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Microsoft reiterates Patch Tuesday updates are here to stay

Windows 11 Update Settings
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will continue to roll out updates for supported versions of Windows on the second Tuesday of each month.
  • Some outlets incorrectly referred to the June Patch Tuesday updates as the final ones.
  • The confusion appears to have been caused by the fact that Microsoft will start its new Autopatch service in July.
  • Microsoft reiterated that Patch Tuesday updates will continue to roll out each month, even after Autopatch service starts.

Microsoft will launch its Windows Autopatch service next month (July 2022). The service will keep enterprise systems up to date by managing software, firmware, and driver updates. The announcement of Windows Autopatch caused some confusion regarding the future of Patch Tuesday updates, but Microsoft has clarified the situation.

Microsoft said to SecurityWeek that security updates will continue to be released on the second Tuesday of each month (via Neowin). Organizations will be able to opt in to Windows Autopatch but do not have to do so.

Note that Windows Autopatch is a feature for Windows Enterprise E3. Consumer versions of Windows will not be affected.

At the moment, Microsoft rolls out updates for Windows on the second Tuesday of each month. These are commonly referred to as Patch Tuesday updates. With Autopatch on the way, some outlets referred to June's Patch Tuesday updates as the "final" Patch Tuesday updates.

That isn't the case, though. When speaking of Windows Autopatch back in April, Microsoft's Lior Bela said (opens in new tab), "for organizations who select this option, the second Tuesday of every month will be 'just another Tuesday'" (emphasis added).

The clarification is important, as Windows Autopatch will only make Patch Tuesday "just another Tuesday" for organizations that want that to be the case. Organizations will continue to have the option to rely on Patch Tuesday updates.

Microsoft shared an FAQ page about Windows Autopatch (opens in new tab) in April 2022. One section asks "Does Windows Autopatch affect Patch Tuesday? Do I have to change the way I manage updates for the devices in my organization?" The document answers:

"Monthly security and quality updates for supported versions of the Windows and Windows Server operating systems will continue to be delivered on the second Tuesday of the month (commonly referred to Patch Tuesday or Update Tuesday) as they have been to date.

Organizations can continue to use the same processes and tools they use today—such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Windows Update for Business, and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)—to manage and deploy these updates.

Windows Autopatch utilizes the same tools just referenced – and leverages proven best practices backed by Microsoft experts – to provide an alternative for those organizations seeking a more automated, hands-off approach to deploying updates."

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).