Windows computers need at least eight hours of online time to obtain and install the latest operating system updates successfully. This information comes via a post on the Microsoft IT Pro Blog (opens in new tab) by David Guyer, program manager for Windows Updates in Endpoint Manager at Microsoft.
Another revelation in the post is that Microsoft tracks how long PCs are connected to Windows Update, calling the statistics ‘Update Connectivity’. The data is available to IT managers in the InTune app, a component of the Endpoint management suite.
The post details Microsoft’s attempts to figure out why some Windows devices aren’t getting the latest quality and feature updates (opens in new tab), and discovered that two hours of continuous connectivity was required to get updates. It then took six hours after the release of the patch for a machine to update itself reliably.
Microsoft’s figures show that 50 percent of Windows devices left behind by Windows Update and running a build of Windows 10 that’s no longer serviced do not spend enough time connected to have the patches downloaded and installed in the background. This figure drops to 25 percent for customers using a serviced build of the operating system that lags behind in security updates by 60 days or more.
"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," writes Guyer. "Impress upon them the importance of keeping their devices connected so their devices can stay protected and they can stay productive."
Windows 11 updates are smaller than their Windows 10 counterparts due to improved compression (opens in new tab), and new Microsoft Graph APIs released last year should also help speed up the update process.