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!