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Windows 11 hot patches could update your PC without rebooting

Windows 11Image: Melnikov Dmitriy/

One of the constant annoyances of Windows 11 are the reboots after installing updates. Sometimes a Windows PC even has to reboot several times in a row until it finally completes all the updates. But this should soon be a thing of the past, at least for security updates categorized as “critical.”

In the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26058 for Windows Insider Canary/Dev testers, Microsoft is trialing “hot patching,” or the installation of Windows 11 updates while the system is running and without restarting the computer. Microsoft has plenty of experience with hot patching, as the Redmond-based company already uses this patching process for Windows servers and Xbox.

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Microsoft is explicitly testing new features with the aforementioned build 26058, which are planned for a “24H2” update this autumn – at least for traditional x86 computers. ARM-based computers would not receive hot patching until 2025.

Zac Bowden, a well-known Windows expert, assumes that Microsoft wants to use hot patching for the monthly security updates, but not for adding new features. That’s understandable; a repair patch that closes a security hole is certainly easier to incorporate into a running operating system than a completely new feature or a new tool. Bowden claims to have received his information from unspecified “sources.”

But hot patching does not mean that you will never have to restart your Windows computer again. Bowden emphasizes that hot patching is based on a basic update that requires a reboot every few months. This would mean that a system restart for Windows 11 would only be required in January, April, July and October in order to install the security updates. In the other months, however, hot patching would ensure secure computers without a reboot. Unscheduled updates are of course still possible at any time.

Bowden cannot answer one important question with the information from his sources, however: Will all Windows 11 computers really receive hot patching, or only those with Windows 11 Enterprise or Education or Windows 365?

The official Microsoft support document for Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26058 can be found at this link. However, there is no mention of hot patching.

This article was translated from German to English and originally appeared on

Hans-Christian Dirscherl schreibt seit über 20 Jahren zu fast allen IT-Themen. Sein Fokus liegt auf der Koordination und Produktion von Nachrichten mit hohem Nutzwert sowie auf ausführlichen Tests und Ratgebern für die Bereiche Smart Home, Smart Garden und Automotive.

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