Here's why you're not receiving the latest Windows 11 updates

Windows 11 logo on a blue, folded backdrop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has published guidance on the conditions that might lead to someone missing out on all-important Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates.

As explained in a new blog post, the company has discovered that Windows devices that spend too little time powered up and connected to the internet will often fail to meet the criteria for a successful update.

“Specifically, data shows that devices need a minimum of two continuous connected hours, and six total connected hours after an update is released to reliably update,” wrote Microsoft.

Windows update failure

According to the blog post, it has long been a mystery as to why Windows devices fail to update to the latest version. And the problem can be a serious one, particularly for organizations whose employees end up running out-of-date and insecure versions of the OS.

“Microsoft has invested significant effort into understanding why Windows devices are not always fully up to date,” the company explained.

“One of the most impactful things we explored was how much time a device needs to be powered on and connected to Windows Update to be able to successfully install quality and feature updates. What we found is that devices that don’t meet a certain amount of connected time are very unlikely to successfully update.”

To help businesses address this problem and make patch management less painful, Microsoft has created a new metric called Update Connectivity, which is described as the number of hours a device is powered on and connected to Microsoft services.

Administrators can access a log of the company-owned devices that have “insufficient update connectivity” in Microsoft Intune, via Devices > Monitor > Feature update failures or Windows Expedited update failures.

The hope is that this data will allow companies to head off any potential security issues, by asking specific employees to ensure their laptop or PC meets the necessary update criteria. But the insight into the conditions affecting Windows updates will also be helpful for non-business users, who may otherwise have missed out on important updates for their personal hardware.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.