To protect your computer and keep your software running smoothly, Microsoft Windows routinely downloads updates. These updates are necessary, but they also can come with some irritation: Mainly, Windows will automatically reboot your machine after finishing the updates, often giving you short notice to shut down your machine and start over before an automatic reboot takes place. Fortunately, your machine doesn’t have to do this.

Stopping automatic reboots

Stopping the automated restarts will take just a bit of effort from you. You’ll have to edit your computer’s registry, something not every user feels comfortable doing.

The process

Begin the process of disabling Windows’ automatic reboots by turning on your computer’s “Start” menu. Next, open your computer’s registry by typing “regedit.” Lifehacker now recommends that you start the registry editor. Then find this specific line in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/WindowsWindowsUpdate/AU. Click on the “AU” key. This should make this key appear in the right pane. Once this happens right-click on the empty space and select New >DWORD (32-bit) Value. Now, name the new DWORD: “NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers”. To end the process, double-click on the new DWORD and give it a value of 1.

Protecting yourself

When you reboot your computer, Windows will no longer make you reboot after it installs updates. Don’t forget, to eventually reboot your computer. It is the only way that your updates will take effect.

Photo credit: Restart, human! by Arenamontanus (CC BY 2.0)

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