Older Windows updates will expire, ensuring shorter scan times

Alexandru Poloboc
by Alexandru Poloboc
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With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor, as well as TV and radio... Read more
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  • Redmond officials found a new way to reduce update scan and install time.
  • The idea here is to deactivate redundant patches, thus speeding the process.
  • Fixes contained by these expired updates will still be applied on Patch Tuesdays.
  • Microsoft is also testing an Update Stack Packages feature for Windows 11.
windows update expire

In their non-stop quest to constantly improve quality, the Redmond-based tech company has made another important decision regarding updates.

For better performance, Microsoft has now started removing older quality updates from the Windows Update server and they will now appear as expired updates.

Expired updates are suspended

These older, redundant packages will now expire automatically, which can improve the performance of Windows Updates and even reduce update cache size.

The obsolete updates are superseded with newer updates, and this would result in shorter overall scan times.

There are mainly two types of Windows Updates: feature and quality. Each one delivers a different set of bug fixes or features, but quality ones cannot be skipped.

Think of the Patch Tuesday updates, which are installed automatically unless you manually pause updates using Windows Update or Windows Update for Business.

For both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the B security update is released on every Patch Tuesday, while the optional quality update is released in the third or fourth week of the month.

Luckily, cumulative updates include fixes from all older updates that have been published for the operating system.

But even though an update package has expired, you would still receive the fixes contained in the expired update package when you install the latest Patch Tuesday release.

Also, an expired package will not appear in Windows Update scan results and it can also reduce internet data usage, which is particularly important when you have a limited internet connection.

Let’s take KB5003690 example, an update that was published in June 2021. If you search for it on the Microsoft support page, it now shows as expired.

Microsoft is also testing Update Stack Packages for Windows 11, a feature that is being touted as a new way to deliver improvements before a big patch is deployed.

The first Update Stack Package was released alongside Build 22478 for Windows Insiders and it is currently available for a limited number of users with no noticeable changes.

What is your opinion on this initiative? Let us know in the comments section below.

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