Windows security updates could come with fewer reboots beginning later this year

Enlarge / A PC working Windows 11.


Microsoft is already testing Windows 11 24H2, this fall’s huge new Windows launch. The firm has already demonstrated a number of new options, like 80Gbps USB4 help and Sudo for Windows, and the brand new model could additionally give a major refresh to the Windows installer for the primary time because the Windows Vista days.

But there’s one huge replace you may not discover in any respect. Late final week, Microsoft launched “servicing updates” with no new options to Windows Insiders within the Dev and Canary channels. The updates had been “designed to test [Microsoft’s] servicing pipeline for Windows 11.” It’s fairly widespread for Insiders to get these sorts of updates-that-exist-only-to-test-the-update-process, however the twist right here is that PCs with Virtualization Based Security (VBS) enabled could apply the replace with out rebooting.

Sources talking to Windows Central say this is not a fluke—Microsoft reportedly intends to make use of a Windows Server feature called hotpatching to ship extra Windows 11 security updates with out requiring a reboot, making it simpler to remain updated with out disrupting no matter you are doing. You’ll nonetheless must reboot “every few months”—Microsoft’s documentation says a reboot is required roughly as soon as each three months, although it will probably occur extra usually than that for unanticipated zero-day patches and others that may’t be mounted through hotpatching. The Arm variations of Windows 11 additionally will not get the characteristic for an additional year or so, in keeping with Windows Central.

Still, that is a giant drop within the variety of obligatory reboots you may expertise, letting you keep away from each disruption to your routine as you await updates to use and the annoyance of sitting down at your PC within the morning solely to find that your entire apps closed in a single day.

Currently, hotpatching is principally a characteristic for digital machines. Microsoft says it really works by “patching the in-memory code of running processes without the need to restart the process” and with out touching any of your working functions. Even although your Windows PC is working on bodily {hardware}, having VBS enabled nonetheless isolates the OS from the remainder of the {hardware} in the same means, guaranteeing that hotpatching can nonetheless work.

Any Windows 11 PC that meets the working system’s set up necessities ought to routinely have VBS enabled. You can verify within the System Information app or by opening Windows Security, then Device Security, then choosing Core Isolation and checking whether or not the Memory Integrity toggle is on.

Most of the time, there is no draw back to leaving this characteristic enabled, although testing from Tom’s Hardware and others has proven that it will probably have a minor affect on gaming efficiency. The drop is normally within the low- to mid-single-digits vary, relying on the sport and settings, although this is sufficient that the traditional knowledge amongst PC avid gamers normally says to show VBS off. If you disable VBS, you may nonetheless get all of Microsoft’s security updates; you may simply should maintain rebooting no less than as soon as a month to put in them.

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