When Windows users should not shut down their PC

Installing updates has always been a problem with Windows 10, and Microsoft now seems to have found a solution.

With Windows 10, Microsoft has switched to providing new updates on a monthly basis. Especially security patches reach users promptly this way. However, the company has difficulties to actually deliver the updates to the end devices. This is apparently due to the fact that the computers are not switched on long enough.

Microsoft advises leaving PC on overnight

In a post on the Microsoft IT Pro blog, the company published results of an investigation into why Windows devices often fail to run the latest operating system version. The company found that many Windows devices simply aren’t connected to the Internet long enough to reliably install updates. Microsoft can tell by looking at the “update connectivity” parameter. This tracks how long a Windows device is connected to the Internet and can access Microsoft services.

Probably the most important finding of the research: a computer needs to be connected to the Internet for at least two hours continuously, plus an additional six hours connected, in order to reliably install an update. This means that a Windows device must be turned on and connected for a total of eight hours. However, it is mainly the first two hours that matter, during which the connection to Microsoft services must not be interrupted. In the six additional hours, interruption is possible by turning off or restarting.

Microsoft therefore recommends leaving the computer turned on and connected overnight to successfully complete the update process.

Also interesting: 5 tricks to make Windows 10 faster

Especially older Windows 10 versions are affected

By measuring “update connectivity,” Microsoft also found out which computers are not successfully installing updates. According to the report, half of the devices running an outdated version of Windows do not meet the required “update connectivity” of eight hours. We speak of outdated Windows versions when Microsoft no longer provides support for them. The overview of which versions these are can be found here. But the eight-hour criterion is not met in other cases, either. A quarter of Windows 10 devices that still get support from Microsoft, but have not installed any security updates for 60 days, are also affected.

Windows 11 is affected by the update problems to a lesser extent. For the new Windows version, Microsoft compresses the updates into smaller packages, so less time is needed for the download.


  • Microsoft IT Pro Blog