Microsoft reportedly takes some mystery out of Windows 11 updates

A Screenshot Of The Windows 11 Desktop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 updates will now give you an estimated installation time before you initiate the install, letting users know beforehand whether their PCs will be out of commission for an extended length of time.

As reported by gHacks, the new Windows 11 update feature gives you an estimated time for an update to be applied in both the Windows Update tool as well as when choosing to manually shutdown or restart Windows 11.

A Windows 11 Update Panel Showing The Estimated Time To Download And Install An Update

(Image credit: gHacks)

The ETA does not appear to be consistent though, as our friends over at Windows Central did not see an ETA when they had a Windows 11 update to install. We don't currently have an update that we need to install, but we will update this story once we can confirm the feature for ourselves.

Windows 11 update time estimates will definitely improve PC security 

Microsoft has done a good job with ensuring that Windows 10 security patches and updates are regularly and quickly applied, which improves security and system stability for many users – though it isn't always a painless process. 

There's no getting around the fact that sometimes these updates are an inconvenience if they end up taking much longer than the user expected – sometimes as long as an hour for major updates – and if you don't have a fast internet connection, these updates can take a long time to download.

This can lead to users putting off important updates that might only take a couple of minutes because they might overestimate how long their work or other activities might be disrupted. Critically, vital security updates are usually smaller, very precise fixes that don't take long to either download or apply and are essential to keeping Windows PCs secure.

These are exactly the kind of updates that you don't want to put off while also being the least disruptive and quickest to apply, but which are sometimes put off out of the mistaken belief that they will be too much of an inconvenience right now. By letting users know that these updates will only take a few minutes, more users are going to apply them more promptly, which will definitely help keep their PCs secure from zero-day exploits and other emerging security threats.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).