How to prevent Windows 10 from automatically rebooting for update installations

Windows 10 is configured to install updates automatically out of the box. This change is highly resented by many users of Windows but Microsoft does not relent and continues to force updates and not give choice to selectively download and install them. Some editions of this OS do not even allow the user to change Windows Update settings. You might notice that it performs an automatic restart when updates are installed at a particular time. This can be a really annoying thing if you had no plans to restart your PC and were busy with some important stuff. It can reboot while you are watching something on YouTube, or doing some important online transaction. Fortunately, it is possible to change the OS behavior and prevent Windows 10 from automatically rebooting for update installations.

Windows 10 restart warning Update: This method no longer works in recent Window 10 version. The working method is the following:

How to permanently stop Windows 10 reboots after installing updates

The information below is applicable to the RTM build of Windows 10 only (10240). Tip: see How to find the Windows 10 version you are running.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

    If you do not have this key, just create it.
    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.

  3. Create a new DWORD value here named NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and set it to 1. Windows 10 no updates auto reboot
  4. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

That's it. Now Windows 10 will not auto-restart for the currently logged in user.

That's it.

23 thoughts on “How to prevent Windows 10 from automatically rebooting for update installations

  1. EBIN

    Haha wow this is totally stupid. I mean one thing would be if the PC was idle, but when you are active on it? MS are really being asses for no reason :|

  2. Rodalpho Carmichael

    I tried this several months ago, with the policy editor, and it did not work. My PC rebooted anyway. Did you actually TEST it before posting?

    I spent a fair amount of time investigating this as I find it HUGELY annoying, and my conclusion was that there is no way to stop windows from rebooting after installing updates short of stopping the windows updates service.

    What we can do is stop windows from installing the updates in the first place; windows does respect that policy editor setting. But once you click “install”, you’re gonna reboot. You can’t stop it.

  3. GenialityOfEvil

    Can’t you just set it to notify you? I have Windows 10 Home and that’s all I needed to do.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is possible only in Pro, Enterprise and Education edition only.

      1. GenialityOfEvil

        I think you’re thinking of deferring updates. That actually postpones the installation of updates. Even Home users can set installed updates to notify about restarts.
        http://cdn3.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/04_selecting_notify_to_schedule_restart.png

  4. David H Johnson

    I don’t know what edition of Windows 10 you guys are using, but every one I have used lets me choose when to reboot.

    1. Rodalpho Carmichael

      You absolutely can choose when to reboot. But you can’t choose NOT to reboot.

      1. GenialityOfEvil

        You can’t in Windows 7 either, all you can do is postpone it and only by 4 hours. Windows 10 at least lets you postpone it by more than a day.

        1. Henry Robinson

          That is completely incorrect. I used win7 and then win8 for many years, and I updated whenever I wanted, and it never, EVER, forced me to reboot.

          I don’t actually recall if I needed this policy editor setting to do that or not. But if I did, it worked. It doesn’t work in win10.

          1. GenialityOfEvil

            Well I’m still using it. To be clear, you don’t have to INSTALL updates on Windows 7, but if you do then you have to reboot or postpone.

          2. Rodalpho Carmichael

            @Geniality: Nope. You can install updates in windows vista, 7, and 8 and then never, ever, ever, reboot. No need to postpone, it won’t reboot on its own ever. I did it all the time, delaying reboots for days or even weeks.

            Once it wants you to reboot, you can’t install additional updates, that’s all.

          3. GenialityOfEvil

            Yes, you can delay updates. Another word for delaying is postponing.

          4. Rodalpho Carmichael

            You are confusing updates with rebooting.

            You can block updates from automatically installing EVER on windows 10 via the policy editor setting. Win10 respects that setting.

            You cannot stop windows 10 from rebooting once you’ve installed updates that require a reboot. You can schedule that reboot, and if you happen to be sitting at the computer you can tell it “not now, thanks”. But you cannot stop it, short of killing the windows update service entirely.

            I have a BIOS password on my computer, so I would come home from work and see the “ENTER PASSWORD” screen all the time because of this.

          5. GenialityOfEvil

            You can’t stop Windows 7 from requiring a reboot either. Just like Windows 10, you can only delay it and just like Windows 10, if you’re not on your computer after the 4 hours are up it will reboot automatically.

          6. Rodalpho Carmichael

            @Geniality: Again, you are wrong. I did it for years. Win8 too.

          7. GenialityOfEvil

            What part of “I’m still using Windows 7” didn’t you get? It’s the same!

          8. Rodalpho Carmichael

            I included vista, 7, and 8 in my statement.

            Not sure if there’s a language barrier here.

          9. GenialityOfEvil

            Then allow me to spell it out in clear English.

            Any update that requires a restart will bring up a prompt to restart the PC. In Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 you can postpone that restart by a period of your choice and when it expires you will be prompted to either reschedule or reboot.

          10. Rodalpho Carmichael

            Thank you, that was very clear.

            You’re wrong. After updating, you never, ever, have to reboot in Vista, 7, and 8 with the policy editor/registry change described in this winaero.com webpage. The policy editor/registry change described in this webpage worked great in Vista, 7, and 8.

            This is not possible in Windows 10. That behavior changed. Windows 10 ignores that policy edit/registry change.

          11. GenialityOfEvil

            Ok, 2 things:
            a) Try reading the conversation before joining it. We were specifically talking about *having to* change the group policy before Windows would let us delay without further intervention.
            b) I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume that you’re using Windows 10 Home. The policy editor doesn’t work at all in that version, this is for Pro users.

  5. Phil

    amazing thanks!

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome Phil.

Comments are closed.