What Is Microsoft Hotfix?

by Avery Martin

Microsoft releases several types of updates to help keep your system running effectively. Updates help to keep your computer secure, improve the reliability of software and install new features to improve existing programs. Hotfixes sometimes issue on Microsoft's monthly "Patch Tuesday," or they come bundled in the form of periodic service packs that include fixes for all known problems since the product release. Service packs also bundle security updates, which Microsoft classifies as its own type of update.


Microsoft releases hotfixes to fix bugs in an application. Microsoft may use several terms to refer to a hotfix, including Quick Fix Engineering or patches. Hotfixes correct specific issues within a program and apply to a limited group of users. For example, if you experience a black screen when you install a particular software program, you could contact Microsoft to see if a hotfix exists for your specific problem (link in Resources).


General-distribution releases and limited-distribution releases contain different types of updates. Generally, a GDR contains fixes for security and stability issues, undergoes extensive testing and is installed automatically through Windows Update. Critical updates, driver updates and feature packs get bundled with GDRs. An LDR contains hotfixes that pertain to a small population of Windows users and don't undergo extensive testing. LDR updates usually require a manual installation.

About the Author

Avery Martin holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies. As a professional writer, she has written for Education.com, Samsung and IBM. Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko. She has worked as an educator in Japan, and she runs a private voice studio out of her home. She writes about education, music and travel.

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