Why Does Windows Update Itself So Much?


Windows Update is a big part of the Windows experience. But they can be annoying for a variety of reasons the biggest of which is probably their frequency.

Although updating Windows is a good practice, the frequency of these updates can sometimes be overbearing. They can also often disturb your workflow by needing a restart.

Let’s see why Windows updates so much and how can you stop it.

Why Does Windows Update So Much?

Microsoft changed the way it treats Windows with the release of Windows 10. Before Windows 10, Windows versions like Windows 7 and 8 were treated as separate solutions.

Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft maintains Windows as a service. The company even called Windows 10 “the last version of Windows.” This meant that there would be no new Windows versions only new updates.

But, as we now know, Microsoft did release a new version of Windows: Windows 11.

The reason why Windows updates so often is that Microsoft services Windows with new feature updates, bug fixes, driver updates, Window Defender definition updates, etc.

That said, save a few, these updates are not random and follow a schedule. Knowing this schedule can help you understand why you are installing a certain Windows update and whether you can afford to defer it.

Windows 10 and Windows 11’s Update Schedule

When Microsoft released Windows 10 in 2015, it followed a schedule of two Feature updates per year and a Cumulative update once, on the second Tuesday of every month. There were also intermittent Defender definition updates, security fixes, and driver updates.

Things are a little different beginning with Windows 10 version 21H2. Windows 10 now only gets one Feature update every year that Microsoft supports for 18 or 30 months with monthly quality/Cumulative updates.

Windows 11 also follows a similar updating schedule to Windows 10. There is an annual Feature update that Microsoft promises to support for 24 months for Home and Pro versions with monthly quality updates. The support period for Enterprise and Education versions extends to 36 months.

Frequency of Windows Defender Updates, Driver Updates, and Bug Fixes

Windows checks for updates once a day, at irregular hours, to look for quality updates, feature updates, and Windows Defender definition updates that are normally delivered daily.

There are also critical security updates that can arrive at any time to respond to emergency exploits.

Additionally, you may also be getting more updates than usual because there are a lot of driver upgrades for your computer. Many device manufacturers submit driver updates to Microsoft. The company then bundles them into Windows updates for easy deployment.

In short, it is common to get multiple updates per day. Most of these updates install automatically and don’t disturb your workflow.

That said, feature updates, some driver updates, and a few security fixes will need a device restart. And that can be quite annoying. Fortunately, you can pause Windows updates for a short time.

How to Stop Windows Updates

Before we jump into how you can stop Windows updates, it is important to remember that you should never stop updating Windows under normal circumstances.

Updates are designed to enhance your PC experience. They carry bug fixes, introduce new features, tighten security, and improve performance. So, you should always install them.

With that out of the way, here’s how you can pause Windows updates temporarily for up to 35 days.

  • Hit the Windows key, type “Windows Update settings”, and choose the relevant result.
  • In the Windows Update panel, click on Advanced options.
  • Next, scroll down to Pause updates and select a date under Pause until. This will be the date after which Windows will start getting new updates, and you’ll need to install them before you can pause them again.

Windows Updates Can Occasionally Mess Things Up

Like all software updates, Windows updates can sometimes mess things up. For instance, you might run into performance troubles after updating. Fortunately, you can solve most of these issues quite easily.

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