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 or it may say that I will automatically restart after 1 day. 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.

pc will restart

Windows Update Automatic Restart Disable using Group Policy

This is how you proceed:

  • Press Win + R and type in gpedit.msc


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


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


  • 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.

  • Kyle

    using regedit, I found the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers – and its hexadecimal is already set to 1, and yet my computer force restarts after every update. I do not have gpedit.msc so I cannot try that method.

  • George Tomlinson

    Yeah this is such a ridiculous setup. What if someone is trading in the stock market when it happens for example: they could lose a ton of momey. Worse still, in an emergency situation someone could die.

  • George Tomlinson

    Yeah the message I used to see which said a restart is required and an automatic restart will take place in 1 day if you choose not to restart now was fine I thought.

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