How to permanently stop Windows 10 reboots after installing updates

Windows 10 is known to auto restart your PC when it installs updates. This is completely unacceptable no matter how important the update is. If the user does not restart the operating system for a certain period of time, Windows 10 starts showing warnings that the PC will be restarted at a specific time. Eventually, it restarts it on its own even if the user is in the middle of something important. In this article, we will see how to stop Windows 10 from auto-restarting and take the reboot control back in your hands.

Many users cannot tolerate rude behaviors of Windows 10. Windows Defender is hard to disable in this OS, Windows Update gives you no control over choosing and downloading updates and there's no way to stop automatic reboots either.

With Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft implemented a new feature called "Active Hours". It is intended to not disturb the user during the specified period of time. You can use it to postpone reboots.

If you do not want to wait for Anniversary Update (which will be released in July 2016) or if Active Hours is not a solution for you, you can permanently stop Windows 10 reboots after updates are installed if you follow the steps below.

  1. Open Control Panel. Windows 10 open control panel
  2. Go to Control Panel\System and Security\Administrative Tools. Click the Task Scheduler icon. Windows 10 administrative tools Windows 10 task scheduller
  3. In Task Scheduler, open the following folder Task Scheduler Library \ Microsoft \ Windows \ UpdateOrchestrator.
  4. There you will see a task called "Reboot". Disable it using the appropriate command in the right click menu: Windows 10 disable reboot task

Once the Reboot task is disabled, Windows 10 will never reboot itself automatically after updates have been installed.

Some users report that Windows 10 is able to re-enable this task automatically. You can ensure that Windows 10 will not re-enable it by doing the following.

  1. Open this folder in File Explorer:
    C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator

    Windows 10 UpdateOrchestrator tasks

  2. Rename the file name Reboot without an extension to Reboot.bak. Windows 10 UpdateOrchestrator rename reboot task If can if you can't rename the mentioned file, you need to take ownership of that file.
  3. Rename the file to Reboot.bak.
  4. Create an empty folder here instead and name it Reboot. Windows 10 create reboot folder

This will prevent Windows 10 from re-creating the Reboot task and restarting the computer whenever it wants. Later, if you change your mind, you can delete the Reboot folder and rename the file from Reboot.bak to Reboot.

Alternatively, you can use a small app ShutdownGuard which prevents the operating system from accidental reboots.

That's it.

45 thoughts on “How to permanently stop Windows 10 reboots after installing updates

  1. Sanya

    Thanks!

    I kinda messed up though… I sort of removed the “Scheduled Scan” but I DID export it first… Thing is, now when I try to import it I get “Task scheduler service is not available. Task Scheduler will attempt to reconnect to it.” Which is obviously not good… Any idea how I can force the task in there again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sanya

      I think I “fixed” it, instead of importing the exported task I instead created a new one which seems to be working. I did however forget what the other trigger was, could you perhaps check what yours state? I think it was an event of sorts.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    2. Joe

      Go To Services / Right Click On Windows Update / Left Click On Properties / On The General Tab / Change
      Startup Type To Manual / Left Click On Apply / Left Click On OK. Now Windows Will No Longer Check For
      Updates, And You Can Do It Yourself Any Time You Like. No More Worries Mate.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  2. Kruno

    Very useful little fix for a very annoying major problem. Thank you. Another great little trick for windows. :)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      yep, it is definitely a useful trick for those who need to control the reboot behavior of Windows Update in Windows 10.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

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      1. Denis

        THANKS; it turns out that Windows 10 absolutely ignores some background tasks when it “wants” to restart; it can only defer the restart if a user is active, not some tanks that require no interactions with the user.

        Because of this Windows 10 killed off my backup process as after restart Volume Shadow Copy was recreated a new and the ongoing process somehow could not be completed; I only got files with zero length in the archive as a result.

        Disabling arbitrary reboots is the only reliable solution to such issues as I have no idea when and if something will be patched.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  3. LC

    How about enabling the following Group policy: Computer Config > Admin Templates > Windows Comp > Windows Update / No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations?

