How to uninstall Windows Vista updates

In our previous article about Windows Update we have shown you how to update your system and how to configure the automatic updates of your system. In this short tutorial we will show you how to uninstall updates installed via Windows Update.

To uninstall any Windows update you need to go to Programs and Features. There are several ways to find it. One of the simplest is to use the search box from the Start Menu.

Start Menu

In the Programs and Features window, click on the View installed updates link.

Programs and Features

After a few seconds, Windows Vista will load the list of installed updates. Scroll down until you find the update you want to remove, select it with the mouse and then click on Uninstall.

Programs and Features

Windows Vista will ask you to confirm that you want to uninstall the update you selected. Click on Yes and the uninstall procedure will start.

Programs and Features

Depending on the size of the update, the uninstall procedure can take from a few seconds up to several minutes.

Programs and Features

Wait until the above window disappears and then, if needed, reboot your PC. The update is now removed.

Related articles:
How to work with the new Windows Update
How to add and remove Windows Vista features
Add/Remove Programs – nowhere to be found?

33 thoughts on “How to uninstall Windows Vista updates”

    • Updates – delete history of all installed updates
      1 In the Start menu search box, type “services.msc” and press Enter
      2 Stop the Windows Update service (leave the window open – you will restart the service in step 4)
      3 Navigate to your Windows folder (C:WINDOWS) and delete the folder named “SoftwareDistribution”
      4 Restart the Windows Update service
      5 Open Windows Update by clicking the Start Button and entering “Windows Update” in the search box
      6 Ta-da! Windows Update states that you have never checked for updates! Simply click “Check for Updates” and you’re ready to begin installing updates!

  1. Folder where the updates are downloaded before being installed
    i recntly downloaded aproximately 42 updates for my vista pc, but something made it crash, taking space in my HD and still not getting the updates, now, when i go to WU(Windows Update) to install them it justs download them again, still taking space, now, because of this i’m running on a critical space warning, my HD is only 40 GB and now the non-installed, space consuming updates have shrinked it to less than a GB, now, where is the folder that contains the files that have the updates but are yet not installed?, so i can free up some space before i buy my new HD???

    • Locatiopn where updates are installed
      hey, fella!

      Im going to tell you how to find the folder in which your Updates are located.

      First, go to Control Panel.

      Double Click Programs and Features.

      Look to the pane on the left and you should see a set of Task’s to perform within this folder.

      Click on the option that says. View Installed Updates.

      Wait for the updates to appear.

      Click on the “Organize Button just above the list of Updates. A menu will pop up. Scroll down to “Layout” then once it slide open its menu, Click on “Menu Bar” That will add classic menu bar to the top of the folder.

      Now simply click on the “View” tab. Scroll down to “Choose Details” Click on Choose Details and a window will pop open. In this Window look for an empty check box next to the word “Location” click on that box and make sure a check is in that box, then click “OK” now go to the folder in which you were viewing the Updates and refresh it (if the locations havent already appeared under the location tab.) Then just read the location and go to it on your hard drive. Also make sure you have the VIEW SETTINGS for this folder set to “DETAILS”

      Good Luck!!

  2. completely desperate
    some days ago my automatic updates were not correctly installed and today, when i installed vista sp1, the problems only just started: first of all, it could not really install the sp, now my computer always tries to install it when rebooting, but gets to step 1 of 3 99%, then stops.
    each time i reboot, i get an error message, then i have to select my keyboard (german), a test runs, i get the error “ntoskrnl.exe is corrupt”, the computer starts and again, tries to install the service pack, the i can use it normally. When i try to install the sp1 once again, it tells me “was installed” and i see a green frame but when rebooting the same sh.. starts all over again.
    next problem – i can’t uninstall ANY update – neither sp1 nor a simple optional update – no idea why, i’m admin on my laptop and till today, i didn’t have any probs
    plz somebody – help me :’-(

    • my friend had the same
      my friend had the same problem on his laptop
      it kept restarting and never finished installing the updates!!!
      i fixed it for him by using my computer i searched for a start up and repair disk, on the net, and downloaded it, its about 120 mb and its
      free, from Microsoft, i for get the site i got it from but it explained to
      me to me to burn the start up and repair download as .iso or otherwise known as an disk image, as opoused to like data disk or music disk its called iso any way that’s the type of burn u do with the start up and repair down load,
      then u have to make sure in ur bios that its set up to boot from cd first as opoused to booting from the hard drive first, google bios start up, if ur confused (to get to bios hit delete button repeatedly the second u turn on ur machine or tab or f11 or f12 or what ever button it says to hit to enter bios usually u see on the screen in the first second of turning on machine)
      . any who booting from the start up and repair disk restore ur computer to an earlier time to about a week or so or maby a month or so b4 u first started having the installing updates restarting problem, and after u click restore it takes a while so be patent and it might look like it froze so dont power off after it has finished restoring when u restart ur computer it should work again.
      try google restore using start up and repair disk if ur confused
      and a tip is in the restore to an earlier time window it only gives u like 5 restore points which could all be in the one day
      if u look down at the end of the window ul see a back to previous months of restore points and click back and it should now show u loads more of restore points from previous months

      • PC accidentally shut down during an update, will not start
        same thing as the person above, but the sytem restore worked twice (it kept going back to the update loop) now it does not show any restore points and the startup repair does nothing (it says if found nothing wrong when you look at the details). using command prompt is there a way to go in there and delete this last up date that is in a constant loop? does deleting the software distribution folder take care of this or would we be at the point of having to re-install all over again?

