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How do I make Windows not automatically restart after update?

stop restartWhen Windows updates are installed, the system needs to restart for them to take effect. Consequently, Windows Update normally initiates an automatic restart once the installation process is complete. The sections below contain steps on how to disable this feature; just keep in mind that, once again, updates are not be applied until the computer has been restarted. To proceed, select your version of Windows from the list and follow the instructions.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 users
Windows XP users

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 users

  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows Key and type gpedit.msc in the search text field and press Enter.
  2. In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following location:
    Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates> Windows Components > Windows Update.
  3. Double-click on No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations option.
  4. In the windows that opens, select the circle next to Enabled in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  5. Click Apply, then OK.

Tip: To turn the automatic restart back on, follow the same steps, but select the Disabled option in Step 4.

Windows XP users

  1. Click the Start button, then Run.
  2. In the field that appears, type regedit to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
  4. Find NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and change the DWord value to a 1. Automatic restart should now be disabled after update.

Tip: To turn the automatic restart back on, follow the same steps, but change the DWord value to a 0 in Step 4.

Note: Microsoft made a change to that in Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, allowing updates to be installed when the user initiates a computer restart or shut down. This feature stops auto restart from occurring.

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