Windows 10 is getting another feature from Windows 11, but it’s not related to the Web or MSN this time. Microsoft is introducing smaller monthly cumulative updates for Windows 10. As a result, the upcoming May 2024 Patch Tuesday update will be less than 700 MB in size, and the April 2024 optional update is already down to 650 MB.

Windows updates can be huge. For example, last month’s cumulative update was nearly 900 MB, which may not be a deal for most people, but businesses with limited network resources aren’t big fans of large Windows Updates. Similarly, people in rural regions with limited bandwidth may skip updates to save data.

Microsoft is using Windows 11’s reverse update data generation technology to reduce the size of Windows 10 updates by 40%. Microsoft is rolling out this feature with Windows 10 KB5036979, which brings many other changes, including new Microsoft account alerts in the Settings.

Notably, this doesn’t affect the Windows .msu installers offered on the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Faster Windows Update on Windows 10
Screenshot of Windows Update taking several seconds to check for updates

If you’re downloading monthly updates using Windows Update, you’ll notice a sharp dip in size. For example, the optional patch for Windows 10 in April is 650 MB, 180 MB less than the March 2024 update, which was approximately 830 MB in size.

Pretty nice, right?

As mentioned above, this is a big deal for businesses or people with limited monthly bandwidth. In the case of a business, it means minimized network traffic, allowing organizations to use the network in other places.

It also means Windows updates will download faster on slow connections.

How Microsoft is reducing Windows update size on Windows 10?

But how exactly did Microsoft reduce Windows update sizes by 40%? The explanation is extremely technical, so unless you know how to read the patent language, you won’t be able to understand it. However, I’ll try to explain the changes in the simplest possible way.

Previously, Windows Update required downloading and storing complete copies of files or packages for both the update and potentially for rollback. With the new approach, only the changes (deltas) to files are downloaded, typically much smaller than the complete files.

In other words, Windows update will try to download changes to the existing files (added, removed, or altered) rather than downloading the complete file again.

Microsoft reverse update data generation
Microsoft reverse update data generation | Image Courtesy: Microsoft

For example, if an existing file is about 50 MB in size, Windows update won’t try to download the whole file again. Instead, it will download the deltas/changes, which may reduce the bandwidth to just 30 MB. Previously, Windows tried to download the complete 50 MB file to apply the changes.

(50 MB and 30 MB references are just examples to support my explanation of the feature).

Microsoft will begin rolling out smaller and faster Windows updates to everyone with the May 2024 Patch Tuesday update.

You can also enable it by downloading the KB5036979 optional update.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.