The dreaded Windows updates. You know you need them, but do you really want them? After all, there are hundreds of them. Microsoft says they are there to patch up vulnerabilities. Do we even know what that means!?
First of all, why do we really need Windows updates? Really, you can think of Windows updates as a Microsoft support mulligan. They did not foresee its operating system being open to a hacker, a virus, some threat, and now it’s taking back some of its code to improve it and add some other slow-moving software update to patch it. On a more positive note, Microsoft also puts out Windows updates so your newer software can be compatible and play nicely together.
So, why do Windows updates take so long to install?
When you click, the Windows icon on the bottom-right of your computer, these are the steps Microsoft takes:
- Microsoft first runs a detailed system inventory to find what needs to be updated or what can be updated (critical and optional updates).
- Then, the Microsoft server downloads, extracts, and verifies via checksums the updates.
- Next, the updates actually start installing. This means your computer has to stop services, copy files, check files again for checksums, look at the versions for consistency, and the services are started again.
- Also, a double-check phase occurs where Microsoft re-checks that all settings were applied correctly after the installs and all is working consistently.
- When you thought all was good and done, after a restart, Windows installs subsequent updates that were unable to be run concurrently with the previous Windows updates install. This is the most annoying and time consuming part. For Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, this reboot and update process has been known to take days to complete!
The point with Windows updates is that you shouldn’t expect for them to complete all in one full swoop. Just expect every restart you perform to be accompanied with more Windows updates. Don’t like it? Move to a Mac! Otherwise, grin and bear the protective nature of Windows updates. If you have a Windows update issue, this is not uncommon due to the amount of Windows updates installed and how if one goes wrong, the whole subsequent stack of updates may not run. You can try installing one update at a time if you run into this issue to flesh out the culprit or seek out a Windows update computer expert for help.