Samsung is apparently disabling automatic Windows updates on its laptops, without even asking or informing the device owner.
It's no big secret that Microsoft's Windows is the world's most popular and widespread operating system for desktops. A widespread OS, however, is also in the spotlight, especially when it comes to security vulnerabilities that may leave devices susceptible to hacking.
Microsoft is constantly patching such vulnerabilities through an automatic update system, designed to keep Windows devices secure and up to date. Simply put, Microsoft rolls out updates with various patches and Windows Update, when enabled, ensures that computers automatically download and install the update so the device owner doesn't have to do it manually.
At the same time, Microsoft is also pushing other software through its Windows Update, including driver updates. As it turns out, Samsung is not a fan of this practice and has instead chosen to disable Windows Update altogether on its computers, without the owners' knowledge.
More specifically, Samsung computers come pre-loaded with the company's own SW Update software, which downloads a file called "Disable_Windowsupdate.exe." As the name itself suggests, this file disables Windows Update so the Samsung device in question will no longer download and install Windows updates automatically.
The reason behind this move is related to the aforementioned driver updates Microsoft sometimes pushes via Windows Update. Samsung believes that Windows can replace newer drivers with older ones, leading to potential issues. Consequently, disabling automatic updates is Samsung's preferred solution for ensuring users have the latest drivers.
"When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates," Samsung explained in a statement to Patrick Barker, the Microsoft MVP who spotted the issue and reported it in a blog post.
While this explanation may make sense with regard to drivers, Samsung fails to mention the impact it could have on the security of the device. Microsoft is also pushing various patches and security fixes through Windows Update, and disabling WU means that users won't be getting these patches either.
With Windows Update disabled, Samsung laptops might be susceptible to security issues, and most users are not even aware of it. Moreover, it currently seems that users cannot remove or disable the preloaded executable that blocks automatic Windows updates.
In conclusion, Samsung laptop owners are advised to check whether they have Windows Update enabled and, if not, to manually update their system periodically.