Windows 11 Update Estimate

When Windows 11 launches in the fall of 2021, you’ll be able to see an install time estimate for Windows updates. It’s a feature just rolling out now for some Windows Insiders, but we should hopefully see it live in the finished builds. Here’s how it works.

Estimates Everywhere

When this feature fully rolls out for Insiders, if you’re running Windows 11, you’ll see an estimate of the time it will take to install a firmware update in several locations. As detailed by Microsoft in its Windows 11 Insider blog post, those spots include the Windows Update Settings page, the Windows Update icon in the taskbar, in the power button menu in Start, and in restart notifications.

An example of the Windows Update time estimate in Windows Settings.

At the time of writing, Windows Insiders are reporting on Reddit in several threads that the Windows 11 update estimate always says “5 minutes” even though updates are taking as long as two hours in some cases. It’s likely that the update estimate time will become more accurate as Microsoft refines the feature before the full launch of Windows 11 this fall.

If you are running the Windows 11 Insider Preview right now, you might not see the estimate yet. Microsoft appears to only be rolling it out for a subset of Insiders on the Dev channel, possibly for A/B testing purposes.

RELATED: Windows 11: What's New In Microsoft's New OS

What If I’m Not an Insider?

If you’re not currently running the Windows 11 Insider Preview, you don’t have to worry: Microsoft is planning to include the update estimate feature in the retail launch of Windows 11 this fall. Of course, this plan might change by the time most upgrade their Windows 10 PC because Windows 11 is still in development.

If Microsoft can make the update estimate time more accurate, it will be a very handy feature to have, allowing you to better plan around updates instead of getting stuck with one that accidentally takes much longer than anticipated.

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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