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Windows users face update bloat, and tough choices

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Honorary Alumnus

Windows users face update bloat, and tough choices

Windows 10's cumulative updates have ballooned in size, and a similar bloat will also affect the Windows 7 updates that Microsoft revamped this month.

According to data published last month by LANDesk and refreshed by Computerworld with October's numbers, Windows 10 cumulative updates for the three versions of the new OS have surged in size.

Updates for Windows 10 version 1507 -- the debut that launched in July 2015 -- have grown 153% (for the 32-bit edition) and 181% (64-bit), from 184MB and 368MB to 466MB and 1,034MB (or over a gigabyte), respectively, in just over a year.

Those for version 1511 -- Windows 10's first "feature update," issued in November 2015 -- exploded in comparison: The first 64-bit 1511 update was 49MB, but the cumulative update released earlier this month was a whopping 989MB, for a growth rate of 1,918% in under 12 months.

The newest Windows 10, version 1607 -- released in early August -- has also expanded, with the 64-bit edition climbing 591% from 113MB in August to 781MB this month.

"Cumulative updates start out big and become enormous over time," Stephen Brown, director of product management at LANDesk, a maker of enterprise endpoint management software, wrote in a post to a company blog on Sept. 21.

Updates increase in size because they are cumulative; October's 989MB update for 1511 included not only new fixes, but also those in every prior update. September's, in turn, included new fixes as well as those in August's and July's and June's and....

And so on and so on.

The article can be read in full here:

Hughes users on legacy daily plans and lower level plans are really going to get squeezed.


Good to keep in mind when people report unidentified data usage... it will most likely be a result of Win 10 updates.

Thanks for the share!
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Laurie Wise
New Member

I had no idea Microsoft's  Win 10 updates had become That bloated.  Near Gig "cumulative packages.....which included any previous builds?  Argh!

I am a 10 year WildBlue customer with a "grandfathered" 10 gig value package (rolling FAP).  Living in a very rural area, WildBlue was my only option to connect to the Internet, outside of Dialup, at the time.   HughesNet was not offered yet in my area and Wi Fi still years down the road.  I learned quickly using a Satellite system and  to live with any limitations. At least it was faster than my Dialup.

 After my eight year old Dell Inspiron 530 (WinXP) died late last year, I bought a new Dell XPS 8900 that came with Win 10 Home.  Figured I had better get my toes wet learning how to use the new OS.  The version was the 1507 build and  was fine with it.   Unlike the WinXP, I can't choose which updates I wanted or needed.  But at least I could choose when to download on a metered connection.   However, For some reason, the later cumulative updates either "hung" or failed to completely download, so until the 1607 bulled its way installation, I was still running 1507.

After the AU update, the "metered connection" button is no longer there (although you "could" set times when to let them download updates) but my internet connection hasn't been same since. I spent the last three weeks reading through tech forums for any possible fixes, patches and help to relieve some problems this update caused.  I thought it was some "bug/glitch" in the Update causing this.  A couple of "tweeks" did help  while waiting for my FAP to roll down.  I have used Windows since Win 3.1 and, like children,  each new OS came with with their own "teething" pains users patiently learn to work around, through and out of.   

 But the Sept 25th AU takes the cake.  That was when my Sat FAP was pushed to 109% with that Anniversary/1607v update and throttled me down to a near crawl.   I knew these packages would be far larger than any update my old WinXP had to go through but near Gig amounts...each? Argh!

 I don't go to Youtube nor stream any thing.  Any games I have, are played offline.  My FAP is finally down to 60% and a few more websites will open faster now, especially they are mostly text.   Some of my customers use Facebook and It still loads extremely sloowwwwwwwww (I could go have coffee and still come back to a blank screen while it's trying to load).  "Sigh". 

Solution would be to go to Microsoft's website where you can download specific updates for your "build" individually with a flashdrive. Then install them into your computer.  Just hope the next Windows Updates recognizes  You have them already installed.

In closing, "Thank You" for explaining how bloated the updates have I don't need to pull my hair out anymore.  "Grins"
FIA Ranch
New Member

With (pushing) 20 devices on my network, it is not difficult to tell when I did a "night shift" to update something or other....... but Win10 is definitely the big winner...... a gigabyte here... a gigabyte there..... poof!!
Associate Professor

Yeup...  They have grown exponentially in size, and it's becoming increasingly annoying.

Heres just ONE cumulative update for Win10, note all the different files associated with that ONE cumulative update, and their sizes.
New Member

This is bad, but what makes it really bad is that users have no control of the time of day that these updates occur. Ive been lucky so far, and they generally have been pushed during the 2 am  - 8 am "blue data" period.
Honorary Alumnus

 "but what makes it really bad is that users have no control of the time of day that these updates occur."

Besides doing a registry hack about the only thing to do is to get a wireless adapter for all wired computers and connect wirelessly. That way you can set the Win10 WiFi setting to "metered" and not receive any updates while so connected.

