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Prevent Automatic Updates from Restarting PC

By on in Windows

186 words, estimated reading time 1 minutes.

Windows XP's automatic update facility is clearly a good thing. Except when an update is installed that requires a reboot and you're working on the computer at the time. This results in an annoying dialogue box informing you that "You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect", "Do you want to restart your computer now?".

You get two choices: Restart Now or Restart Later. When you click on Restart Later it will nag you again ten minutes later until you restart the computer.

Stop Nagging Me!

There are two methods that can be used to change this behaviour, one temporary the other permanent.

Stop the update service

On the command line, type:

net stop wuauserv

or from

Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services

Find Windows Update Service and click on it, then click Stop.

Both methods will stop the message appearing, but on only until you restart then its back to normal.

Permanent Fix

Click on the Start Menu then Run and key in "gpedit.msc" (without quotes) and navigate to the folders to:

  Local Computer Policy
  ..Computer Configuration
  ....Administrative templates
  ......Windows Components
  ........Windows Update

There are two settings and both will work, so it's your choice. Either enable No auto-restart for schedule Automatic Updates installations or set Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations to a long time interval, like 4400 minutes.

The default values are "Not configured" in case you want to return back to normal.

Last updated on: Saturday 17th June 2017



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