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

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    1. Rodalpho Carmichael

      That policy does not work. Win10 completely ignores it.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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    2. Cam

      I tried Group policy: Computer Config > Admin Templates > Windows Comp > Windows Update / No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations, and it didn’t work, frustratingly. Hoping the solution above does indeed work.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  4. Matthew Borcherding

    !!!THANK YOU!!! for this information. I just put together a batch file to detect the status of this task and disable if enabled, all via SCHTASKS. Here it is below:

    @echo off
    rem Disable-W10-Update-Reboots.bat
    rem by Matthew Borcherding
    rem matt@borchtech.com
    rem 07/08/2016
    rem

    rem
    rem First check if the auto-reboots are already disabled.
    rem

    schtasks /query /tn “\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot” | find “Ready” > nul
    if errorlevel 1 goto already_disabled

    rem
    rem Not disabled, so disable them
    rem

    schtasks /change /tn “\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot” /disable > nul 2>&1

    echo Windows 10 update auto-reboots are now disabled.
    goto end

    :already_disabled
    echo Windows 10 update auto-reboots are already disabled.
    echo.

    :end

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thank you for this useful batch file, Matthew!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      1. Matthew Borcherding

        Thank you, Sergey. I’m going to run this on all my Win10 system that I administer.

        W10’s delayable but ultimately unavoidable reboots after updates was my #1 remaining problem with Windows 10.

        With Win 8.1 or earlier, I could just set the system to keep bugging me forever until I rebooted. Sorry, Microsoft, but I’d like to reboot when I have time, and when I can shutdown any open programs/documents/etc. in an orderly fashion. Forcing reboots in *all* cases is going to lead to eventual data loss.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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        1. Morona

          If you were stupid enough to upgrade to Windows 10, you probably deserve forced reboots lol. Personally I come to Winaero to read tips too and I think it’s great the number of tips they offer but I think Windows 10 is fucked up beyond repair. You should not use such software which forces you to do anything.

          Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 54

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          1. Matthew Borcherding

            If you buy a new computer, it’s very likely going to have Windows 10. You might not be able to downgrade it because of drivers issues. Your parent’s/friend’s/love interest’s/etc. new systems will definitely have Windows 10, and they’ll have no idea how to install Windows 7 or 8.1.

            So we can curse out Microsoft’s dumb decisions to a degree, and just recommend people stay on Win7. But avoiding Win 10 completely is not always an option.

            Windows 10, love it or hate it, is here. Learning how to deal with it’s annoyances is important to anybody who is going to have to support it. And IT is my job, so, I need to learn it and how to get around stupid issues with it, like forced reboots.

            Between my wife, daughter, and myself, I have five Windows 7 systems, and my one Windows 10 system. I don’t plan on upgrading the others to 10, but I’m glad I do have the one Win10 system just for learning and testing purposes.

            Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

          2. Martin Panda

            Morona

            You are properbly on an older system, or at least not working with newer tech. Windows 7, a beloved and favorite OS, is starting to show its wrinkles, when running on newer systems. For instance, windows 7 doesn’t play well with m.2 drives or PCIE SSDs. First off, it is very hard to even get it to install, second: it tend to give regular boot failures, from time to time on this kind of setup…Third: if you want a PCIe SSD along with a raid setup, there is no way around it, you have to use a UEFI compatible OS. Windows 8 can handle this, although not particularly well.. And if you want to boot from USB 3, windows 10 is your only choice. So you might as well start to get the hang of it. My main home PC is clinging on to windows 7, Love that OS.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  5. Matthew Borcherding

    I found some anecdotal evidence that Windows may just re-enable the Reboot task even if you disable it, unless you block it via file permissions:

    http://superuser.com/questions/957267/how-to-disable-automatic-reboots-in-windows-10
    and
    https://superuser.com/questions/973009/conclusively-stop-wake-timers-from-waking-windows-10-desktop/973029#973029

    If that’s so, I’ll add some “takeown” and “icacls” commands to my batch file. (The Reboot task is ultimately a file in “C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot”. So we can manipulate its permissions if needed.)

