Occasionally, after the installation of an Automatic Update, Windows will prompt the user to reboot their computer or postpone the reboot for up to 4 hours. This is possibly one of the most annoying of all of Windows “features” as quite often I have been caught off-guard when downloading a large file or leaving the computer for a few minutes only to find that I’ve missed the prompt and the computer has restarted. Which can obviously be extremely frustrating!
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to fix permanently. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 users (this may work on XP, I’m not sure). You need to:
- Open your Run dialogue (Win Key + R or go to the Start menu and search for ‘Run’).
- Type regedit and press Enter. (Click ‘Yes’ if you receive the ‘User Account Control’ prompt about making changes to your computer).
- You will now be presented with the Registry Editor. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
- Expand the ‘Windows’ key and check to see if there is another key beneath it called ‘WindowsUpdate’. If there is proceed to step 6. If not, you will need to create it by right clicking on the ‘Windows’ key and going to ‘New > Key’. Name this key WindowsUpdate.
- Now right click on the WindowsUpdate key and repeat the previous step except name this new key AU.
- You should have a registry key structure of: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU\
- Inside the AU key create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value and call it NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers.
- Right click on the newly created value and select Modify. Give it a value of 1 (Hexadecimal).
- Click OK and exit the Registry Editor. Enjoy.
You can also download this .zip archive which contains a .reg file. Run the .reg file to add the keys and values to your registry automatically.
Please refer to the screenshot below if there is any confusion, I have highlighted notable points in green.