Last week a client asked me to disable automatic restarts of Windows Update. He used batch processing that took longer than 24 hours. He was therefor unable to use the Active Hours setting. Windows does not offer a dedicated setting to disable automatic restarts. However, there are several ways to disable Windows Update reboots.
How to prevent Automatic Restarts after Windows Update
1 Permanently disable automatic restarts: Rename Reboot file
The most effective way to disable automatic restarts, is to rename the reboot file. Keep in mind that Microsoft may release a patch that breaks this trick:
- Open Windows Explorer.
- Type or copy-paste the following path and hit Enter:
- Right-click Reboot_AC -> select Rename -> rename to Reboot_AC.old.
- Right-click Reboot_Battery -> select Rename -> rename to Reboot_Battery.old.
- Right-click inside the folder, select “New,” and click on “Folder”.
- Name the New Folder “Reboot“.
- Restart your computer.
2 Permanently disable automatic restarts: Disable UpdateOrchestrator Reboot task
In older builds of Windows 10, it was possible to disable the automatic restarts via the Task Scheduler. This seems no longer possible, but you can try:
- Click Start -> type Task Scheduler -> click Task Scheduler.
- Navigate to Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Windows -> UpdateOrchestrator.
- Right-click Reboot_AC and choose Disable.
- Right-click Reboot_Battery and choose Disable.
I faced the problem I could not Disable the Scheduled Task. I could change the actions or triggers, but that felt cumbersome. Changing the Reboot file names is easier.
3 Set Active Hours to your working hours
Do you use your computer for a maximum of 18 hours a day? Then you can still use the Active Hours setting. Your PC will restart in the 6 remaining hours. Here is how to set your Active Hours:
- Click Start -> type Active Hours -> Click on Change Active Hours.
- Set the Start Time and End Time.
- Click Save.
4 Temporary disable automatic restarts: Pause Windows Update
You can pause Windows Update for up to 7 days. To set this up, do the following:
- Click Start -> type Pause Updates -> Click Pause Updates.
- Click Pause Updates.
- If you want to pause fewer days, click Advanced Options. Then click the desired date in Pause Until.