Microsoft details how Windows 11 updates are 40% smaller

Time For An Update

Windows 11 does a lot of things new. And one of the many things that the upcoming OS has truly optimized, is the delivery of updates that are not only seamless but smaller, too.

As in up to 40% smaller.

The was one of the first things that Microsoft promised when it announced Windows 11 in June. And now, the company is finally ready to explain the trickery behind the magic, and how the operating system delivers seamless updates that happen in the background.

While Windows 11 is expected to follow the Windows 10 servicing model, there are some key changes in how Redmond will service the newer OS.

For starters, the software titan is switching to an annual feature model, meaning a single feature update will be released every year. Cumulative updates will, of course, continue to be made available every month, as is the norm.

In addition to fewer feature updates, quality improvements have also been made to the update engine in the operating system. Windows Update has been tweaked from the inside out.

Now, when you check for an update and Windows finds a new patch, it will compare the new package to what is already available on the computer. The OS will only download the necessary pieces from the server, thereby reducing the update sizes by around 40%.

Microsoft explains that this same mechanism will also apply to Windows Update for Business and services like Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Enterprises will have the option to manage drivers and critical security updates using the configuration manager.

Redmond also promises that the Windows 11 update process will be less impactful to users.

Features like Active Hours will now be turned on by default, and the company will be using a new version of its AI/ML tech to determine the hours you are not actively using your PC.

Updates will then be downloaded automatically when you are not on your computer to reduce the disturbance and impact of the monthly updates. The update process will not be dramatically faster, though, and a restart will still be required.

But overall, this is progress, and in the right direction.