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Update Notifications and Install-at-Shutdown Behavior

Update Notifications and Install-at-Shutdown Behavior

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Hi All,


There have been some recent questions about how users are notified about updates and comments that sometimes customers aren’t being notified that updates are available when they shut down their computer. We are investigating the reports and trying to clarify with the community exactly what people are experiencing. We also want to make sure you understand how the update notifications work.


1.      The tray icon should display when all of your available updates have been downloaded. If there are some downloads that haven’t completed, Windows Update (WU) and Automatic Updates (AU) will reschedule the “updates are available” tray notification until those downloads have completed. We wait to notify you after all available updates are downloaded, so you are not constantly interrupted with notifications while using your computer.

2.      Upon shutdown, Windows Update and Automatic Updates will also notify customers if there are any available and downloaded (but not yet installed) updates. We do this by prompting customers via the shutdown button to install the downloaded updates. The shutdown and install updates button does not prompt users to install updates – like Service Packs, Internet Explorer, etc… – that  require manual interaction (accepting a EULA or completing an installation wizard). It only prompts on updates that could otherwise be installed automatically, according to the user’s configuration. Customers can also choose not to install these updates at shutdown.


Please call Microsoft Support if updates are installed when you shut down your computer and the shutdown button did not inform you that updates would be installed. If you don’t want to be prompted to update at shutdown, you can disable this feature using the guidance provided in the Controlling the Install Updates and Shutdown Feature section of the linked TechNet article. Please note that if your computer attaches to a corporate network, your IT Administrator may be enabling this feature through Group Policy, and it may be turned back on the next time you connect to your corporate network.


Note: Some updates shown in the update list aren’t downloaded with the other updates, and you aren’t notified to install them (described in KB910340). Some customers call support believing that WU isn’t working correctly, because it isn’t downloading or notifying them about some updates. These updates are held back by WU. You can download and install them manually through WU, but WU won’t automatically download or notify you about these specific updates until the WU servers make them “available” for your computer. We gradually allow computers to start downloading larger updates, like Service Packs, because they are bigger downloads that require more network bandwidth to download. If an update is held back from your computer, it will not prevent WU from notifying you on the system tray after all of the “available” updates have been downloaded.


We hope this helps!


MU Team

  • I've seen this myself on an older Acer Travelmate where the yellow icon disappeared, and when I went to shut down the system, patches were ready to be installed and I didn't realize due to the fact that the yellow icon was missing that the machine was in a "Shut down and install patches" mode.  For those that report that there is no shut down and install patches notification at all, there's no way in the log files to confirm or deny this claim.

    In a normal download (non regulated) time that yellow icon never goes away as the patches begin to download and trickle down in the background.  The problem lies in these heavy months where the patches are regulated and stop trickling down.  Due to the fact that no icon shows up, I know in my own personal case, I was totally not expecting patches ready to be installed via the shut down button.

    With all due respect you say to call support but about a year or so ago I tried and got very frustrated by the process.  Getting past level one is not easy.  Given the fact that this mostly occurs on consumer machines (not behind WSUS or other patching mechanisms) getting through to support when the computer is an OEM, when it's not exactly due to security patches, bottom line, it's not easy to get this looked into.

    There are historical reports of this in the Windows Update newsgroups as well.

    This isn't new, it's been around for awhile.  The trigger is when you are regulating patch traffic.

  • You don't have a contact box button so I'll post here.  I have looked at several windowsupdate.log files of people reporting this issue and so far they have all been set to "notify me".

    Can you email me at  I strongly feel that there is a bug in the windows update notifying in the system tray.

    Calling support is not efficient when I can talk regarding the issue to someone in a position to better understand the issue.

    Please, I'd like to help Microsoft customers trust the patching process better than they do.

  • Not the most appropriate place to ask, but can you please look into why it seems BITS won't download any Windows Updates if 1 NIC in a NIC team is disabled or has it's network cable unplugged even though the other NIC is fine. Just found that out today on Server 2008 SP2 64-bit on a HP DL360 G6.

  • Please, I'd like to help Microsoft customers trust the patching process better than they do.

  • Not the most appropriate place to ask

  • thank your

  • I have a big problem with all our Vista machines at the office.

    after the sp2 update all machines are in an endless loop???

    the only way to get them working as been to do a system restore.

    what the h..l is happening?

    can anyone help me with this ?

    this only happens with our Vista Business coputers.

  • Not happened on the Vista machines we've patched. Hope you get the sorted Torehov, that sounds a little frustrating to say the least!

  • people would like to thank you for giving useful information

  • upload your news to follow I'm constantly updating my computer I

  • To install the updates and that they are useful for us, thank you for your news

  • Everyone should be careful in this regard have trouble get installations Thanks for your news

  • important for everyone, everyone must download the updates should not close.

  • like this, thank you for sharing your news with us

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