As part of the servicing model known as “Windows as a Service”,
Windows 11 and Windows 10 versions receive monthly updates with
security and general fixes.
There are mainly two types of Windows Updates: “feature
updates” and “quality updates.” Each one delivers a different
set of bug fixes or features, and quality updates cannot be
skipped. For example, the Patch Tuesday update is installed
automatically unless you manually pause updates using Windows
Update or Windows Update for Business.
For both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the “B” security update is
released on every Patch Tuesday, while the optional quality
update is released in the third or fourth week of the month.
These updates contain important bug fixes and they’re delivered
during a specific time period.
If you pause or skip updates, this can result in a backlog of
updates and increase the size of update packages. For better
performance of Windows Update, Microsoft has now started
removing older quality updates from the Windows Update server
and these removed updates will appear as “expired updates”.
The older and redundant packages will now expire automatically,
which can improve the performance of Windows Updates and reduce
update cache size. The older updates are superseded with newer
updates, and this would result in shorter scan times of Windows
Thankfully, cumulative updates (Patch Tuesday) include fixes
from all older updates that have been published for the
operating system. If an update package has expired, you would
still receive the fixes contained in the expired update package
when you install the latest Patch Tuesday release.
An expired package will not appear in Windows Update scan
results and it can also reduce internet data usage, which is
particularly important when you have a limited internet
“This KB is no longer available from Windows Update, the
Microsoft Update Catalog, or other release channels. We
recommend that you update your devices to the latest security
quality update. The latest security quality update is
cumulative and contains all the addressed issues in this
update,” Microsoft noted in an updated document.
Windows Updates are evaluated for expiration on a regular basis
and “expired” status would appear on Microsoft’s website, as
shown in the above screenshot.
Update Stack Pages for Windows 11
For Windows 11, Microsoft is also testing a feature called
“Update Stack Packages” which is being touted as a new way to
deliver improvements before a big patch is deployed. With the
new “Update Stack Package”, Microsoft can deliver improve some
areas of the OS before shipping monthly or feature updates.
The first Update Stack Package was released alongside
Build 22478 for Windows Insiders and it is currently
available for a limited number of users with no noticeable