Windows Update Messed Up My Computer – Fix Problems Caused by Windows Updates

Windows Update aims to ensure that Windows and other Microsoft software are up-to-date. However, sometimes specific update patches can cause issues, ranging from severe problems, such as error messages that prevent Windows from starting or freezing during the update process, to less severe cases, such as video or audio problems.

If you believe that Windows Update messed up your computer and the problem you are facing occurred only after installing one or more Windows updates, whether manual, automatic or otherwise, here are some tips to resolve it.

Why Windows Updates Cause Issues

Windows updates are designed to improve the performance, stability, and security of Windows and other Microsoft software. However, updates can cause issues for a variety of reasons, such as:

  1. Compatibility Issues: The new update may not be compatible with your system hardware, drivers, or installed software, which can cause conflicts and result in system errors.
  2. Software Bugs: Windows updates can introduce new bugs or errors not present before the update. These bugs can cause issues ranging from minor glitches to major system crashes.
  3. Interrupted Update Process: If the update process is interrupted due to power failure, network connectivity issues, or other reasons, it can result in corrupted files, which can cause problems when the system is restarted.
  4. Incomplete Update: Sometimes, the update process may fail to complete successfully, leaving some files or components missing or corrupted, leading to issues when the system is restarted.
  5. Malware or Viruses: Viruses can exploit vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system or installed software. Updates may not always address these vulnerabilities, exposing your system to attack.

How to Fix Problems Caused by Windows Updates

After determining that your issue is caused by installing one or more Windows updates, the next step is identifying whether Windows is starting successfully. Then, depending on the scenario, you can follow different troubleshooting steps.

Windows Update Messed Up My Computer

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To clarify, here are the two situations:

  • Windows Starts Successfully: You can access your Desktop or Start Screen but may be experiencing issues with specific programs, Internet connectivity, or general system slowness.
  • Windows Does Not Start Successfully: You cannot access your Desktop or Start Screen and may encounter various issues such as the Blue Screen of Death, a black screen, a frozen login screen, or a menu of diagnostic options, preventing you from entirely booting into Windows.

You can resolve your issue as a Windows Update problem by following one of the sections below respectively. 

If Windows Starts Successfully

Fix 1: Restarting Your Computer

The problem you’re experiencing may be a temporary one caused by corrupt temporary files on your device. Removing the problematic file is simple – you can restart your computer. This method has proven effective for many users in resolving their issues, so it’s worth a try.

Fix 2: Uninstall the Problematic Update

If the problem occurs immediately after a recent Windows update, the update is likely the root cause. To determine if this is the case, you can try uninstalling the update using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Start > Settings > Windows Update > Update history.Update History in Settings
  2. Select Uninstall updates located under Related settings.Uninstall Updates in related settings
  3. Locate the newly installed update and select the Uninstall button.Uninstall updates in update history
  4. Confirm the operation by clicking Uninstall, and the update will be removed from your computer.

Fix 3: Go Back to the Previous Version of Windows

Suppose you need to remove a feature update. In that case, you can use the “Go back” feature to revert to the previous version of Windows within a 10-day timeframe. This process is straightforward, and you can follow these steps to do it:

  1. First, navigate to Start > Settings > System > Recovery.Setting in Start Menu
  2. Then, click the Go back button to uninstall the new feature update and revert to the prior Windows version.

Fix 4: Perform a System Restore

If you cannot uninstall specific updates, or the Go back feature is disabled. Still, you have already created a system restore point. System Restore can revert your Windows to its previous working state. 

  1. Use the Windows search function to locate Control Panel, and click on the first result to launch it.
  2. Navigate to Recovery. Recovery in Control Panel
  3. Then click on Open System Restore.Open System Restore in Recovery
  4. Click on Next to proceed.System Restore
  5. Select the desired system restore point from the list, then select Scan for affected programs.Scan for affected programs
  6. A list of items that will be removed during the system restore process will appear. If everything looks good, click Close, Next, and Finish to initiate the system restore process.

Fix 5: Reset Your PC

If none of the previously mentioned methods apply to your situation, you can attempt to reset your PC. During this process, you will be given the option to retain or remove your files.

  1. Access the Start menu and select Settings > System > Recovery.
  2. Click on the Reset PC button located under Recovery options.Trouble shoot to Reset the PC
  3. Select either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything”.Further options in Reset This PC
  4. Enter your password and confirm your selection by clicking Reset.

If Windows Does Not Start Successfully

Fix 1: Restart Your Computer

If your computer fails to boot up properly, attempting a restart is an excellent first step. To do so, press the power button for approximately 10 seconds to forcibly shut down the computer. Next, wait for about one minute, and then press the power button again to initiate the restart process.

Fix 2: Use Safe Mode

To troubleshoot issues caused by default settings or basic device drivers, you can try booting your computer into Safe Mode. Windows runs with a limited set of files and drivers. If the problem disappears, it could be an issue with the newly installed updates. You can uninstall the methods mentioned above or perform a system restore.

Since the universal method to access Safe Mode is not possible when your computer fails to start normally, follow these steps instead:

  1. Press and hold the power button for a few seconds to turn off your computer.
  2. Press the power button to turn on your computer. When the logo screen appears, press and hold down the power button again to force shut down your device. Repeat this step three times until you see the Automatic Repair screen.
  3. Click on Advanced options to enter WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment).
  4. Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Then, press the mentioned key to enter Safe Mode.Stuartup Settings

Fix 3: Reset Your PC

To fix issues caused by a Windows update that can’t be resolved using the methods mentioned earlier, you can reset your PC through Automatic Repair. Here are the steps:

  1. Use the earlier method to enter the Automatic Repair screen.
  2. Next, click Troubleshoot, then select Reset this PC.Trouble shoot to Reset the PC
  3. Choose Keep my files or Remove everything, depending on your preference, and follow the on-screen instructions to reset your computer.Further options in Reset This PC

How To Prevent Problems Caused by Windows Updates

While Windows updates are essential to keep your system secure and up-to-date, there are a few steps you can take to prevent issues caused by updates:

  1. Make a System Restore Point: Make a system restore point before installing any updates. This allows you to revert to a previous state if something goes wrong during the update process.
  2. Delay Automatic Updates: If you’re concerned about updates causing issues, you can delay automatic updates. Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options in Windows. Here, you can choose to defer updates for some time.
  3. Check for Known Issues: Before installing any updates, check if there are any known issues. You can do this by visiting the Windows release information page.
  4. Keep Drivers Updated: Keeping your drivers updated can help prevent conflicts with updates. Regularly check for driver updates from your manufacturer’s website or through Device Manager.
  5. Disable Third-Party Antivirus: Sometimes, third-party antivirus software can interfere with Windows updates. If you’re experiencing issues, try disabling your antivirus for some time and see if that resolves the problem.


In conclusion, Windows updates are an essential part of maintaining the security and functionality of your computer. However, sometimes these updates can cause issues such as crashes, freezes, and other errors. Following the troubleshooting tips outlined in this guide, you can fix many of these issues and get your Windows PC back up and running smoothly. It is essential to remember that prevention is the best approach. Regularly backing up your critical data and creating a system restore points can mitigate the risk of data loss or damage caused by Windows updates.

Why do Windows updates cause problems?

Windows updates can cause problems due to bugs or compatibility issues with other software and hardware on your compute

How can I uninstall a problematic Windows update?

You can uninstall a problematic Windows update by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history > Uninstall updates.

Can I prevent Windows updates from automatically installing?

Yes, you can prevent Windows updates from automatically installing by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options > Pause updates or Change active hours.

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