Microsoft is being extra careful with Windows 10 security updates for December

Frustrated Windows 10 User
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Windows 10 updates for December will be limited to crucial security fixes only – in other words, the monthly patch Tuesday cumulative updates – with no optional updates to follow later in the month.

Microsoft explains that the security updates for December are effectively being prioritized because staff members will be on vacation for the holiday season, so the optional (not security-related) updates are being shelved to allow for software engineers to focus on the main fixes.

As Windows Latest spotted, Microsoft wrote in a support document for the latest November security patches: “Because of minimal operations during the holidays and the upcoming Western new year, there won’t be any preview releases for the month of December 2020. Monthly servicing will resume with the January 2021 security releases.”

Those preview releases are the optional updates released in the third and fourth weeks of the month, referred to as ‘C’ or ‘D’ updates due to their timing. Patch Tuesday updates arrive on the second Tuesday of the month, therefore they’re ‘B’ patches, due in the second week (there are no ‘A’ updates, as usually nothing happens in the first week of the month).

Smooth sailing?

The optional updates will resume in January, as mentioned, and hopefully by focusing on the main fixes in December, this will ensure a better chance of them running smoothly. After all, things haven’t been going all that well for Windows 10 updates in recent times, as we’ve seen – so this would seem like a sensible move by Microsoft.

Fresh bugs that have hit Windows 10 updates of late include a problem that caused serious issues with the operating system’s interface, and another pesky little gremlin which is affecting gamers.

In all likelihood, we won’t see much in the way of new preview builds for Windows 10 testers over the holiday season either (or if there are any, changes will doubtless be kept to a minimum).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).