Disable Automatic PC Restart for Windows Updates Installation

by on June 18th, 2013

I rarely shutdown or restart PC unless its really necessary. I have web apps, web browser tabs and software opened most of the time on PC. Restarting PC and then re-opening all those apps seem to be a drag to me. I am sure many Windows users also experience the same. Windows downloads updates from web automatically and then restarts in order to install those updates. That is good and all but for those who use PC excessively, its irritating because they usually keep web browsers tabs and software opened and if Windows restarts, unsaved data can be lost or even you save data, you have to re-open all the web browser tabs and software that you were working with earlier. The solution is to disable that automatic restart function in order to install Windows updates. Windows asks to save your data and close apps before it restarts and you can even chose to stop it from restarting for few more hours, but still PC gets restarted in few cases somehow. Here is how you can disable restarting PC in the process of Windows updates availability.

windows updates

You can prevent Windows from shutting down or restarting in many ways.

By Using Run Command Prompt

Run command shutdown -a or shutdown /a (Windows 8) from command prompt in Windows to prevent PC from shutting down. But this is not the permanent solution.

Another command is net stop “automatic updates” that will work for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

You can also suspend the automatic restart process with utility PsSuspend by using the command pssuspend wuauclt.

You can also disable automatic Windows Updates by entering services.msc into the Start > Run dialog and stopping as well as disabling Automatic Updates.

From Control Panel

Go to Control Panel > Windows Update > change settings

Under Important Updates, select ‘Download updates but let me choose whether to install them‘. This will give you the control on when to install and restart if required.

By Using Group Policy Editor

  • Press Windows+R key or click at start button, type run, hit enter.
    That will bring Run command prompt
  • Type gpedit.msc in Run and hit Enter
  • In the left panel go to the following:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
  • In the right panel find entry: No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations
  • Right click it, edit and select ‘enabled’ and hit ok.

If you can’t use gpedit.msc (because its not available in all versions of Windows) then you can use registry editor for this.

By Using Windows Registry Editor

  • Run > regedit
  • Go to following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > WindowsUpdate > AU
    If the WindowsUpdate and AU don’t exist there, you will need to create these last two folders in the tree
  • In AU, right panel, create the DWORD item NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers (32-bit) and set its value to 1 (HEX). If the item already exists, change its value to 1.

Any one of above mentioned methods will work fine. But it is advisable that you install important updates as soon as possible to keep your PC safe from vulnerabilities and bugs. Windows updates make sure that your PC is secure, stable and not vulnerable to intruders and latest security threats.