Difference Between Windows 10 Cumulative and Feature Updates

Everything you need to know about Windows updates, Windows 10 Cumulative update and Windows 10 feature update what it is? what are the difference between these two updates

Microsoft has recently introduced cumulative updates to fix the security holes created by third-party apps which contain security improvements and bug fixes to make your computer a safe device. Moreover, the latest Windows 10 update can install automatically and improve the security of your system. Additionally, Microsoft has made numerous changes in the entire operating system which the company performs after every six months to eliminate shortcomings of OS – it is known as feature update. If you don’t know the difference between Windows 10 Cumulative and Feature Updates and the features of the new updates, then we are going to discuss everything in this post.

Are Windows 10 updates really necessary?

To all those who have asked us questions like are Windows 10 updates safe, are  Windows 10 updates essential, the short answer is YES they are crucial, and most of the time they are safe. These updates not only fix bugs but also bring new features, and sure your computer is secure.

What is Windows 10 Cumulative Update?

Cumulative updates are also known as quality updates by some users as they offer mandatory security updates and fix bugs. Every month, your Microsoft device will automatically download the cumulative updates via Windows Update. These updates are released every second Tuesday of each month. But, you can check for the unexpected update also as Microsoft won’t wait till the second Tuesday of a month to fix any urgent security updates.

The date and time for Patch Tuesday (or as Microsoft prefers to call it, Update Tuesday), are carefully chosen — at least for the US. Microsoft has shaduled these Updates to release on Tuesday (not a Monday) at 10am Pacific Time so that they’re not the first thing admins and users have to deal with when they arrive at the beginning of the week, or first thing in the morning. Updates for Microsoft Office also come on the second Tuesday of the month.source: Techrepublic

Under this type of update, new features, visual changes or improvements can’t be expected. They are just maintenance-related updates that will solely be focused on fixing bugs, errors, patch security holes and improve the reliability of the Windows operating system. They also increase in size each month, as their nature of being cumulative means that each update includes the changes available in the previous updates.

You can always see the updates installed on your device in Settings > Windows Update, and by then clicking the View update history option.

windows update history

What is the Windows 10 Feature Update?

These updates are also known as Semi-Annual Channel as they are major updates and are released twice a year. It’s something like switching from Windows 7 to Windows 8. In this update, you can expect some major changes in the features and new improvements are introduced as well.

Before releasing these updates, Microsoft first design a preview to get the inside feedback from the users. Once the update is proven, then the company rolled it out of their gates. These updates can be also automatically downloaded on compatible devices. You can get access to all these major updates from the Windows Update or manual install. The ISO files are also provided for FU if you don’t want to completely wipe install on your system.

Windows 10 Cumulative and Feature Updates what is the difference?

Microsoft has been making great changes in the operating software so that commercial, as well as individual users, can easily use their products. To make the platform more robust, Microsoft make to two types of updates frequently and the major difference between both updates are –

Type – The cumulative updates are a collection of hotfixes that are directly related to the security and performance errors in the operating system. Whereas, feature updates are practically a new version of Windows 10 where all technical issues are fixed by the Microsoft engineers.

Purpose – The main purpose behind the regular cumulative updates is to keep Windows 10 operating system away from all the vulnerabilities and security issues that makes the system unreliable for the users. Feature updates are designed to improve the overall functionality of the operating system and to add new features into it, so that older and obsolete features can be discarded.

Period – Security and safety of their users is a major concern for Microsoft that’s why they release a new cumulative update every month. However, General Feature updates are released by Microsoft after the interval of every six months.

Release Window – Microsoft has dedicated every second Tuesday of every month to patch fixing day. So, on every second Tuesday or as Microsoft likes to call it – a Patch Tuesday Update a cumulative update window is shared by the company. For the feature updates, Microsoft has marked two dates on the calendar – spring and fall of each year which means April and October are months to update your system for new features and fixes.

Availability – The cumulative updates will be available to download on Windows Update and Microsoft Update Catalog which you can log in from your computer system for quick security updates. Users who are waiting up for the Microsoft feature updates can use Windows Update and Windows 10 ISO to add new features to their old operating system.

Download Size – As cumulative updates are introduced by Microsoft every month so the download size of these updates is relatively low for around 150 MB. However, in feature updates, Microsoft covers the entire operating system and adds new features while retiring some old ones so the basic download size of feature updates is going to big for a minimum of 2 GB.

Feature updates are bigger in size than quality updates. The download size can be close to 3GB for the 64-bit or 2GB for the 32-bit version. Or even close to 4GB for the 64-bit version or 3GB for the 32-bit version when using an installation media.

Defer Window – For cumulative updates, defer windows period could be around 7 to 35 days whereas for feature updates it will be around 18 to 30 months.

Installation – Installing Windows 10 Feature update means you’re actually installing a new version. Therefore a complete reinstallation of Windows 10 is required and it’ll take longer to apply, and you’re more likely to run into problems than when installing a quality update. Well, Quality updates download and install faster than feature updates because they’re smaller packages, and they don’t require a complete reinstallation of the OS, which also means that it’s not necessary to create a backup before installing them.

So, it is clear from the difference between Windows 10 Cumulative and Feature Updates that cumulative updates are related to security and feature updates are related to new features and graphical changes. Thus, both the updates are equally important and you should never miss out any of the new Microsoft updates if you want to keep your system secure and functional as Windows 10 developers are trying very hard to make your experience smooth and happening.

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