Microsoft adds Fast Lane option to Windows Update

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 26, 2023
Windows 11 News

Microsoft released the latest preview update for Windows 11 version 22H2 a moment ago. These preview updates include the majority of non-security updates of the upcoming month's cumulative update early. Microsoft does this to get early feedback on the fixes.

Windows system administrators may use it for testing, and some early adopters may fix bugs in Windows 11 that they experience. The vast majority of Windows devices should not get anywhere near these updates, which many consider beta releases.

The latest preview update for Windows 11 version 22H2 introduces a new update option, which puts the device into the Fast Lane when it comes to the delivery of updates.

Microsoft's description is vague: "When you turn it on, we will prioritize your device to get the latest non-security updates and enhancements when they are available for your device."  The toggle is disabled by default for managed devices according to Microsoft.

Microsoft makes no mention of preview updates. Wil these be installed when system administrators enable the preference? A support article provides additional details on the new feature, but it provides no definitive answer on the question.

windows update fast lane

Windows 11 users find the new option under Start > Settings > Windows Update. There, they find "Get the latest updates as soon as they're available".  The option is turned off by default, but can be turned on directly by administrators, provided that the system is not managed.

The setting has no effect on security updates. These continue to be delivered to all supported Windows devices regardless. Microsoft explains, that users can be sure that they get the latest changes "as soon as they're available", that their devices are "prioritized for future updates", and that users continue to receive security updates just like before. The prioritization is not explained by Microsoft, and it is unclear what is meant by that.

The support page has a FAQ section, but it fails to answer these two questions. Microsoft reveals that Active Hours continue to be honored, and that administrators may turn off the toggle at any time.

Closing Words

There is not enough information to fully understand how the new feature works and how it differs from Windows 11's existing capabilities to install updates. If the setting pushes preview updates and feature updates directly to Windows 11 devices, it would provide a reason to enable it for some users. If it focuses on non-security updates that are not previews, it would not be all that useful, unless Microsoft would push updates and fixes to these devices that it would not make available regularly.

Recommendation: keep toggled off until Microsoft provides an explanation on what the feature actually does.

Now You: what is your take on the new Fast Lane feature?

Microsoft adds Fast Lane option to Windows Update
Article Name
Microsoft adds Fast Lane option to Windows Update
Microsoft has added a new option to Windows Update to expedite the installation of non-security devices on Windows 11 devices.
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  1. Vittoria C said on April 27, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    My Acer Aspire E1-522 laptop is not letting me update/upgrade from Windows 8? I am an amature and I do not know what I am supposed to do.

    1. John G. said on April 27, 2023 at 2:45 pm

      Do you meant to upgrade to W11 or to update the monthly updates? :S

      If you have issues with updates you can write the next commands in a file with *.bat extension and then execute it with admin rights (i.e., right click in the file, run as admin).

      ipconfig /flushdns
      net start w32time
      w32tm /resync /force /nowait
      net stop bits
      net stop wuauserv
      net stop cryptsvc
      net stop msiserver
      rd /q /s %windir%\softwaredistribution.old
      rd /q /s %windir%\system32\catroot2.old
      ren %windir%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.old
      ren %windir%\softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.old
      del “%allusersprofile%\application data\microsoft\network\downloader\qmgr*.dat”
      cd /d %windir%\system32
      regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s jscript.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s vbscript.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s scrrun.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s msxml3.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s msxml6.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s actxprxy.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s softpub.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wintrust.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s dssenh.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s rsaenh.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s cryptdlg.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s oleaut32.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s ole32.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s shell32.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wuapi.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wups.dll
      regsvr32.exe /s wups2.dll
      netsh winsock reset
      net start bits
      net start wuauserv
      net start cryptsvc
      net start msiserver

      1. John G. said on April 27, 2023 at 5:31 pm

        When applied the batch (*.bat) file with the content above written, reboot the computer.

  2. Anonymous said on April 26, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    Could we get a 10-year option with only security updates? I don’t want any of Microsoft’s bloated features. I just want the OS to run like Windows 7 without anything brothering me.

  3. Anonymous said on April 26, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    Those of us on the verge until the heavy traffic passes appreciate Beta testers. Thank you for joining the priority update system and bonus kudos to those who install preview releases.

    1. John G. said on April 27, 2023 at 11:17 am

      Only few of my friends have W11 and mostly all don’t update the OS, the rest work with W10. Not too much beta testers imho, first because W11 is a minority itself. 80% of the people I know is using W10, the rest uses Linux, MacOS, W11 and even ChromeOS. That’s the real thuth of Microsoft.

  4. John G. said on April 26, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    After applied latest Windows Updates there is a weird black CMD window that opens and closes in seconds with no time to see what it has wrote on screen. Every new month a new adventure.

    1. John G. said on April 28, 2023 at 7:05 pm

      I have found the solution here at this video:

  5. Bill Gates said on April 26, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    All optional updates should never be shown with other updates. They should be placed in a sub section of the update section, or a selectable swich to show / allow or not.

  6. John G. said on April 26, 2023 at 11:05 am

    I like this option because sometimes the optional updates solves certain bugs and other issues, so the faster you get the update the faster you will solve the problem.

    1. Carl said on April 26, 2023 at 2:23 pm

      Both faster access to problem solutions AND faster access to new problems :)
      A clear Win-Win.

      1. John G. said on April 26, 2023 at 3:53 pm

        @Carl, new problems are upcoming every single month with regular updates too, so it’s not a clear advantage neither. Indeed I know several students and a lot of friends of mine that have blocked their W10 and their W11 updates with third software, just in order to work properly, and also to prevent BSODs after updating and other related issues, like happened to my favorite teacher while we were all in classroom. A lot of laughs were enough to block too his W11 updates forever (he said so). :S

      2. Carl said on April 26, 2023 at 8:24 pm

        >I know several students and a lot of friends of mine that have blocked their W10 and their W11 updates with third software

        That is a terrible way to practice usage of computers. Teach them how to do a Rescuezilla backup (easy GUI), so if an update breaks stuff, they can revert. Cutting of updates is inexcusable.

      3. basingstoke said on April 27, 2023 at 11:51 am

        Carl, no offence, but perhaps you should get your head out of your rear! Lots of people (and companies, but for a different purpose) block windows update service – guess why?

        “Cutting of updates is inexcusable” might be your deluded opinion, but for most normal people, “an unstable, unreliable system is inexcusable”, it might not be the only concern but it’s certainly the primary one. Stopping the update service is definitely one way to assist with improving stability, sorry if the truth hurts – but there’s a famous adage which isn’t completely irrelevant when it comes to computers “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

        How many “updates” are superfluous, and how many are just there to address critical vulnerabilities? Until it’s possible for an end user to truly pick and choose their updates, what recourse do they have apart from: setting it up so that it works, and then making sure that it keeps working (by disabling auto-update)?

        The bigger delusion still is thinking that the average non-tech person is going to want to fiddle with booting into a seperate USB, and messing around with partition cloning, as someone that’s sadly fallen into being “IT support” for nearly all of family & friends, I can tell you that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

        Look, you can have all the updates in the world, but are you still 100% safe? Nope! So please don’t pretend like you’re in an “elevated state of higher being” because you spam the update button every day religiously. You’re still a human, and sometimes it’s the overconfident that will end up doing the stupidest/riskiest thing because they think they’re invulnerable.

      4. John G. said on April 26, 2023 at 8:42 pm

        @Carl they are free to enable or disable the updates, the only update most of they apply is the jumping upgrade version of W11 (once per year I think). And they have had no single problem, no single virus, malware or whatever other issue, so updating means nothing to them.

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