Do you hate being forced to reboot your PC every time a new Windows update drops? If so, there's a welcome change in the works.

Microsoft Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

For the most part, I think Windows works quite well. My daily PC has been running with the same installation for about 18 months. I don't think I've ever had a system hang or a forced reboot. Unless we're talking about a forced reboot so Windows can update itself. I hate that.

There's a little bit of good news on that front, as Windows Central reports that Microsoft is testing a new Windows Update hot patching method that doesn't require a reboot. Oh, hell yes! I love it already.

Microsoft has already introduced hot patching to Windows Azure editions, so it's a logical next step for it to roll out the feature to desktop users. According to Microsoft documentation, hot patching for the Azure edition of Windows works by 'establishing a baseline with the current Cumulative Update for Windows Server. Periodically (starting every three months), the baseline is refreshed with the latest Cumulative Update, then hot patches are released for two months following'. That means the need to reboot should be reduced to four times a year.

There is a catch. According to the latest documentation for Windows Insider builds, users have to have Virtualization Based Security (VBS) enabled in order to avoid a restart. This setting has been known to negatively impact gaming performance. So, that might be enough to end the hope of reboot-less Windows updates for gamers right there.

Thinking of upgrading?

Windows 11 Square logo

(Image credit: Microsoft)

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I guess a reboot once a month is not exactly a huge deal is it? I'd rather maintain my gaming performance than get the bonus of not having to reboot occasionally.

We'll have to wait and see just what form the final feature will take. I think I'd turn on VBS on in my daily PC, but leave it off on my gaming rig. That's powered down most of the time anyway. One does have to work and eat and sleep occasionally.

Still, I really don't like seeing that little icon in the taskbar with the orange or red dot on it. Even if I hide it, I know it's there, like a splinter in my mind saying: 'Do it!'

Microsoft is reportedly aiming to include the feature with the release of the Windows 24H2 update later this year. That particular update is sure to require a reboot or two.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.