  3. delete downloaded vista update
    vista sp1 update was downloaded to my computer and the “new updates are avaliable” Icon appered on my taskbar. I do not want to run sp1 update. Is there a way to delete the downloaded sp1 update and remove the “new updates are avaliable” Icon from my taskbar for the sp1 update case

  4. svchost.exe
    I wonder if I can unistall windows update completely. so i will never update my windows. because when i connect to the internet, eventhough the automatic update is OFF, the svchost.exe uses my cpu 100% and makes my pc to work very slowly. it takes 5 minutes and then the svchost.exe becomes down. so please help me in this. I’ve read in a website that to repair this problem I should uninstall windows update but i don’t know how to do it in vista. I can’s find it in programm list in control panel.
    please please help me in this ‘couse i’m really suffering.

  5. Updates come back after
    Updates come back after removing using above method

    I removed mutiple updates (click “restart later”) at one go. Does this cause all these problems?

    Also, I noticed “CPU performance” (control panel > power options > change plan settings > change advance plan settings) has disappeared after reformatting. I formatted again but that option has vanished for some reason. Please help!

  6. Windows Update
    After I installed the Service Pack 1 windows update, I got problems after problems:
    1. When I reboot, I get a chkdsk running, and all my registries and indexes are changed. deleted or what have you.
    2. Then I lost my sound. My volume icon shows “No audio output device is installed”. I did everything like uninstall the driver from the Device Manager but still no sound.
    3. Next, my photos could no longer be viewed and even my wallpaper is gone.
    4. Next my windows update won’t run, then my AVG virus file won’t update.
    5. On start-up, I get messages like
    a. Bad image: Windowssystem 32WindowsCodecs.dll may be corrupted or missing.
    b. Conexant HD Smart Audio 221 is not designed to run on this blah blah blah
    c. Exception Processing Image: OxC00007b Parameters 0x759692A0 repeatedly
    d. C:Windowssystem32jscript.dll
    I e.ven get an Ocx error.
    I also got a bad image message like CLayout Host-Wind Tool-tip YahooM-1.exe blah blah and then my yahoo mails won’t show the body text of my emails but only show the subject.

    Please help

  7. uninstalling updates
    I tried uninstalling Windows Vista Service Pack 1. However, after running uninstall, I get message “Not all updates were uninstalled” How do I get to remove all so I can either live without the SP1 or reinstall it if it did not previously correctly install?
    I still do not have my sound and images. Is there some registry fixes I can download so I can retrieve my old setup?

  8. Uninstall Optional Updates
    Optional updates don’t show up under installed updates the way the others do but they do show up under update history. How do you uninstall those?

  9. How to delete all KB file updates after the update is installed
    In XP I used to be able to do delete the KB update files after the updates were applied. The KB files were then just data files. I could delete them using $Unintall. How can I delete the same KB files in VISTA?


  10. uninstall windows updates
    I am trying to uninstall a windows update that has compatablity issues with my accounting program. I can view the updates, but when I click (or right click) on them, I get a message to expand or collapse, and that’s all. No message to remove. How do I get this message?

  11. Windows Updates
    I have updated vista last january, now when after i updated it again few days back, i see there are lot of updates been installed in “installed updates” (including the previous updates on January)…i feel there is a quiet a lot of updates which takes more space with many updates named security update & update for windows…….Is that Iam installing the same update again and again or can i identify the unwanted one and remove them all…..? plz help

  12. A Windows Update I uninstalled and would like back
    Due to the idiotic new update that restricts the use of unsigned drivers I’ve been through every update in detail.
    I’m using Vista Home Premium x64.
    Now I found that update (KB932596) is the one I needed rid of, but while doing that I got the numbers mixed up and uninstalled (KB938979) as well. This one is a windows performance update, frees up RAM and allows a greater amount of the Virtual memory to be used on graphical burdens, I want it back but the download the Center sent me to says it’s not for my system.
    It would help if you could just tell me how to get Windows to search for it from the Update section, I know exactly which one I want and it’s obviously still in my update history. Problem is finding a way of reinstalling it.