    It hasn’t re-enabled on my system yet, but it’s only been 8 hours or so.

    Next Tuesday (7/12) is Patch Tuesday, so I’ll definitely know by then…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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  6. Matthew Borcherding

    Unfortunately, after the latest Patch Tuesday installs, the OS on my system *DID* re-enable the Reboot task.

    So it looks as if blocking the system with some file security changes is going to be necessary to keep this task permanently disabled.

    I’ll work on adding some changes to my batch file later this week.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  7. Aaron

    Thanks for the post. In my case, I created a folder named “Reboot” in the specified location but Windows eventually clobbered and put the regular “Reboot” scheduled task back.

    I fixed this by setting myself as owner of the “Reboot” folder, then removing the permissions for everyone except myself. This has stuck for several update cycles now spanning a few weeks. It looks like whatever Windows is doing to set these tasks back to normal does not include overriding permissions when it does not have access (not yet anyway).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

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    1. Jim

      Thanks so much! I’d given up on stopping reboots on my Win10 Home machine until it installed the Anniversary Update, rebooted, and silently left the machine with a critical task broken. My angry searches found this thread, and now I think I’ve protected my machine from unwanted reboots.

      Great info!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  8. Bill

    Thanks for the tip. Rebooting without permission or even installing updates without permission is unacceptable. Am seriously considering downgrading back to Win8.1.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  9. Matthew Borcherding

    Here’s the promised updated version of my batch file. It now does take ownership and file security blocks to prevent Windows from changing the settings. And just in case it *still* changes it, it schedules a routine to run at login to disable the reboot task again. Hope this is useful!!!

    Instead of posing the raw batch code, I’ve uploaded it here:

    http://textuploader.com/dsvox

    It should be easier to view and copy/paste. If I update the code later, I’ll update this copy as well.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

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    1. Bill

      October 8, 2016 1:18pm (EST)

      Hello Matthew,

      Thank you for putting in the time to share with us how to disable the automatic reboot. I keep coming back to a cleared desktop with half my documents disappeared. I’m terribly upset at Microsoft for the auto-reboots, for removing the ability to manage my own machine, and for removing software I installed that MSFT believes I shouldn’t have installed. Have no time to deal with shenanigans like in my youth so I am lucky to have landed here.

      Best regards,
      Bill

      PS
      I’m using Win10 not by choice. I’ve developed software (in both user and kernel spaces, and device firmware) under MSFT since 1980’s from MS-DOS, Win3.1, all the way to you named it, Win10. By far Win10 is last and worst Windows OS. Can’t even imagine how version control would be maintained when the PC is just like a phone with OTA updates. No thanks. I will have most my machine stick to Win7 beyond end of life. If MSFT continues to push for Win10 and beyond, I may have to suck my pride and use *nix desktops, which I’m already using ArchLinux, CentOS, and FreeBSD for servers. So listen up, MSFT, your long time proponents have already entering despondency. Can’t wait for ReactOS to get to version 1.0. For those that can’t, hang on there. MSFT might change if you put some activist investors on their board seats.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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      1. Matthew Borcherding

        Bill — glad to help out. I wanted to do this for my own sanity as well.

        If others try this, PLEASE get back to me. Love to know about any issues, bugs, etc. I just test this on my own limited set of a couple Windows 10 systems.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    2. Joel Agrell

      This bat file works wonders. Love that it creates a schedule task that checks for if the reboot task is re-enabled. Thanks so much!

      Btw, winaero tweaker should implement this workaround (task that checks and disables the update task continuously) because as its implemented in the program today windows just overrides what you set in the program after some days.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  10. Merovign

    I’m sitting here after a surprise reboot while I was working in three programs as proof this does not work. MS updates simply reconfigure this setting and this directory even if you take away *ALL* write permissions. They probably overwrite the entire directory if they can’t reach the file.

