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Windows 10 Now Uses Machine Learning To Stop Updates Installing When A PC Is In Use


Have you ever stepped away from your PC only to return and find it in the middle of an update? Such is the bane of forced updates on Windows 10. They’re not disappearing, but Microsoft is employing machine learning to train Windows 10 not to update itself at an inappropriate times.

Windows 10’s overly aggressive update system, which sometimes restarts while using the device, has been a point of frustration for many users for a long time. Software has been developed to prevent forced update of Windows 10 by volunteers, but of course Microsoft also receives feedback from users and recognises that there is a problem with Windows 10 update. Microsoft currently has a snooze feature to postpone installing updates, but it still seems that complaints of “restarting while using the device” are still being sent. 

To combat this issue, Microsoft has been testing a new system that uses a predictive model to learn when devices aren’t in use. So instead of applying an update while the user is currently working, it will effectively check to see if the device is in use—even going as far as to understand when the uses has just stepped away for a few minutes and will likely return. From the announcement post which reads:

“Have you ever had to stop what you were doing, or wait for your computer to boot up because the device updated at the wrong time? We heard you, and to alleviate this pain, if you have an update pending we’ve updated our reboot logic to use a new system that is more adaptive and proactive. We trained a predictive model that can accurately predict when the right time to restart the device is. Meaning, that we will not only check if you are currently using your device before we restart, but we will also try to predict if you had just left the device to grab a cup of coffee and return shortly after.”

Microsoft’s two feature updates per year model the first release of Windows 10 version 1903, the next version of Windows 10 after the release of Windows 10 version 1809 in September/October 2018. It includes improvements to the Windows 10 updating system which, Microsoft promises, can accurately predict when the right time to restart the device is.

Having your PC learn when you’re using it is actually a smart one, however you can achieve very similar results using a feature called Active Hours that’s already built into Windows 10. Essentially, you can tell the operating system the hours when you’re most likely to be using the computer so it won’t restart during those hours.

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