How do I make Windows not automatically restart after update?

Updated: 01/05/2018 by Computer Hope
stop restart

When 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; keep in mind that, once again, updates are not be applied until the computer is restarted. To proceed, select your version of Windows from the list and follow the instructions.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 users

  1. Click Start 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 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 Start, 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.

Additional information