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Microsoft pushing to make Windows 10 updates faster

One of the highlights of Microsoft's shift to Windows as a Service (WaaS) with Windows 10 is that it now ships more frequent feature updates. Unfortunately, these updates often come with some fairly long install times, which can be disruptive if you need to get back to work. Fortunately, Microsoft appears to be pushing to find ways to reduce the time required to install updates in the future.

Responding to a query on Twitter, Windows Insider chief Dona Sarkar said that she is pushing the dev team on ways to reduce the upgrade timeframe. From Sarkar:

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The update process is an area Microsoft has already been working to make more convenient for some time. In 2016, Microsoft debuted the Unified Update Platform as a way to reduce download sizes with targeted updates. That move ended up reducing download sizes by around 35 percent. Last week, Microsoft revealed that it is working on further improvements with a new system that will allow you to resume Windows update downloads from where you left off if your connection is severed.

In terms of the push to speed up the upgrade timeframe, Sarkar doesn't provide any specifics. However, any reduction would likely be welcomed by Windows 10 users across the board.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • I think the time to backup the old installation spends lots of time. They need have option for people don't want to backup, like me.
  • What if something goes wrong and setup has to roll back? Your whole device would be in a limbo and you'd need bootable media.
  • I have no problem to do that. I can always reinstall windows if something goes wrong. I haven't got any problem in the past during updating process.
  • Trust MSFT on this, you don't want to do that.
  • I wonder if they might be able to leverage the upcoming Timeline feature to take a sort of OS "snapshot" instead of a full backup before updating.
  • Also, the verification of download or install takes time. For speed increase, Microsoft can offer a choice to skip verification for the people in a hurry!
  • Yeah but that's probably a security thing. I also think they probably wanna make the restart time smaller even if it means a longer online install. Because it's the restarts and offline install and not the background installation that is disruptive to people.
  • Exactly this. Microsoft has been moving more and more offline steps to online/background. That's why offline now gets to 60% pretty quickly -- the first two thirds now are mostly done before the restart.
  • You don't ever want to skip verification. This is the main reason you don't A) get a corrupt update and B) can rely that the update hasn't been modified with malware.
  • Yeah as long as you verify, the only bad things that'll happen are all the broken updates MS throws out.
  • That shouldn't be touched (verification and integrity checks), however the install process does need work. In Wp8.x installing a keyboard language was not that long winded when compared to WM10 for example. The install process is really aggravating sometimes especially when it restarts whilst you're working and have to wait a few hours.
  • The problem is the way they do it (one potato, two potato) is slow. They need to engineer somethng that's efficient.  It's like a muddle headed Santa... Make a list, check it twice, forget where you were, start all over agan, it's not nice. 
  • Hey, at this point, I'd be happy with an update that fixes my computer from getting a GSOD after about 1 minute into Windows Mixed Reality.  Started with build 17101.
  • I honestly don't mind the current upgrade time, but when you can upgrade Linux Mint in-place in less than an hour ... yeah.
  • Windows updates pretty quickly with a good SSD
  • Is this an issue?  My computers update at night while I am asleep.  If I live in India with 2G connection, then I would have an issue.
  • It would be good if it does like Chrome and updates transparently.
  • if they stop having so many updates that would help,  A lot of the updates are for stuff thast should have been sorted along time agao and then you get the large updates that just install more trash and more useless stuff that most people will not use.  this is why I am now trying to get Windows 8.1 working again on my machine, fed up with the hassle with Windows 10.      
  • IT pro's don't like this....