I am endlessly frustrated with how Windows Updates are presented. There is a long list of them every week, and on the one hand, I don't want to miss out on the occasional legitimate security fix or improvement that I would want. Granted, I don't recall a single instance of this ever happening in over a decade of using it.

However, the descriptions are very opaque. The vast majority of the updates are called "Update for Windows ## (KB#######)". The description in the Windows Update dialog says:

Install this update to resolve issues in Windows. For a complete listing of the issues that are included in this update, see the associated Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Of course there is a link to the web page, which is sometimes more specific, but when I have dozens of updates I need to decide whether to install, and hundreds that I'm trying to decide whether to uninstall, this becomes a little tedious.

It doesn't help that Microsoft often hides harmful updates like Windows 10 nagware and telemetry spying in the list.

When I want to see if there's any useless programs I don't want on my computer, I can easily do that: The Add/Remove Programs dialog shows a nice list with helpful names and icons that's enough for me to quickly skip past the 95% of stuff I have that's not interesting, and home in on the 5% that I want to investigate more closely.

Is there a way to do the same for Windows Updates?


As DavidPostill mentions tech websites are the best place for information.

The notes provided are primarily for system admins running a WSUS server to decide if an update is going to impact a production environment.

Microsoft's opinion of home users (Reinforced heavily with windows 10 now enforcing home user updates in many ways) is that you don't need to go into the nitty gritty details, and in most cases we don't. The time we need to read is when something has been affected and we need to rollback. You cant necessarily know that an individual update will cause problems until it has interacted with something else.

For the most part your average user isn't going to be able to say "KB495922 changes how Windows handles how fonts are loaded into memory, that wont cause me problems." Which doesn't sound bad, until adobe doesn't update their software for 4 years to comply with the new security requirements. (True story)

What i'm trying to say is I honestly would not worry about it too much. Windows 7 Mainstream support has ended as of 2015, you are now getting security updates. It is recommended to install these.

Alternatively you can defer updates for a several weeks. This will allow others to identify faulty patches, and either have them removed, or have fixes available when you get them. Windows 7 you can do this easily, windows 10 you will need a pro copy to defer updates (Again, a microsoft attempt to enforce updates on home users.)

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