Windows 10 may need eight hours to update your gaming PC

Microsoft says Windows needs a full working day to round off its latest update

The Windows key on a gaming keyboard

Windows 10 is failing to update on some PCs and laptops, but the cause might actually be more annoying than the scheduler we all loathe. After an investigation into why some devices aren’t completing patches properly, Microsoft says it might take your system a total of eight hours in order to achieve a ‘fully up to date’ status.

Fortunately, it’s not quite a full working day without a lunch break. David Guyer, program manager for Windows Updates in Endpoint Manager, explains in a blog post that you need “a minimum of two continuous hours,” followed by another “six total connected hours” to successfully download and install the patch in the background.

Collectively, this is called the “minimum Update Connectivity measurement,” and approximately 50% of outdated devices aren’t clocking in the necessary hours to bring them up to speed according to Guyer’s data. In fact, 25% of devices running a serviced build of the operating system are still more than 60 days behind on security updates.

This probably isn’t a big problem for gaming PCs, given that gaming sessions tend to last hours at a time, but it does mean you’ll need to be more thoughtful when deferring your updates.

The simplest solution is to leave your device on overnight during the more unsociable hours so it doesn’t interrupt work or play. You’ll need to check that your power management settings aren’t too strict before you do, though, otherwise your PC’s hibernation could interrupt the update.

Windows 11's logo with rounded blue corners to reflect the new operating system

The good news if you’ve already switched over to Windows 11 is that updates are up to 40% smaller thanks to improved compression, making this much less of an issue.