Windows 10 updates download faster now

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 25, 2024
Windows 10

Microsoft has decreased the size of updates for Windows 10 significantly, which means that they will download faster now.

Back in 2021, Microsoft announced that it has cut the size of updates for Windows 11 by an average of 40 percent. The technical article explains that Microsoft implemented new compression technology to cut down on the size of updates for the operating system.

Now, two-and-a-half years later, the improvement is coming to Windows 10. Microsoft says that it is bringing the Windows 11 functionality to Windows 10 to decrease the size of Windows 10's monthly cumulative update packages.

Microsoft confirmed the change in the improvement section of update KB5036979, the preview update it released recently: "Starting April 23, 2024, the LCU will no longer have the reverse differentials. The client will generate the reverse update data. This change will help to reduce the LCU package size by about 20%. This change also offers a few advantages".

The technology requires Windows 10 version 22H2, which is the latest version of the operating system.

Smaller updates offer several benefits to the user and organization. Besides the obvious, they download faster, they reduce bandwidth usage and network traffic, and offer improved performance on slow connections, according to Microsoft.

What you can expect

  • KB5036892, released April 9, has a size of 830 megabytes.
  • KB5036979, released April 23, has a size of 650 megabytes.

The 180 megabytes size difference does not come close to the 40% that Microsoft claimed for Windows 11, but it is a decrease of 21.6 percent. The percentage value may change in the future, but it seems unlikely that 40% will be reached.

Note that Microsoft compares the size of a full cumulative update, released on April 9, with a preview update. The preview updates do not include new security updates, which Microsoft will release on the second Tuesday of May 2024 for the first time using the new update technology.

It is possible that this comparison will come closer to the 40% that Microsoft claimed for Windows 11 back in 2021.

The requirements

Microsoft lists the following requirements:

The April 23 preview update for Windows 10 or any future cumulative update for the operating system will have a smaller size when compared to prior updates.

Closing Words

Faster downloads and installations of updates improve the user experience and are also beneficial to organizations.

Windows 10 is supported until October 2025 officially. Users and organizations may subscribe to Extended Security Updates to extend support by at least 3 years. This won't be free. Microsoft revealed the price that organizations have to pay already.

The price of a regular extension is $61 in the first year, $122 in the second year, and $244 in the third year.

What is your experience with updates for Windows? (via Neowin)

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Windows 10 updates download faster now
Microsoft has decreased the size of updates for Windows 10 significantly, which means that they will download faster now.
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  1. samurai cat said on April 26, 2024 at 9:43 pm

    Microsoft should bring back service packs for those who want to offline update Windows only once a year instead of updating every month.

    1. Cuncubinoli said on April 27, 2024 at 7:46 pm

      Yes, that would work better than speeding the installation of crapware that more often than not creates more problems, disables hardware functionality, crashes other programs or triggers an endless boot cycle. Those are the “quality” updates MS has been generating for many many years.

  2. Klenson said on April 26, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    They improved the package compression algorithm, but it will take longer to install, cuak.

  3. Richard Steven Hack said on April 26, 2024 at 3:46 am

    On openSUSE Tumbleweed I get updates every couple of days with sizes from 20-30 updates to over 250 and a couple times (Plasma6 updates) even more.. They download fast my Comcast Xfinity Plus Internet speed. YMMV.

    They install inside of 5 minutes – even the over 200 updates are maybe a minute or two more.

    When’s the last time your half dozen Windows updates installed in less than half an hour? And without an intermediate reboot halfway through – which then sits there for five minutes going “10% done – 20% done – 30% done” ad infinitum.

    I can’t complain about Windows needing reboots at all since the Tumbleweed updates frequently say one should reboot due to the updates affecting running software. However, there is never a forced reboot, even on a kernel update. It merely tells you it requires a reboot. You pick the time.

    No comparison. Linux does this much better than Microsoft ever will.

  4. VioletMoon said on April 25, 2024 at 11:58 pm

    What is your experience with updates for Windows?

    Maybe other factors are invovled with updates. I am thinking time of day. Realistically, server speed won’t be any faster; there will simply be less to download. I discovered downloading during “off” hours instead of “peak” hours works best.

    However, I rarely use the Windows Update; I like WAU Manager. WUMGR works fine, but it is rather outdated; much faster, though, in showing the updates needed.

    Whenever I have used Windows Update in the past, my computer becomes plagued by all sorts of problems–usually, a non-booting computer.

  5. Anonymous said on April 25, 2024 at 11:14 pm

    Faster because there’s barely anything now but bloated webview crap being updated on server side.

  6. horsefeathers said on April 25, 2024 at 11:07 pm

    If you lined up all the posters on ghacks that have claimed to switch to Linux in Windows threads end-to-end, they would encircle the Earth 3 times over.

  7. Sam said on April 25, 2024 at 9:43 pm

    Really surprising that Microsoft would actually fix long standing problems nearing EoL. Unlike the problem with Windows XP where if you tried installing all updates with a fresh install, it would run out of memory since it didn’t know how to leave memory once an update was complete this issue persisted until Windows 8. A problem they never fixed. Thank God for offline update packs!

  8. Kalmly said on April 25, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    Luckily, my Windows 10 version is earlier than the 22H2 requirement.

  9. bachpan Dwarka said on April 25, 2024 at 12:28 pm

    That’s wonderful to know! Updates that download more quickly can enhance user experience and streamline the updating process. Updates are critical for security and efficiency, so it’s excellent to see Microsoft focusing on making Windows 10’s update feature better.

    1. 45 RPM said on April 26, 2024 at 8:49 am

      Do you work for Microsoft? Now they can brick my PC faster is more like it.

  10. pull my brain stem out said on April 25, 2024 at 10:21 am

    > Windows 10 updates download faster now


    Since I switched to Linux I never regretted it. I would kill myself if I had to use Windows today.

    1. Haakon said on April 25, 2024 at 8:13 pm

      I’ve been wanting to move to one of the 268 active distributions of “Linux” and I thought I’d try KDE Plasma 6 with the Calamares installer ported to the Qt 6 toolkit. But I can’t decide on the X11 or Wayland display server.

      Then there’s the Makulul “Linux.” But the Ubuntu or Debian distro?????

      I heard Puppy “Linux” is really cute. Yellow Dog “Linux,” not so much…

    2. John said on April 25, 2024 at 6:20 pm

      So you switched to Linux makes me wonder why you would even care about how fast Windows downloads updates, or would care to comment on such improvement. Personally, I tried Linux for a while and would never want to go back to that mess of a OS ecosystem.

    3. Windows user since 1993 said on April 25, 2024 at 1:45 pm

      yet you still continue to read all Windows related news articles.
      so basically you are telling all Windows users to kill themselves?

      1. AC said on April 26, 2024 at 1:49 am

        Some of us just enjoy watching the slow-motion train wreck that is Microsoft, to see which part of it explodes today, in bemused amazement that people are still actually boarding the train as it’s crashing.

      2. 450Mhz said on April 30, 2024 at 7:36 am

        You say its a slow-motion train wreck you say,

        Revenue was $61.9 billion and increased 17%
        Operating income was $27.6 billion and increased 23%
        Net income was $21.9 billion and increased 20%
        Diluted earnings per share was $2.94 and increased 20%

        61.9 billion dollar company is a slow motion train wreck to you?

        Are you that delusional AC?

  11. Anonymous said on April 25, 2024 at 7:55 am

    14th Oct, 2025 is only 18 months away.

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