Windows Updates – How and When?

One of the significant advantages of migrating to Active Directory is the way the platform supports software updates. And we are often asked questions about how updates work when they happen, and what control the user has over all of that.

First, a caveat: the information below is generally accurate and correct, but there are exceptions and occasional changes in the related policies. So, use this information as a guide, and contact CCS if you have specific concerns about software updates.

The vision that Microsoft is working toward is the idea of “Windows as a Service” – basically, a constantly-evolving operating platform, with “fixes” and new features being added frequently and without user involvement. However, that is still more “vision” than reality.

So, at this time, here is the general update gameplan from FSU-ITS that will mostly apply to our computers at Engineering:


  • Monthly Updates
  • Should be receiving monthly updates IF powered ON
  • Typically require reboots to complete installation
  • FSU-ITS/CCS do NOT force reboots
  • Servicing Plans (Feature Updates)
  • Require one or more reboots to complete installation
  • Must be powered ON

Off Campus

  • All update types are highly dependent on:
  • Internet connection speed from a remote location
  • Reboot frequency
  • User behavior (short vs long use sessions)
  • Whether or not the user accepts the update
  • GPO changes, remediations, fixes, etc.
  • Rely on-campus network connectivity (LAN and VPN access)

Some situations may call for greater control over the update process; see the Exceptions section for more information.

Over time, CCS will provide additional guidance on what and when to expect with the update process.

Other Software Updates

In addition to Windows operating system updates, our Active Directory system will support certain additional updates, including Office 365 tools and select non-Microsoft applications. Additional information about these updates will be available later.

Please note that updates require your computer to be ON, and many application updates (especially Office) may not complete if the application is running.