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Why Windows Update requires constant reboots

Why is it that my computer is always asking me to reboot to install updates and when it does it still says there are updates that need to be installed?

Carly, Mayfield

Hi Carly,
Even though it may appear your computer is in a never ending cycle of Windows updates it probably isn’t.

Generally Microsoft releases updates on the second Tuesday of every month. In the IT industry this is called Patch Tuesday.

Microsoft will from time to time release updates outside of this schedule if they find a significant security hole that they need to patch.

The biggest problem with Microsoft’s Automatic Updates is they often have dependencies. This means that your computer has to download, install and reboot previous patches before newer ones can be applied. This is often why when you reboot you have more updates to install. Your computer is actually behind in updates so after installing one lot the next lot can be downloaded and installed.

The reason you have to reboot your computer is that often files and programs are running. In order to update these files and programs your computer must reboot to shut down all the programs and allow it to apply changes to files.

Microsoft certainly has made a lot of progress with its update process over the last few versions of Windows however your enquiry does highlight that they still have a lot to do to make the process easier and more transparent for users

Peter