The Windows Update feature is probably not the first place many would now expect to see commitment 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 carbon footprint of the process. As we briefly explained in our message about build number 22567 for Windows 11 , users can find the new note here: “Windows Update is working to reduce carbon emissions”. However, this is not, as many might initially expect, an indication of Microsoft’s general efforts in this area.
As can be read in the official explanation, Microsoft uses “regional CO2 intensity data” whenever possible, such as those made available in the USA by providers such as electricityMap and Watttime. This in turn makes it possible to check which electricity carriers are currently supplying the most energy in the grid. Windows attempts to update “when larger amounts of clean energy sources (such as wind, sun and water) are available,” the developers said.
There are two simple limitations to the new feature. Windows Update relies on the relevant information on 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.