There has been an issue of late where when checking for updates Windows Update reports the problem that the service is not running (but it is) and sometimes the solution is to go to Windows Update Settings and change it to Never check for updates (click OK to save) then (a restart wouldn't hurt) go back to Windows Update and manually check for updates. That should get things rolling again.
Here is a popular topic about it in the MS Answers community:
Having Windows Update set to download/install automatically can be risky because it is well known that Windows Update will often download/install hardware driver updates that can result in a no boot scenario or you needing to create another topic in some community with a title like "Windows Update broke my computer".
You can configure Windows to not accept hardware driver updates (a safe adjustment) - see here:
But I would still keep the setting at Never and check for updates myself periodically. That way I am in control of what updates get installed on my system instead of Microsoft.
It is also well known that there are some MS updates that are considered spyware/snooping updates that periodically transmit information about your system back to the MS Servers. Microsoft calls it "telemetry". Most other folks call it "spying". If you trust Microsoft and believe that they would never gather and collect any of your personal information then let Microsoft be in charge of what gets installed on your system.
Examples of updates to avoid/Hide (some may now be obsolete):
KB2952664 Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
KB2990214 Update that enables you to upgrade from Windows 7 to a later version of Windows
KB3021917 Update to Windows 7 SP1 for performance improvements
KB3022345 Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
KB3035583 Update installs get windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
KB3068708 (replaces KB3022345) Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
KB3075249 Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
KB3080149 Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
KB2976978 Ease upgrade to latest version of Windows
KB2977759 Ensure compatibility to Win10
I would prefer to be in charge of what updates get installed.
Edited by joseibarra, 04 July 2018 - 05:12 AM.