Quick guide to uninstall an update in Windows 11 via Settings and Command Prompt OR Windows Recovery when your PC won’t boot after an update.
Windows updates are meant to add new features to the OS and enhance both system performance and user experience. It’s recommended that you update to the latest Windows version and build for the best experience.
However, Windows updates can sometimes be counterproductive and bring instability to the system. In such cases, uninstalling these updates is the quickest and straightforward fix. Here’s how you can uninstall updates on Windows 11.
1. Uninstall Updates from Windows Settings
You can view all the recent Windows 11 updates installed on the system and uninstall them via the Settings app. It’s a fairly simple process.
To uninstall updates via Settings, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select ‘Settings’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press WINDOWS + I to directly launch the ‘Settings’ app.
In the Settings app, select ‘Windows Update’ from the tabs listed on the left.
Next, click on ‘Update history’ on the right.
You can now view all the Windows 11 updates installed on your PC.
To uninstall an update, scroll down and select ‘Uninstall updates’ at the bottom.
This will open a separate Command Prompt window, with all the updates listed here. Select the one you want to uninstall and click on ‘Uninstall’ at the top.
Note: You can also reach this section via the Control Panel. Launch the Control Panel, select the ‘Uninstall a program’ option under ‘Programs’, and then click on ‘View installed updates’ at the left.
Finally, click ‘Yes’ on the confirmation box that pops up to complete the process.
The update will be uninstalled, and if prompted, restart the computer to complete the process.
2. Uninstall Windows Updates using Command Prompt
Many users find Command Prompt a quick and convenient way to perform actions on the system. The good news is, you can view and uninstall Windows updates via an elevated Command Prompt with a few simple commands.
First, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, enter ‘Windows Terminal’ in the text field at the top, right-click on the relevant search result, and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu. Click ‘Yes’ on the UAC box that appears.
The Windows PowerShell tab opens by default, if you haven’t changed the default profile in Terminal settings. To open the ‘Command Prompt’ tab, click on the downward-facing arrow at the top and select ‘Command Prompt’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + 2 to launch the ‘Command Prompt’.
In the Command Prompt tab, type or paste the following command and press ENTER to execute it. This command will list the Windows updates installed on your PC.
wmic qfe list brief /format:table
Each update will have a specific ‘HotFixID’ corresponding to it. Note down the one for the update that you want to uninstall.
Next, type or paste the following command and press ENTER to execute it. This command uninstalls the update.
wusa /uninstall /kb:HotFixID
In the above command, replace ‘HotFixID’ with the one for the update that you want to uninstall. Also, make sure to enter just the numeric part of the ID in the above command since ‘kb’ has already been included. For instance, to uninstall the first update in the list, we replaced ‘HotFixID’ with ‘5004342’.
Click ‘Yes’ on the ‘Windows Update Standalone Installer’ confirmation box that appears.
The Windows 11 update will now be uninstalled. If prompted, restart the computer to complete the process.
3. Uninstall Updates via Windows RE (Recovery) when your PC won’t boot
Many users have reported errors with Windows ability to boot after installing an update, in which case, the above methods wouldn’t be applicable. Here, you can uninstall Windows updates from the Windows RE (Recovery Environment). In this method, we would take advantage of the Windows feature that automatically launches the ‘Automatic Repair Mode’ when Windows crash thrice consecutively during boot.
Note: Employ this method only when you are unable to boot the Windows normally since this method could damage the system.
Turn on your PC and wait for the Windows to start booting. As soon as it does, press the power button to turn off the system. Repeat the process of turning off the system as soon as the Windows starts to boot thrice. Now, when you turn on the system the fourth time, Windows will enter the Automatic Repair Mode.
It will next diagnose your PC for any problems as to why the Windows crashed thrice consecutively.
As expected, it wouldn’t be able to repair the problem, since none existed in the first place as you force crashed the Windows. From here we can launch the Windows RE by clicking on ‘Advanced options’.
Next, select ‘Troubleshoot’ from the list of options.
You will now have two options on the screen, select ‘Advanced options’.
In the Advanced options section, click on ‘Uninstall Updates’.
Next, choose the type of update you want to uninstall. Feature updates are released twice each year while quality updates are released periodically to fix bugs and enhance system performance.
Next, click on ‘Uninstall quality update’.
The latest update will now be uninstalled.
These are all the ways you can uninstall Windows 11 updates on your system. These would work well in all cases, whether the Windows boot on your PC or not.