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How to prevent Windows 8 from automatically rebooting for update installations

If you configured Windows 8 or Windows 7 to install updates automatically, you might notice that it performs an automatic restart when updates are installed. 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 even reboot while you are watching some TV show or important online transaction. Fortunately, it is possible to change the OS behavior and prevent Windows from automatically rebooting for update installations.

Windows Update restart

  1. Open Registry Editor (see how)
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKLM\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 here a new DWORD value named NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and set it to 1.
    NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
  4. Restart your PC for changes to take effect.

That's it. Windows 8 will not be perform the auto-restart if you are logged in.

You can also set this parameter using the Group Policy settings. Follow these simple instructions:

    1. Press Win + R keys together on the keyboard. The Run dialog will appear on the screen.
    2. Type the following in the Run box:
      gpedit.msc

      gpedit_msc
      Press Enter.

    3. The Local Group Policy Editor will appear on the screen.
      local group policy editor
      Navigate to the following category:
      Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \  Windows Components \ Windows Update
    4. Set the No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations option to the Enabled state.
      No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

8 thoughts on “How to prevent Windows 8 from automatically rebooting for update installations”

  1. This does not work reliably. Windows ignores this setting when it sees fit. It’s happening to me right now. You absolutely have to TURN OFF AUTO UPDATES if you don’t want your machine rebooted spontaneously.

    Microsoft punishes you for trusting them on this.

  2. I’ve already tried the first method, hopefully it’ll work. I agree though that having to restart is a pain, when the point is that you DON’T want to restart. I tried to do the second method, but it said “gpedit.msc” couldn’t be found.

    OS: Windows 8.1

  3. Thank you for the solution, but this is a disgraceful feature. The Windows OS development team should all be sacked for not adding a third button, allowing us to restart the computer in our own time.

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