If you see the update expired note for a patch in Windows Update release notes, don't be surprised. Microsoft explains Windows update expiration policies.
Every month, Windows receives up to three cumulative updates that contain security patches, bug fixes, and quality-of-life improvements. Each update Microsoft pushes has a dedicated knowledge base (hence the KB identification) with all the details and changes. When browsing the Windows Update Catalog, you might notice that Microsoft labels some updates as "Expired." In a post on the Tech Community website, Microsoft explained what Windows update expiration means.
Windows Update Expired
Windows updates are cumulative, which means you do not need to download and install every update Windows 10 has ever received. Your computer must download only the latest update to apply all available patches. With that, old updates become redundant. Microsoft "retires" those packages to provide users with better performance, shorter Windows scan times, and overall faster user experience.
Microsoft regularly evaluates old cumulative updates and flag them as expired. That is why you will see the "EXPIRED" label on some patches. At the same time, some updates might not meet the criteria for expiration, for example, due to dependencies on specific updates. Microsoft will keep those updates until newer releases supersede them. Also, Microsoft does not retire security-only packages for old Windows versions, such as Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 SP2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008 SP2.
Expired updates have a corresponding marking in the header and an additional expiration notice, warning users that the update they are checking is no longer available from Windows Update and the Microsoft Update Catalog.
Expired updates for Windows 10 and Windows 11 are one of many steps Microsoft does to make updating your computer a less stressful and annoying experience. In Windows 11, for example, updates are up to 40% smaller, which makes them faster to install. Also, Microsoft has a relatively new system called "Known Issue Rollback" that helps prevent broken or low-quality updates from reaching a wide audience. It also allows restoring the affected system to the working state without any input from the end-user.
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