Windows 10 installing
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Everyone knows that installing feature updates of Windows 10 takes a lot of time and it is frustrating. Many users have complained about the longer installing time and a lot of Windows users and insiders have provided feedback for the same. Microsoft has finally listened to the feedback and has announced that they have improved the time taken to install feature updates.

Joseph Conway, the Senior Program Manager on the Windows Fundamentals team at Microsoft has given a detailed description on how they managed to reduce the time taken to install Windows 10 feature updates.

Windows 10 updates are of two types- the feature updates and quality updates. Feature updates are given two times in a year. It is a large update which upgrades Windows to a newer version with new and better features and also security improvements. Quality updates are smaller updates which are released on the second Tuesday of every month known as “Patch Tuesday”. Quality updates consist of some bug fixes and security updates. Another difference between these updates is the installing time. Quality updates take only a small amount of time to download and can be installed in just one reboot. Feature updates, on the other hand, follows a phased installation process and requires multiple reboots to be installed completely.

Every feature update installation consists of four phases and each phase can be completed either in an “online” approach or in an “offline” approach. The phases which can be completed online do not disturb the user as it happens in the background. Most users won’t notice it as it occurs when Windows is running, that is when the device is being used. The offline phases, however, do not allow the user to do any task on his/her device. During this time, Windows will not run and only the installation process will take place.

Offline installs take a lot of time to get completed. From the information given by Microsoft, the average time taken to complete installing the Creators Update was approximately 82 minutes.

The good news is that Microsoft has finally found a way to reduce the offline phase install time. This is done by shifting some parts of the offline phases to the online phases. This will reduce the offline install time considerably and it will not disturb the user as the online phases are carried out when the user is using his device.

Microsoft has in fact been working on this and has managed to reduce the offline install time of the Fall Creators update, which was released in October 2017, to 51 minutes. To make things better, Microsoft has worked on this further and reduced the install time of the upcoming Redstone 4 update to 30 minutes which is a whopping 63% decrease when compared to the Creators update.

Microsoft has also given a detailed comparison between the old feature update installation process and the new process. Old offline installing process vs new offline installing process

Since a lot of portions have been moved from the offline phases to the online phases, it would take more time for the online phases to be completed. But this is okay as the online phases will not disturb the user and also will not reduce the battery life or system performance considerably as it runs in a low priority mode.

About The Author

Abhijith M B

Abhijith was a former contributing editor for Windows Latest. At Windows Latest, he has written on numerous topics, ranging from Windows to Microsoft Edge. Abhijith holds a degree in Bachelor's of Technology, with a strong focus on Electronics and Communications Engineering. His passion for Windows is evident in his journalism journey, including his articles that decoded complex PowerShell scripts.