Windows 10 installation using ISO file
Feature update improvements

Windows 10 upgrades now offer faster install experience

Microsoft reveals the improvements that it has been making to install new features update of Windows 10 a lot faster than before.

If you’re noticing that new versions of Windows 10 are installing faster with each release, it’s because Microsoft has been introducing changes to deduce the downtime during the installation process.

On a new article at the Windows Insider blog, the software giant reveals that when Windows 10 version 1703 (Creators Update) was originally launched, the downtime (the time a user can’t use the device during installation) was 82 minutes on average. Then when version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) was released, the downtime was reduced to 51 minutes. Now, the company claims that with the new changes the downtime has reduced even further, and with Windows 10 version 1803 (Spring Creators Update) users will only experience 30 minutes of downtime.

Since the release of the Creators Update, these new changes translate into 63 percent reduction of downtime during an upgrade process.

According to the company, Windows 10 has four upgrade phases, and each one is done either “online” or “offline.” The new changes move parts of the offline phase into the online phase to drop the amount of time a user is unable to use the device because of an upgrade.

Here’s in more detail how Windows 10 is improving the installation of feature updates:

 OLD Feature Update modelNEW Feature Update model
Online
  • PC checks for available feature updates (manually or automatically)

  • Feature update payload is downloaded

  • PC waits for a required reboot to begin update installation

  • PC checks for available feature updates (manually or automatically)

  • Feature update payload is downloaded

  • User content is prepared for migration

  • New operating system is placed into a temporary working directory

  • PC waits for a required reboot to begin update installation

Offline
  • PC reboots to begin update installation process

  • User content is prepared for migration

  • New operating system is placed into a temporary working directory

  • Drivers and other required operating system files are migrated

  • User content is migrated

  • PC reboots and completes the update

  • OOBE begins

  • Average Offline time of 82 minutes

  • PC reboots to begin update installation process

  • Drivers and other required operating system files are migrated

  • User content is migrated

  • PC reboots and completes the update

  • OOBE begins

  • Average Offline time of 30 minutes (Insiders Program)

Technically, the installation process still takes the same amount of time, but because Microsoft is modifying how the upgrade process is handled, the installation now feels faster.

In addition, the company says that moving part of the upgrade process to the online phase, users will continue to be able to use their device without seeing significant impact in performance or battery life. This is because the “setup process run at a low priority.”