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Wise Tech Tips

Disable Automatic Reboots Following Updates


By James Wise
web posted January 4, 2009
Tech Tips – Have you ever stepped away from your computer with a bunch of programs opened only to come back to it and find out it had restarted after installing Windows updates? If so, today’s tip can prevent this often annoying behavior.

Windows Update is a very nice feature and something I recommend most people setup to run automatically. However, certain updates require a reboot after installation and to make sure these updates are applied, Windows Update automatically reboots your computer if you don’t stop it. If you are at your computer when Windows Update wants to reboot, you can postpone this by repeatedly choosing to do so. You can even temporarily disable the reboot. However if you are away from your computer when this happens, it will often “timeout” and proceed with the reboot.

There is a registry key you can add to prevent automatic updates. To avoid having to work with the registry though, you can download and run the following simple and free program which does the same thing: http://www.intelliadmin.com/blog/AutoRebootSetter_Free.exe



After changing this, reboot your computer to be sure the new setting is used.

Based on some things I’ve read online, the above tip may not work for all versions of Windows (like XP Home). So, this may not work for everyone. If you try it and it doesn’t work for you, please email me (EdgefieldTechHelp@gmail.com) so I can try to find another solution for you.

If you don’t disable the automatic reboot but want to postpone it indefinitely when you are sitting at your computer and are prompted to reboot, you can do the following to temporarily disable it:
1) Click the start button
2) Type “cmd” (without the quotes)
3) XP – Press ENTER
Vista/Windows 7 - Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to run this in administrator mode
4) XP – Type the following: net stop “automatic updates”
Vista/Windows 7 - Type the following: net stop “windows update”
5) Press ENTER

This will prevent the windows update service from running and restarting your computer.

I think this goes without saying but after updates are installed, you should reboot your computer as soon as you can (e.g. sometime that day) when it’s convenient for you but the tips above should let you do that when the time is right for you!





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