only. This is confusing.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #7

    Ah, so I see! That is where I got confused. Thank you very much for pointing this out!
      My Computer

  8. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,930
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #8

    Could you add a comment to that tutorial making a suggestion for clarification in the text? Thanks!
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #9

    dalchina said:
    Yes.

    For Option 2, this is extended to Home, but only if you read this comment by Brink:
    Enable or Disable Driver Updates in Windows Update in Windows 10

    Reading it strictly the tutorial text states at the top it addresses Pro upwards only. This is confusing.
    Bad news!! I just tested it the hard way, and it seems you're wrong. Brink is wrong too. @Brink @dalchina

    Windows 10 Home edition, 20H2 completely ignores option 2. The regfile was added, reboot complete and it still wants to download a truckload of wrong drivers.

    I need a means to stop this madness. One that you have tested and works because this gossip has been around for a while.

    You cannot disable driver updates by any of these methods
      My Computer

  10. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,930
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #10

    I based my comment on Brink's and quoted that. He's usually correct. Your order of criticism seems inappropriate.

    Feel free to disable Windows Update completely and take control with a 3rd party utility such as WUmgr.

    Using CMD script and VBScript to control Windows Update

    If you still find the driver is updated- well, it's not via Windows Update. (Do you have proof that's how it's happening?)

    I can't test these as I don't have your problem.


    @Brink- your comment is invited regarding post #6 and your comment after the tutorial, given what ish4d0w says. Thanks!
      My Computers


 
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