Major Windows 10 Updates Will Soon Give You Less Downtime

Posted on March 19, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows 10 with 19 Comments

Microsoft is once again making changes to how major Windows 10 updates are installed in the OS. The company is making significant changes to the system in order to give users less downtime, letting them work while a big update is being prepared for installation.

Back in April of last year, the offline time for installing a major update was 82 minutes. With the Fall Creators Update in October, Microsoft cut that down to only 51 minutes. And with the upcoming Windows 10 update, Microsoft is introducing further cuts to the offline installation process by bringing down the offline time for major updates to only 30 minutes.

Microsoft was able to cut down the offline time by 21 minutes by making two significant changes to the system: preparation of user content for migration and the process of storing the OS into a temporary directory are now being handled in the “online” process instead of the offline process. So the update system is technically still the same, but two of the processes are now being handled during the online phase to give users less downtime.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Major Windows 10 Updates Will Soon Give You Less Downtime”

  1. ZeroPageX

    Good stuff! I hope they make minor updates quicker as well. They take hours to download and install.

  2. Waethorn

    This sounds like the same marketing message they gave when Windows Vista was launched, and the subsequent marketing campaign afterwards.

    "Windows Vista runs faster on the same hardware".

    And who ever believed that? You needed 512MB of RAM for XP to run okay. 1GB was better, and not really too bad. Windows Vista on 1GB was HORRIBLE. 2GB was just mediocre (unless you were using 64-bit, which was far worse).

  3. RM

    The original Windows 10 was bad at upgrades/updates, the store was even worse. However Windows upgrades/updates and the store are now pretty good, still get an occasional unexplained error with store installs.

  4. wocowboy

    This is great news. This business of taking hours and hours to "Prepare for update", "Downloading Update", "Preparing to Install", "Installing Update" and the final slog to the desktop is unacceptable to the max. I thought Microsoft was going to change their update system so that the entire multi-GB OS did not have to be downloaded each and every time there was a new version? This doesn't seem to have happened.

  5. karlinhigh

    I wonder if they already have this somehow. I'm pretty sure that during the first stage of a version upgrade, I've been able to ALT+TAB into apps I'd left running.

  6. Winner

    I wasted like 3 hours on Windows 10 over the weekend. Update last month failed, try again. Go to Microsoft update fixer Wizard. Try a few things in order. Download a new piece of SW from Microsoft. Run that, scan takes 15 minutes. Try again, fails. Next Wizard step. Download something else. Run that. Scan takes 5 minutes. Try again. Fails. Go to another KB per Wizard. Download that. Apply manually. Finally fixed.

    This didn't happen on my Windows 7 machine.

    The update process is still a dumpster fire. I've never had that problem on Android or iOS, either.

    • NT6.1

      In reply to Winner:

      It's quicker and easier to just clean install Windows.

    • evox81

      In reply to Winner:

      "This didn't happen on my Windows 7 machine."

      ...said no one ever in reference to Windows Update on Windows 7. Good to know you had a Windows 7 machine that ran on magic. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

      Edit for clarity: Although Windows Update on 7 was horrible, this is intended to be humor, not an attack.

      • Winner

        In reply to evox81:

        To all posters here: You might not like my story, but in this case it is true. It's just all facts. Sorry that offends you. Obviously on your systems, YMMV.

      • MikeCerm

        In reply to evox81:

        Windows 10 updates are FAR more reliable than Windows 7 ever was. In the Windows 7 days, I had to chase down error codes all the time because Windows 7 just wouldn't update. I manage hundreds of systems, and I've never had to "reset" Windows Update on Windows 10. It's nowhere near perfect, but it doesn't have the same kind of problems that Winddows 7 had -- probably a major benefit of the Windows 10 servicing model of pushing major updates every 6 months that blow away the kind of system rot that would just continually build up on Windows 7.

        • Waethorn

          In reply to MikeCerm:

          They don't "blow away" system rot - they adopt it. Lots of times I've had clients whose systems were completely borked because of a new build. And don't get me started on driver incompatibilities between one build and next....

  7. Shmuelie

    Here's to hoping for it eventually being just a "normal" reboot!

  8. thalter

    Patching is one area where Linux has a clear lead. With live kernel patching introduced in Linux 4.0, I can't remember the last time I've had to reboot a Linux server after installing a patch. We have Linux servers with uptimes of years at my company.

    If Microsoft really wants to move the needle, they would figure out how to do zero-reboot patching on Windows.

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