Hot Patching Means Windows 11 Updates Won’t Require a Restart

One of the most annoying things about Windows is having to restart every time you have to update, I mean its only a minor inconvenience but still an inconvenience. Fortunately Microsoft is testing a new method for updates which won’t require a restart, a method known as “hot patching”.

Windows 11 Hot Patching

As shared by WindowsCentral, Hot Patching is something that already exists in Windows Server and Xbox but soon will be coming to Windows 11. Hot patching basically allows you to apply a security update without having to restart your PC, saving you a bit of time whenever Microsoft dumps a new update on you.

About Hot Patching

Hotpatching is a way to install OS security updates on supported Windows Server Datacenter: Azure Edition virtual machines (VMs) that doesn’t require a reboot after installation. It works by patching the in-memory code of running processes without the need to restart the process. This article covers information about hotpatch for supported VMs, which has the following benefits:

  • Fewer binaries mean update install faster and consume less disk and CPU resources.
  • Lower workload impact with fewer reboots.
  • Better protection, as the hotpatch update packages are scoped to Windows security updates that install faster without rebooting.
  • Reduces the time exposed to security risks and change windows, and easier patch orchestration with Azure Update Manager.

Dev Channel

This feature is being tested in the latest dev-channel build 26058 with “virtualization-based security” enabled and works by, according to Microsoft’s documentation “patching the in-memory code of running processes without the need to restart the process”.

The intention here is to provide security updates without needing a restart, but unfortunately, hot patching does rely on a baseline update which requires a reboot every few months so it’s not a sure-fire solution. Sources to Windows Central suggest that hot-patching will arrive in Windows 11 Version 24H2 but it is unclear whether it will be for all users or reserved for commercial versions of Windows such as Enterprise, Education and 365.

Jakob Aylesbury

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