This new Windows update tool could solve your biggest headache

Fingertip pressing keyboard key with Windows logo on it
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Let's face it - no one enjoys dealing with Windows updates. We've all had the frustration of booting up or laptop or PC to be faced with "Your device is installing updates", a process that always seems to either take seconds, or hours.

Fortunately, Microsoft is close to launching a new service that it says will help users keep a closer handle on their Windows updates to ensure this process is as smooth as possible.

Initially targeting enterprise customers, Windows Autopatch is set to enter public preview this week, meaning a general launch is getting closer.

Windows Autopatch

First announced in April 2022, Windows Autopatch looks to help IT admins manage the rollout of Windows 10 and Windows 11 updates across a business, including feature updates, drivers, firmware, and Microsoft 365 apps.

The service will be able to detect which updates need to be carried out by utilizing a series of ‘test rings’, and will be able to check settings via Microsoft Endpoint Manager, with admins simply having to follow instructions to get it up and running.

Customers with at least a Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise E3 license will be eligible for the new service, and will need Intune, Azure Active Directory, and Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise to be correctly configured.

"The takeaway if you're an IT admin? You can continue using the tools and processes you're accustomed to for managing and deploying updates—or you can take a hands-off approach and let Windows Autopatch do it for you," Microsoft's Lior Bela said at the initial reveal of Autopatch back in April 2022.

"Changing the way things get done, even when that change makes things easier, gives pause to most people who run large IT organizations. By joining the public preview, you'll be able to get comfortable with Windows Autopatch and ready your organization to take advantage of the service at scale."

Previously, Microsoft had issued most of its software and security updates on a particular date - Patch Tuesday. However the company has now announced that Patch Tuesday rollouts will end in the summer of 2022, with Autopatch taking its place.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.