Windows – Why does Windows 10 “Update and shut down” not complete the update

shutdownupdatesuser-experiencewindows 10windows update

I'm curious if there is any technical or user experience design reason for this phenomenon I'm experiencing:
Whenever I select "Update and shut down", the machine will update for a while and then shut down, but when I start it up again, it will still spend time on updating. As far as I know, an "Update and restart" will fully complete the update. So why is that not the case with "Update and shut down"?

I clicked update and shut down last night, expecting Windows to be done with whatever it needs to do, and turned on the machine this morning to be greeted with an hour-long update process I did not expect.

I see no technical reason for this behavior, as Windows is perfectly capable of rebooting any number of times during an update (as it indeed did this morning).

As for user experience, consider this:
What is the use case for shutting down versus turning on the PC?

  • Why do I want to turn off my computer? Because I'm not planning on using
    it for a good while. It now has all the time in the world to install
    updates and reboot as necessary along the way, then shut down.
  • Why do I want to turn on my computer? It is very likely that I want to turn it on because I actually want to use it, perhaps for work.

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit more like a rant than a question, but I'm genuinely curious about the reasons behind this behavior. Is there a technical reason? Does Microsoft simply think that this is the best way to go about updates? Is my preferred use case so unexpected / out of norm?

Is there a way to tell Windows to really install everything and then shut down?

Best Answer

1.When windows updates, it first downloading files from whatever storage of MS there is.

2.Then it start to look thought packages your system already has and downloaded.

3.After this there is a dependency mechanism on what package need what actions to be performed: for example you have packages downloaded:


and already present packages:

The system during update can for example check that package "pack2" needs reboot and be installed only after "pack1" should be installed onto system, because of this it will need a complete system reboot.

That is the suggestion why after you shutdown your PC your downloaded updates are still "Updating" (but they are Installing in fact)

And the option that goes from Microsoft about shutdown your PC for good after download of updates can be more universall, maybe you want to see the process with your own eyes and shut it down for this reason. I think more can be found here:

for more detailed process on update i think it will be better to contact the support and mention the specific version of Windows you are using.

Is there a way to tell Windows to really install everything and then shut down?

I don't realy tried that, but scheduled reboot and then shutdown should help you in this. (Tasks Scheduler)