  13. Vista Update Removal using another method…?
    Is there any other way to delete an update besides the 1 shown above… it turns out this update (KB938371) can break AVG and eventually cause you to experience the Blue Screen of Death… and i want to delete it but i don’t get that ”uninstall” option at the top bar… is there any other way to do it, like using the CMD or something please i have started experiencing the Blue Screen and i’ve tried almost everything… and reinstalling Vista is not an option… please help me!!

    • Also need another way to remove updates.
      I just installed two important updates and several optional ones, only to find that after they were installed that it now takes over five minutes for my system to fully boot to the desktop. I expected some slow down on the reboot after the installation, but having booted three or of four more times, I’m still experiancing the very long boot-ups. After the cylon thingie my screen goes black for a longer than normal period, then the mouse pointer shows, followed by the Vista curtin and logo, but then the screen goes black for an even longer period, which it didn’t do before the updates were installed, and finally the desktop shows, but again blinks out, before it stays up, but even then I don’t have control for another minute or so.

      When I look at the system event logs I see a service hung error message that followed by several more services that can’t start because they are dependent on the hung service.

      My hope is that I can remove the updates one at a time until I figure out which one is causing the problems, but I can’t use the regular way because when I go to the installed updates screen my system just shows the circle thing and doesn’t show any updates after several minutes.

      By the way this happened when I installed the same set up updates in Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit, and I ended up wiping the system and starting over with 32-bit version because eventually the video card starts to ‘reboot’ itself.

      If I restore to a checkpoint then I will loose all of the updates, and I’d rather just know how to ‘downgrade’ updates should this problem reoccur.

      Thank you.

  14. My laptop lost power before
    My laptop lost power before it was finished installing updates now every time i start it up it starts configuring updates 3/3 (I belive there were seven to be installed, but it was only half way through the third) then it restarts and the process repeats. Once it got to the login screen.

  15. help
    Need help unistalling windows vista and installing it again!! Is that possible? For some reason after we reinstalled it, we can not see any wireless networks around. but my other laptop does… any suggestions onhow to fix this? best buy guy said we must unistall and install and they want about 300 dlls….;(

  16. how to install uninstalled update?
    by mistake i uninstall 1 update, even i couldnt see the name. after my pc start to have dll. error. i cannot open any photos and so on.. pls tell me how to install again uninstalled update? thanks:Nara

  17. What is the harm?
    I have been having issues with one of the software programs that I have used for over a year on my PC that is running Vista. When I try to open this program this past week after about 3 minutes I get a message saying “Windows Explorer is not Responding”. I think that maybe one of the Windows updates has created an issue with running this software program. What would be the harm in deleting all the windows updates I have received since this issue started about a week ago. I think there are about 15 updates that have happened in this past week.
    Thank you.

  18. Microsoft office Excel crashes after Windows updates are install
    Any time I attempt opening a previously created Excel sheet, a “Microsoft office Excel has stopped working” message pops up. This happens after the Windows update KB982308 has been installed. I have uninstalled and re-installed Microsoft office suite but it does not seem to fix it. My systems operating system is Windows Vista Business. I always have to restore my system to a previous time when Excel worked. This seems to fix it temporarily but the problem re-appears once Windows update runs again. Suggestion required.

  19. I open up the list of
    I open up the list of installed updates, but the update that i wish to uninstall is not there. I know that I actually installed it because when I go to windows update it says I installed it. Not only does it not show that update, but it doesn’t show the last 20 or so updates that were installed on my computer. How do I uninstall the update that it isn’t even there?

  20. uninstall windows update problems
    when i uninstall old windows updates, intead of them being completely gone from my pc, when i get the icon showing ‘new updates available’ i click on and it shows me the available updates, which includes my updates that i had allready uninstalled. how do i delete these uninstalled updates from my system permanatly ??

  21. KB Updates?
    I clean installed my Vista Home Premium x64 Bit PC but experienced problems with KB updates many did not install, failed, is there a batch program that can be run to remove KB and Service Pack Updates, so that I can reinstall these again please?
    email me at [email protected] THANX

  22. Microsoft updates
    The Microsoft Windows (Vista) updates are messing up my computer, (not allowing me to use myexternal hardrive.) I have uninstalled the auto updates causing the problem and changed the settings so they will not just reload automatically. BUT when I restart as directed the uninstalled updates are reconfigured and I can’t get rid of them! Can anyone help?

  23. to install recently installed update by windows update
    by using “programs & featured i have unistalled all the recently installed update by windows update but unable to uninstall “update for microsoft windows (KB2533552)”& “update for 2007 microsoft office system (KB967642)”.Pease help me in this regards.

  24. Computer will not shut down since latest updates were installed
    My computer will not shut down since the last updates were installed. It gets to the “logging off” screen and will not shut down from there. I did a restore and had it working fine, however a day later, the same updates installed again and the same problem happened. I have to use the main power button to shut it down. Has anyone else had this problem and have any ideals as to how to fix this? Your help would be appreciated!

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