Your next Windows update may not require a reboot — “Hot Patching” is reportedly coming to Windows 11 shortly

Windows Central reports that Microsoft is testing a new update procedure for Windows 11 that will not require reboots when installing security updates via Windows Update. The new feature, hot patching, is expected to arrive with Windows 11 24H2 later this year.

Hot patching isn’t anything new; Microsoft uses this update feature in its Windows Server operating systems and Xbox consoles. According to Microsoft, hot patching patches in-memory code of a running process on the fly without restarting the process. Microsoft uses its Cumulative updates as a baseline to prepare for future security updates that will be hot-patched into the OS. Each cumulative update occurs, and the baseline gets reset to ensure stability.

Microsoft just recently enabled hot patching on non-Azure versions of Windows Server 2022. This would explain why Microsoft is now pushing this feature onto consumer builds of Windows 11.

The only caveat with this new on-the-fly Windows update feature is that it will enable Virtualization Based Security (VBS). If you are a gamer, there is a good chance you might have this feature turned off to boost system performance. Since it is a feature that is known to reduce performance slightly. Microsoft is currently testing its hot patching feature in the Windows 11 dev channel, but only with Windows Insiders with VBS enabled.

Having more updates that don’t need a reboot is excellent and will make Windows updates less cumbersome. Depending on the system, it’s not uncommon for Windows updates to take several minutes to install. Hot patching will also make Windows less annoying for users who use their systems for mission-critical work that can’t be interrupted with a restart.

According to Windows Central, Microsoft desires to ship hot patching alongside 24H2 on standard PCs. Arm64 device support will be delayed a whole year until 2025. Hot patching will strictly cover security updates. We aren’t sure if other updates will be tweaked to work with hot patching, but it is certainly possible if Microsoft finds a way to implement it.