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Jul 17 2013

Disable Automatic Restart in Windows 8 after installing updates

One of the things about Windows 8 that I could not stand since I’ve started to use it was the Automatic Restart after installing updates. Now don’t get me wrong, Windows Updates are important and also will improve your experience with Windows 8. The problem is that when you install Windows Updates, whether you do it manually via Windows Update under PC Setting or Windows 8 does a force install of the updates the end result stays the same.

After installing the updates, Windows will give you 3 days to reboot your computer. (If you don’t want to reboot immediately) When that 3 day grace period is over, Windows 8 will pop up with a warning saying “You PC will restart in 15 minutes”. When that warning pops up, you don’t have a choice.

It’s all great that Windows 8 force the users to install the updates, but what if you are in the middle of a presentation at a client or you have some documents open and you are not in front of your PC and when you come back in 15 minutes the PC has restarted itself?

How to Disable Automatic Restart in Windows 8

The good news is that Microsoft has released a new Windows Update that introduces a new registry feature where you can Disable Automatic Restart in Windows 8 after installing updates.

First make sure the following updates are installed, if not, download them here:

Download: Windows 8 (x86 or 32bit) (KB2822241)
Download: Windows 8 (x64 or 64bit) (KB2822241)

After you have installed the new windows update you will have to edit the registry to disable the Automatic Restart function.

Here is the procedure how to edit the registry key:

1.    Press WIN+R to launch the RUN dialog box.
2.    Type REGEDIT to open the registry editor.
3.    In the registry editor, browse to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

(If the folder and DWORD are not showing in your registry, you can create them manually)

Disable Automatic Restart Windows 8 After Installing Updates

4.    In the AU folder, double-click on the DWORD AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime. When the dialog box open,  change the value to 0
5.    Close the registry editor and restart your PC

On the other hand, if you want Windows 8 to Automatic Restart after installing updates, then change the value of the DWORD AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime to 1. This will then force your PC to reboot when the 3 day grace period is over.

For me, Disabling Automatic Restart in Windows 8 after installing updates is not even negotiable. I want full control of my PC and will decide when to restart – but that’s just me…

2 comments

  1. Alex

    This is not working.
    The patch is installed (2822241)
    The registry key is created (AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime) and the value is setup to “0”

    Then I did some pending updates, then I logged off my session instead of rebooting like requested.
    ~15 minutes later the server has rebooted to complete the updates job.

    I need to avoid that!!!!!
    🙂
    Any idea?

    1. Jeanne De Villiers

      Hi Alex

      You are 100% correct. This is not working. I had to test it again and it seems like the info that I received were incorrect.

      The function in the article (AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime) is described in this Microsoft Knowledge Base Article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2835627

      Sorry about the confusion and thanks that you pointed this out to me.

      Regards
      Jeanne

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