Windows 11 updates now reveal ETA — wait times no longer hidden

Windows 11 file explorer
(Image credit: @TomWarren/Twitter)

Windows 11 will now inform users how long updates will take thanks to a new time-estimate feature spotted by an Insider member at GHacks. As it stands now, the current-generation OS only offers users info on how close the update is to completion percentage-wise, which isn't particularly helpful for gauging installation duration.

For Windows users who despise being kept in the dark on update installation times, this new ETA feature is a useful perk.

Windows 11 adds new ETA feature for updates

Not knowing when your Windows update installation will complete is torture. Will it take 10 minutes? A half an hour? Two hours? Enquiring minds want to know! Fortunately, the folks at Microsoft heard all of our internal screaming; Windows updates will now help users gauge how long installations will take via time estimates.

Windows 11

Windows 11 update ETA (Image credit: GHacks)

Ashwin at GHacks spotted the ETA feature when he was prompted to install an update while exploring the Windows 11 preview build. "It told me that this update would take 5 minutes to be installed," he said.

Ashwin added that he also found saw the time estimate when he navigated to Start > Power Button. However, this isn't a consistent feature. Sean Endicott from Windows Central said that he, too, had an update waiting to be installed on his Windows 11 beta, but didn't see any time estimates.

Ashwin pulled out a stopwatch to time the Windows 11 update installation, and it looks like the five-minute estimate was inaccurate. The update only took 1 minute and 10 seconds. This isn't a big deal, though. Perhaps Microsoft adds buffers to time estimates — and no one is going to complain about an update completing faster than expected.

It might be wishful thinking, but we're hoping this minute-long installation prognosticates the future of Windows updates. Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay claims that Windows updates will be smaller and faster in the next-generation OS. Only time will tell if that is, indeed, true.

Check out our in-depth coverage on Windows 11 below.

More Windows 11 news

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!