Reconnecting by Ethernet will cause updates to be downloaded. It is recommended that the "metered" setting be checked after every Windows update cycle because some updates will cause settings to revert to the default values.

FIA Ranch
New Member

Hey outhere....

You can control them..... Win10 doesn't make it easy..... but easy to do..... On all my WIN10 machines I have the Windows Update service disabled.  When I decide to do a night shift and update them, I enable the service, let them run, and then disable again.  All other devices, Win7/8, Android, PLCs, etc are more easily controlled...they all have "notify" capability, and then I do the updates when when I get the urge...
Distinguished Professor IV

Wow.  I know this article is a little old, but I just updated my laptop today with the Oct 27th update.  When I updated my desktop with this it was slightly over 380MBs.  With my laptop it was 641MBs.  Sheesh.  They both have Windows 10 Pro.   

Actually, it was worse.  It was 690MBs, not 641MBs.  I had the slider in the wrong place in Glasswire. 

Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Advanced Tutor

My last 1607 update took about half a gig and about four hours, using bonus time. Methinks I shall go to Ye Olde Library for the next one. 🙂
New Member

My last Win 7 update on Oct 13 is the likely culprit of my large data use for October. Husband's Win 10 laptop also updated on Oct 12, as well as other times. This may be a stupid question, but is there anyway to tell Windows what hour of the day to check for updates? Win 7 allows me to set the time for install, but apparently not for download. I hesitate to shut it off completely, mostly because I'm not awake (usually not) at 2am to turn it back on (always assuming I'd remember to do so even if I were awake). Our 10GB plan just covered us for September (our first month), but we've been woefully behind for Oct. I just purchased my 2nd set of tokens, as we don't get refilled until the 10th of the month. Wish I had purchased the larger token bucket the first time. Hind sight is always 20/20. 🙂 Thanks!
Distinguished Professor IV

Good question.  It's been so long since I've had Windows 7 that I honestly don't remember, but I hate to say that I don't think there is a way to do it.  You could set it to just check for updates, but then manually download them in the morning or something.  That's about the only thing I can think of.   

Your first month probably went well due to the initial 20 days of daily resets, so your monthly data amount really only had to last for ten or eleven days instead of the normal thirty or thirty one.

Hopefully you'll eventually be able to fine tune your usage so you won't have to buy anymore tokens in the future.  It can be a trick, though, especially when you have multiple devices.     

Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Assistant Professor

I have 8.1 and you have pretty much the same settings. You choose to check for updates but not to download them. Then it periodically checks but you have to select to download and install whatever it finds.

New Member

You are correct, BirdDog, it is the much the same.

GabeU, you mean my first month's service wasn't really a dry run? Argh! That's painful news. We signed up with HughesNet for two reasons (1) because we were mad at both the broadband providers here in Topeka, and (2) because we're looking for property in a rural location that would likely necessitate a satellite service like HughesNet. It seemed to make sense at the time to establish service that could move with us wherever we end up.

It has been rough adjusting--and it IS an adjustment. Clearly we have some soul searching to do, because although it is just me and my husband, we have 6 devices--2 laptops, 2 smartphones, 2 tablets. We do have a kindle, but it doesn't get used much since we acquired the smartphones and tablets.
Tim Phillips
New Member

At the risk of not being Fapped and a Virus I am sure I am not the only one that has updates in some way turned off, I see no choice, I was fapped yesterday 2 minutes later google updates chrome....bam, dow to instantly 190 from 250MB........ on Win 7 and Win 10 both turned off...... if you think these days you can depend on the old style free download period, dream on, the Web Acceleration starts promptly at the start and some nights there is ZERO usable service......
Distinguished Professor IV

Well, they give the 20 days of resets to allow people to bring all of their devices to a current state without it affecting what would be a their normal monthly data allotment.  Upgrades, updates, downloading new programs/apps, etc.  Sometimes doing so can use quite a large amount of data.   

Getting the devices set to NOT auto update is a big thing.  Also, one of the other things is syncing.  If you have Windows 10, make sure it's turned off, and make sure to turn off "Update from more than one place" in your update options.  That one's really a pain for a capped service.  It's under "Choose how updates are delivered", which is under the advanced options in your update settings.  Using the cloud is also another bad one.  Syncing and updating from more than one place can be constant data drains. 

The actual updates for the OS's aren't all that huge, but "huge" is relative, of course.  For my three computers the OS updates are usually in between one and one and a half gigs, combined.  Then program/app updates are a bit more, but really not more than 2GB for everything, normally.  Then again, it all depends on what you have, and what versions of software you have, of course.   The difference in the sizes of the exact same updates for my laptop and desktop, which have the exact same OS, are ridiculous.  The laptop updates were nearly twice the size of the desktop updates.       

Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Distinguished Professor IV

I remember when you could update Windows 98SE in just a few minutes with a 28.8 modem.  LONG GONE are those days.  LOL. 

Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Distinguished Professor IV

In those days we also had some choices as to when and whether to update. Nowadays, Papa Microsoft knows better, apparently.
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