Stop or Prevent Windows 8 from restarting after Windows Updates

One of the annoying things about Windows 8 is the “Windows Update will restart” message. I have seen some users reporting that it restarts when you are in the middle of doing something. Well there are two ways to disable Windows auto-restart after Windows Updates. One by using the Group Policy Editor and the other via the Windows Registry.

Windows Update Automatic Restart Disable using Group Policy

This is how you proceed:

  • Press Win + R and type in gpedit.msc

image thumb6 Stop or Prevent Windows 8 from restarting after Windows Updates

  • Go to Computer Configuration –> Administrative Template –> Windows Component –> Windows Update

image thumb7 Stop or Prevent Windows 8 from restarting after Windows Updates

  • Right click on “No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations

image thumb8 Stop or Prevent Windows 8 from restarting after Windows Updates

  • Select “Enable” click on Apply and click on OK.

Turn off Windows Update Automatic Restart using Registry Editor

Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:


If you don’t see it, create one. You may have to create \WindowsUpdate\AU.

Now under this key, create a new 32-bit DWORD called NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and give it a hexadecimal value data of 1. This will prevent automatic reboot while users are logged on.

This should stop Windows from automatically restarting your computer after Windows Updates.

Did you know? Windows 8 now lets you force automatic restart after Windows Updates.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at
  • Phil

    This should be the default. it is shameful that we need to jump through this level of configuration to prevent an invasaive, work-losing reboot.

  • Kate

    Once the updates have been done, sometimes your machine is in a weird state (eg one DLL has been replaced but a companion one has not, and will be during the restart) and you really should reboot sooner rather than later. If you change your update settings to “download and notify me” not only can you control when you install them (picking a time when a reboot would be ok) but after doing them it will not reboot until you let it. No need to go into group policy or registry. Do try to reboot as soon after the updates as you can, but control it yourself so you can save everything first.

  • Jessica Souza

    Exactly. A simple notification stating, “Windows has been updated. Save opened files and restart as soon as possible” or something similar would suffice.

  • ulan bat

    This was designed by idiots. What in the world they were thinking.

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