Why Windows 10 Updates Will Soon Be Less Terrible

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One of the most annoying parts of Windows 10's monthly system updates is the lengthy downloading process that leaves users staring at a download meter, waiting for it to complete. You can kiss those time-wasting moments goodbye, however, as Microsoft is finally moving to a procedure that makes updates easier to handle.

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Microsoft announced in a Windows Blog post yesterday (Nov. 3) that it would start to distribute update packages using its Unified Update Platform (UUP), which results in a "reduction you’ll see in download size on PCs." This means users will receive "differential downloads" that contain only the changes to Microsoft software made since the last time their device was updated.

MORE: How to Use Windows 10

How much of an impact will users see? Microsoft says users can expect download file sizes to decrease by approximately 35 percent. But users who haven't joined the Windows Insider beta-testing program will not see this improvement until they get the next major version of Windows 10, the Creators Update, sometime in 2017.

UUP is also supposed to improve the process of checking for available updates, shifting some of the processing burden from individual client machines to Microsoft servers. The Updates section of the Settings app should run more smoothly as a result. We at Laptop have found ourselves waiting the better part of an hour for a system to respond to a click on the Check For Updates button.

If you're not a Windows Insider but would like become one, we've got step-by-step instructions for signing up. Just be aware that the only folks who will see the immediate benefits of UUP are Windows 10 Mobile users. Microsoft says it will roll out UUP for PCs "later this year."

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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2 comments
  • Jason Robinson Says:

    @Richard Jenkins

    That's a nice cliche anti-ms rant. How long have you been at Apple exactly?

  • Richard Jenkins Says:

    Windows latest update just blew up my Windows 10 installation. My computer will not boot; it will not go into Safe Mode or the Command Prompt; it will not even respond to the keyboard! Win 10 is so integrated with my machine that I cannot even get to CMOS setup! I have been working with versions of Windows since Windows 286. Never has a version of windows so thoroughly locked up my computer as the Anniversary Edition of WIN 10.
    I did not request a new version of windows, but Microsoft made it essential. I checked online forums and Microsoft support and found that the upgrade had numerous “product enhancements” (read software bugs) and security fixes that I could not ignore. Microsoft popped up a full page notice for the upgrade on my screen. Microsoft put an icon on my desktop and sent reminders through Win 10. Since no one had supported any catastrophic problems or warnings against installation I gave in. I WARN YOU NOW. DO NOT INSTALL THE LATEST WIN 10 UPDATE.
    I tried Widows Support when the upgrade began to fail but no one had any helpful suggestions. I used WIN 10 Troubleshooting Tool and the recommended restarts and retries. The upgrade got a little further each time until it locked up my laptop. Now it is stuck in a cycle. The manufacturer’s logo appears, a box flashes on the screen, then “Microsoft is reinstalling your previous version of Windows.” Eventually, the laptop reboots and the cycle restarts.
    Who is going to fix this? I made my living for over 30 years working on and with DOS and Windows PCs and still support family and friends. But I have no way to know how Win 10 screwed up my PC. Paid support will likely tell me to blow away the install and start over. I could buy another PC more cheaply than I could hire someone to fix Win 10.
    Microsoft is unlikely to be of any help. I can count on one hand the number of times I have talked to support since 1983. I do not even have a phone number to call. I will likely spend the weekend or next week fixing this.
    Microsoft disabled Backup two versions ago. I can store data files online and reinstall some software. But there is no feasible way to do a bare metal backup and restore in Win 10. It I reinstall WIN 10, I have another day or two updating win 10 and reinstalling applications, if I have the CD. Microsoft once had a workable, if kludgy, backup and restore. It is not hard to develop; Linux still has a straightforward way.
    I will move to Apple if this problem is not easily fixed. Apple is more expensive due to proprietary hardware and Apple has its own software issues. But Apple has one thing Windows does not: an Apple Store in my town where I can see and speak to an Apple employee!
    Wish me luck!

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