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The question is pretty much in the title. Windows 8 is restarting, I probably only have like 13 minutes by now, but I can't have my computer shut off, doing like 20 different things on a couple of different VM's. How can I stop this?

I found these instructions, but I'm not sure if it will stop the process if it is already taking place. http://www.howtogeek.com/139993/prevent-windows-8-from-restarting-your-pc-after-windows-updates/

In the link mentioned above, I can disable auto update through group policy or through registry editor.

regedit seems like it requires a reboot, but it doesn't specify with group policy.

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@EGHDK - So every time you start your computer it restarts after 15 minutes. Windows 8 isn't suppose to reboot until it has waited for 2 days for you to reinstall an update this out of the box behavior. Clarification is required. –  Ramhound Jun 3 '13 at 20:41
NOOOOOOO... it restarted, and was back up and running in like 20 seconds. But I did lose everything. Note to everyone else, changing group policy and force updating group policy doesn't work. Also, shutdown /a did not work. –  EGHDK Jun 3 '13 at 20:45
Next time (if it happens) try opening notepad and typing something in. Windows will send a close message to Notepad and ask if you want to save or cancel. Cancel should stop the shutdown, but if the signal went to other apps first, they might close before you cancel. –  Keltari Jun 3 '13 at 20:51
I had a couple of unsaved things, it just instantly killed everything and said "Restarting..." –  EGHDK Jun 3 '13 at 20:54
admin command prompt, shutdown.exe /a followed by running services.msc and disabling the Windows Update service. After that it might be something besides Windows itself. (Corporate IT often has it's own thing that will apply hotfixes and reboots.) Update: shutdown /a did nothing huh? Hmm. –  Mark Allen Jun 3 '13 at 21:41

6 Answers 6

One quick way to reset the timer, is to lock your computer (WindowsKey + L). Your computer won't restart if it is locked. You can then either logon again (giving you valuable time to save the things you want saved), or stop the update service all together.

Prevent imminent reboot:

WinKey + L (Lock your computer) and log on again

Then you may decide to postpone rebooting until you do this yourself by stopping the update service. Fastest way to stop the update service is using PowerShell or a commandline:


Stop-Service wuauserv


NET STOP wuauserv

Note that resetting the countdown stop by locking the computer might be disabled if update 2835627 was installed (by either yourself or your friendly administrator). See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2835627/en-us for more details.

To prevent auto rebooting while logged on, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555444/en-us for a registry hack.

Be aware though that auto rebooting was not designed to give you a hard time, but rather because it is very necessary from a security point of view.

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NET STOP wuauserv doesnt seem to work, I stopped the service but am still getting the countdown dialogs. –  jdm Jun 19 at 15:47
Windows may restart the service (and may do it fairly quickly) so you would have to do this every 15 minutes or so. It works for a temporary solution if you just need to wait a short while before the reboot. –  b.pell Aug 12 at 14:00
Stopping the service works, but in Windows 8.1, default is to restart once in one minute, and then stay off. In 24 hours, it resets and starts again and needs to be reset again that day, or it will restart. YMMV, but when I tried to stop the service, it could never complete, and was stuck on "stopping", but did stop the "reboot clock" while in that state. –  DaaBoss Oct 22 at 13:03

Since time is of the essence here, literally, I would try this:

Temporary Workaround:

Run this command from CMD net stop "windows update"


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Windows 7, that. –  Nick T Jun 3 '13 at 20:42
Right as I was typing it in, my computer shut down. Now the world may never know if it works for Windows 8. –  EGHDK Jun 3 '13 at 20:45
Oh well, let's hope not too much was lost eh? –  Michael Frank Jun 3 '13 at 20:48
Confirmed to work - though I disabled it using services like the other answer. It's all the same. –  SpartanDonut Jun 16 '13 at 5:55
Good to know. :) –  Michael Frank Jun 16 '13 at 20:46

In Windows 7 you can stop this timer by stopping the Windows Update service in the services MMC snapin (services.msc). Try if this still works in Windows 8.

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Run the cmd as Administrator and type:

NET STOP wuauserv
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I prevented the reboot by changing the update method/policy away from Automatic:

Windows Update settings

I'm not sure if Never is the only setting that will prevent the reboot, but it's the one I used. I still got a 5-minute warning after I changed this setting, but it's now been over half an hour and no reboot.

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Open CMD as admin and type

gpupdate /force + Enter

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Can anyone confirm that it works? gpupdate seems to be completely unrelated, but I can imagine it somehow resets the countdown by re-applying some policies. –  gronostaj Aug 20 at 12:42
why should a group policy update "avoid" the timer? –  AndreaCi Sep 17 at 13:35

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