    I’m going to start reporting Update Orchestrator as a virus at this point. I’m sick of sudden reboots that break software and lose data, or even the damnable fullscreen popups on a playing media machine.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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  11. updateHater

    I often run programs that take weeks to complete, but require no human monitoring, needless to say updates are the worst. A fail-safe workaround for my situation is making sure the computer is up to date before running the programs, and then disabling internet for the duration of the program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  12. Israel

    Thanks for helping!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  13. gordon m

    The system reboots in the middle of my workstream, no by-your-leave, nothing.
    Just for the record, I certainly did NOT click any buttons outside of Word on which I was working. Nor, once the system had rebooted, did my work reappear, nor was it present in the ‘unsaved work’ area. Time, work, effort all down the pan.

    Utterly unacceptable, what prats designed this behaviour? If there were useful alternatives not killed by their monopolistic dominating presence I would be delighted to tell them to go f themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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  14. john p

    If you use a group policy to disable automatic downloads of updates, Windows 10 won’t automatically reboot. However, the moment you download an update is when the clock starts ticking for the automatic reboot. So the solution is to just leave the dialog open that says that there are updates available to download but don’t download any of them until you are also ready to reboot the computer.

    Since the option is part of the system group policy editor, businesses would be up in arms if Microsoft changed that option or its availability. It is the only method you can use that isn’t a hack nor will likely ever revert to the previous and highly undesirable behavior.

    This design decision in Windows 10 is class-action lawsuit material. Millions of man hours have already been wasted because the system reboots automatically AND those who find posts like this waste time to disable various aspects of Windows Update that should be included in the OS itself to let the user decide what to do.

    If a user installs Visual Studio (any edition) or the Windows SDK, the OS should automatically assume that they know exactly what they are doing and switch the OS to “power user” mode, which, among other things, should completely disable automatic updates/reboot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  15. Emilly

    Thanks for your post. I hope you must continue & help us in problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  16. Arthur

    Can’t we block microsoft sites in the firewall? That might improve privacy as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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      1. Arthur

        That looks useful. Thanx.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          You are welcome!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  17. Simon

    THanks for everything, I just have a problem, in my windows 10 (Insider preview) I don’t have the “reboot” item in the UpdateOrchestrator. I have almost the same things that shows in the print screen, but no reboot thing, I have MusUx_LogonUpdateResults that is not in the screens up there, but when I try to make a folder called “reboot” it says that ” A folder or taks with the name you specified already exists”… ????? Can there be hidden tasks ? And btw, thanks for the batch file, it’s great !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  18. john mcmaster

    I still use Win XP and am quite happy with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  19. John Fulton

    I have disabled the Reboot task and have confirmed it is still disabled. Today, 5/9/17, I came to the office and my computer had not only run updates, but had rebooted. I just verified, Reboot still shows disabled. So there are some updates that must reboot outside of the Reboot task…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  20. jds580s

    They could resolve this update-reboot issue by simply giving a forced prompt for a reboot with a small delay. Perhaps: “An update has been installed, click to reboot in 5 minutes”.
    It could be similar to the User Account Control prompt that forces a response and blocks any other tasks from being completed.
    Feel free to upvote this suggestion to the Windows Update team here: https://aka.ms/T4hqxc

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  21. Georgia

    Thanks for this fix, but it just recently stopped working. Reboot is disabled and has not been re-enabled, but I started getting 30 minute count-down warnings that my computer will restart to install updates. If I click “restart later” the count-down stops, but then returns if I leave my computer idle. It looks different than the old reboot screen. Do you have a new fix?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  22. babji

    There’s definately a lot to know about this issue. I really like all the points you made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  23. SoooAnnoyed

    You/this site/your blog/these instructions have been my hero and savior for the past few months since I discovered this page. Thank you so much!
    Today I allowed my machine to do updates, and I sure hate what I’m seeing. Makes me feel like looking into one of the ‘free’ operating systems and abandoning MS altogether.
    I checked to see if my settings were still the same, (as above instructions) and they are, however I can’t tell if MS may have added something new to override my settings.
    It would be helpful to publish the dates on posts.
    Are there any new add-ons to this thread or can I still trust that MS cannot demand that updates be done?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  24. Tyler

    I love the Lonesome Dove reference in the second paragraph.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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