Microsoft: Windows needs up to 8 hours online to get the latest updates

Microsoft tracks the state of Windows devices connected to the Internet. Despite receiving updates automatically, Microsoft's stats shows that there is a bunch of devices that are not on the actual Windows 10 release, or don't have the most recent patches installed.

In a blog post on the Windows IT Pro Blog, David Guyer, Program Manager for Windows Updates in Endpoint Manager sheds some light on the situation. According to him, the reason is the small amount of time during which the OS remains connected to the Windows Update servers.

One of the most impactful things we explored was how much time a device needs to be powered on and connected to Windows Update to be able to successfully install quality and feature updates.

Microsoft calls that time as Update Connectivity. According to David Guyer, to fully download and successfully install the patches and builds, Windows needs are least 8 hours for being connected to Windows Update.

What we found is that devices that don’t meet a certain amount of connected time are very unlikely to successfully update. Specifically, data shows that devices need a minimum of two continuous connected hours, and six total connected hours after an update is released to reliably update. This allows for a successful download and background installations that are able to restart or resume once a device is active and connected.

Microsoft's stats shows that a half of the devices running an outdated build of Windows 10 fail to meet the 'Update Connectivity' time criteria. Even computers with the most recent Windows release installed are often lack latest cumulative updates. Approximately 25% of them don't get security updates for more than 60 days, for the same reason.

As a solution, David Guyer recommends to leave problematic devices on and online at night.

You can work to ensure that more devices across your organization meet the minimum Update Connectivity measurement by communicating with device owners, encouraging them to leave their devices plugged in and connected — instead of powering them off overnight — so that updates can download and install properly. Impress upon them the importance of keeping their devices connected so their devices can stay protected and they can stay productive.

So, if your device is not up to date, and it is not your intention, this may indicate that it just need some time to fetch and install everything that is currently available for your Windows version. By keeping it running for at least 8 hours you can expect it to return to the actual state.

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1 thought on “Microsoft: Windows needs up to 8 hours online to get the latest updates

  1. SweSG

    Totally crazy in my opinion. I’ve been running Windows 10 and now Windows 11 since the beginning. Many times I just update and turn everything off. I’m not running Windows on my main computer. It runs Linux. But I need a Windows computer sometimes for different jobs.


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