I’ve written about the Windows Update MiniTool, aka WUMT many times. That includes the Win10.Guru post “Toolkit Item: Windows Update Manager (WUMT).” As good as WUMT is, a new program from eastern European programmer David Xanatos is better. It’s called Windows Update Manager, aka WuMgr, and it’s free, Open Source, and readily available, including from the author’s own GitHub pages as well as from trusted source MajorGeeks.
The layout and operation of WuMgr is a deliberate homage to WUMT. It’s almost exactly the same in look, but offers useful and important additional functions.
[Click image for full-sized view.]
What Makes WuMgr Better Than WUMT?
Lots of things, according to developer David Xanatos, with whom I conducted a Skype interview in late October. To begin with, WuMgr is Open Source and is being actively and openly maintained. By contrast, WUMT hasn’t been changed much (or at all) since 2016, and is not Open Source. Xanatos designed WuMgr with versions of Windows 10 (e.g. Home) that don’t support the Group Policy Editor, and GPO controls over Windows Update. It’s built in C# (C-Sharp), where WUMT is built in C/C++. This means that WuMgr can handle .COM objects directly, whereas WUMT had to use wrapper code to access them indirectly. And although the two programs look quite simliar, Xanatos says “there’s no reverse engineering involved” in the construction of WuMgr. In my personal experience, WuMgr runs faster than WUMT.
One more thing: you can use WuMgr directly and explicitly to manage the host PC’s relationship with Windows Update itself. Doing that with WUMT requires the WUMT wrapper script (or simliar tools) which Gary Thurman created around WUMT (and is now adapting for WuMgr as well). WuMgr offers direct control over Windows Update (WU) through its Options and Auto Update tabs. The Auto Update tab permits users to block a PC’s access to WU Servers. It also lets them disable Automatic Update (and the subsidiary Update Facilitators that MS has introduced in Win10 Builds since 1703). This tab also includes the ability to get update notification only or download only, so that users can explicitly and directly control what gets installed (along with scheduling controls). Users can also use this tab to hide the WU page in Settings, to disable Auto Updates for the Microsoft Store, and to include or exclude device drivers from what gets downloaded from Windows Update. Here’s what that looks like in the program:
The options tab (at top left in preceding screen capture) provides additional update controls. The pick list in the top line lets users designate the source from which updates will come, including Windows Update (the default), Dcat Flighting Prod, Windows Store, Windows Store (Dcat Prod), or Microsoft Update (predecessor to WU). It lets users elect for the program to operate in offline mode (which means it can configure interactions with a download source, and defer those interactions until an online connection becomes available, or the user fires off a manual update), and explicit controls to force the user to authorize download and install of updates. It can include superseded update packages in the listings of available updates (normally disallowed), run in the background at startup (with a variety of controls over when and how the program looks for updates) and be set to always “Run as Administrator.” Here’s what that looks like in WuMgr:
I think WuMgr is a must-have tool for any serious Windows 10 administrator or power user. It restores complete and explicit control over how, when, and which updates will be applied to a target PC, which is something that has vexed and eluded most users since Windows 10 was introduced in October 2014. This is a terrific, highly usable program that should be part of the general admin toolkit for Windows 10, period.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.