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Microsoft wants to save the world with Environment-Friendly Windows Update

Microsoft has added a very interesting feature to Windows 11 with the latest version in the Dev Channel, which aims to make Windows Update more environmentally aware. Windows can detect when a particularly large amount of green energy is flowing into the grid and plan accordingly.

Windows Update an environment friendly feature

The Windows Update feature is probably not the first place many would now expect to be committed to the environment. However, this is exactly where users of the latest Insiders Build, published in the Dev Channel, have come up with an innovation that aims to reduce the environmental footprint of the process. As we briefly explained in our post on build number 22567 for Windows 11, users can find the new note here: “Windows Update is working to reduce CO2 emissions”. However, this is not, as many might initially expect, an indication of Microsoft’s overall effort in this area.

As stated in the official release, Microsoft uses “regional CO2 intensity data” as much as possible, such as those made available in the US by providers such as electric Map and Watttime. This again makes it possible to check which electricity carriers currently supply the most energy to the grid. Windows attempts to update “when greater amounts of clean energy sources (such as wind, solar, and water) are available,” the developers said.

Can be done manually

There are two simple limitations to the new feature. Windows Update relies on the relevant information about the electricity mix being freely available on the Internet. In addition, the function is only offered when the computer is connected to the power supply. Windows Update still allows manual installation or dynamic scheduling that attempts to install updates when the computer is idle.


Mark Goodman

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