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Quite often after downloading & installing Windows Updates on my PC, a dialogue box pops up similar to the one shown below, asking to restart the computer to complete the process. :

enter image description here

This is sometimes quite annoying, when you are in the middle of a lot of work.

How much of a necessity is it to perform a reboot, and if it is not necessary:

Is there a way to prevent it from happening ?

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Only install updates when you have time for a reboot. –  Brad Patton Mar 13 '13 at 13:26
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Prevent the dialog. Unless you disable the automatic installation of updates this dialog CANNOT be disabled in Windows 7. This behavior was changed in Windows 8. Windows 8 will wait 2 days before it displays this dialog, during those 48 hours, the lock screen informs the user updates are pending to be installed. –  Ramhound Mar 13 '13 at 13:28
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@BradPatton Is it not possible to postpone the reboot until eg a lunch break or even the end of the day ? –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 13:30
    
@Ramhound Windows 8 being innovative ! –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 13:32
    
@Karan Not an exact duplicate as in my question I ask "How much of a necessity is it to reboot" firstly and therefore if it is not a necessity how to prevent it –  Simon Mar 14 '13 at 17:37
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marked as duplicate by Karan, Scott, TFM, Dave M, Dennis Mar 14 '13 at 15:59

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's not recommended by MS (obviously) to go without a reboot. In some cases, system files have been changed and need to be refreshed upon reboot. Some files can only be renamed or changed when the system is no longer using them, which is before a user logs in typically.

Also, you may experience very strange issues when your computer has pending updates, and even when it doesn't, and these problems are sometimes cured by reboots. If it is that much of a problem to restart your computer, if it takes too much time for example, then there may be a bigger issue at hand, such as the need to maintenance this machine, or upgrade the hardware.

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Not a question of the time it takes to reboot, but the annoyance of having to reboot "when you are in the swing of things" –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 13:37
    
@Simon I get that, but rebooting periodically, especially when updates are pending, really works to our benefit. Being a programmer I get being in the zone, but we all hit dead ends at some point and could use a break, perfect time for a reboot. –  BigHomie Mar 13 '13 at 13:39
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I agree thats exactly the comment I made above to BradPatton when I asked: Is it not possible to postpone reboot until a lunchbreak or the end of the day (possibly) ? –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 13:59
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I use the fact that most updates are released at 10.00 am PST on the second Tuesday of each month to perform a manual check for updates shortly afterwards at a time when it is convenient to restart. –  David Marshall Mar 13 '13 at 14:06
    
@DavidMarshall Ah yes, colloquially know as "Patch Tuesday" from what I'm told. –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 14:10
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I don't know whether you are using Win7 or Win8. I cannot speak to Win8.

I also don't know whether you have elevated privileges on your machine.

The only solution that comes to my mind is to change Windows Update settings so that it does not automagically install updates whenever it feels like it.

I would change the setting from the recommended and default "Automatically install updates" to either "Download update but let me choose whether to install them" or "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them".

The good news is then you get to decide when updates are installed.

The bad news is that you HAVE to decide when updates are installed.

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I am using Win 7 on my home PC, but am considering buying a new laptop, so answers referring to either Win 7/8 or both are applicable. I 'm guessing elevated privileges would apply to a PC at work. –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 14:20
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A simple "fix" is to stop the Windows Update service. Now the message is gone.

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Although technically correct, not recommended at all. –  BloodPhilia Mar 13 '13 at 19:09
    
@BloodPhilia Yes, don't really want to stop the update service, just postpone or prevent the reboot (if not entirely necessary) –  Simon Mar 13 '13 at 20:04
    
but it is a fast fix. The Updates still install fine. You can also set the option NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers to 1 under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Policies\ Microsoft\ Windows\ WindowsUpdate\AU –  magicandre1981 Mar 14 '13 at 7:05
    
@magicandre1981 if you had explained that in your answer, along with whether it is really necessary to reboot firstly, it would have been really good. –  Simon Mar 14 '13 at 18:09
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