Turn Off Auto-Restart For Scheduled Automatic Updates

If a Windows update installed via automatic updates requires a restart of the computer, Windows will display a prompt notifying you of this. You can postpone the restart as many times as you wish. If you’re not at your computer when the restart prompt is displayed, Windows will restart after 10 minutes.  If you have files that are open but not saved, you’ll lose your changes.


Windows 7 Windows Update Restart
Windows Update Restart dialog on Windows 7

To disable Auto-Restart for Scheduled Automatic Updates, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Command Prompt, (Run As Administrator)
  2. Type gpedit.msc then press the <enter> key
  3. Go to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
  4. Change the setting of “No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations
  5. To “Enabled
  6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor
  7. Reboot the computer

Copied from gpedit.msc

Specifies that to complete a scheduled installation, Automatic Updates will wait for the computer to be restarted by any user who is logged on, instead of causing the computer to restart automatically.

If the status is set to Enabled, Automatic Updates will not restart a computer automatically during a scheduled installation if a user is logged in to the computer. Instead, Automatic Updates will notify the user to restart the computer.

Be aware that the computer needs to be restarted for the updates to take effect.

If the status is set to Disabled or Not Configured, Automatic Updates will notify the user that the computer will automatically restart in 5 minutes to complete the installation.

Note: This policy applies only when Automatic Updates is configured to perform scheduled installations of updates. If the “Configure Automatic Updates” policy is disabled, this policy has no effect.

Registry Hack

  1. Open a Command Prompt
  2. Type regedit.exe and press <Enter>
  3. Navigate to the following key, creating new keys if they don’t exist:
  4. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
  5. Set its value of 1
  6. Reboot the PC

Note: Windows 7 (Home Premium, Home Basic and Starter) don’t come with Group Policy Editor, so you’ll have to use the Registry Hack.