I am tired of programs that constantly prompt me to reboot (including Windows' Automatic Updates), so I wonder if anybody knows how to disable the API reboot call on Windows?

Basically I want Windows to do absolutely nothing when a program attempts to reboot it.

  • 5
    I think you're asking for trouble...Eventually, one day you will reboot for some reason... and you'll have so many programs with so much to do on reboot that the potential for a foul up will be very high.
    – Mick
    Apr 22, 2010 at 9:31
  • You can do it manually from cmd.exe by running this command: sc stop wuauserv. Apr 22, 2010 at 9:33
  • @mehper: that looks like it only stops automatic updates. is that correct? so it would have no effect on some other application's install prompting to reboot. Apr 22, 2010 at 9:34
  • 1
    Just disable automatic updates. Most corporate LANs are not set up to automatically install updates from Microsoft, so why should you? Then you can run it once a month say. Apr 22, 2010 at 10:11
  • 1
    Sure, he would be asking for trouble if he'd never ever want to reboot his computer. But the way I read it, he probably just wants the rebooting to happen at his natural cycle, for example when shutting down the computer for the night. That's really not an unreasonable thing to ask for - that reboot can easily wait for a few hours of browsing around the net. Of course there are risks, but I can easily think of cases where a reboot-nagging box would be completely useless for me. Jan 7, 2011 at 14:27

4 Answers 4


I don't think this is possible and in other terms it's most likely not the best idea. You get prompted for a reboot because of the system architecture...it needs that reboot to replace files and system parts which otherwise wouldn't get changed (or are loaded in memory and won't be reloaded until restart).

With other words: Security updates won't fix a thing without a reboot, installations won't complete and programs may run faulty or not at all.

  • 6
    Not to mention memory leaks eating up all your resources, when you see BSOD and hard hangs you wish you rebooted.
    – invert
    Apr 22, 2010 at 10:47
  • Uhm I guess he meant every application. Like drivers, different applications. Be in control of any reboot, or something like that. As for an answer: I don't know. :-/
    – Apache
    Feb 14, 2012 at 23:47
  • > Not to mention memory leaks eating up all your resources, when you see BSOD and hard hangs you wish you rebooted. I agree that a fresh boot is, well, refreshing, but that is not an excuse to avoid fixing memory leaks and bugs. It reminds me of a response about Chrome not prompting users when accidentally closing the browser. Someone had the audacity to say that the devs won’t fix it because they want/need Chrome to close now and then to clear memory leaks and for updates. Another user and I kind of freaked out on him for that.
    – Synetech
    Feb 15, 2012 at 2:04

This article was written with preventing the Windows automatic update, but it seems to do what you want:


The caveat is that I agree with most people - your computer often needs to be restarted for a reason. Unless you're busy decoding the human genome 24 hours a day, taking the time to reboot is an necessary, if not always convenient, task.


Not a full answer for you, but you can set the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers regkey value. That is just for MS reboots, though (such as Windows Update), not other programs.

More info:

Apparently, you must also set AUOptions to 4 (Automatically download and schedule installation of updates) in order for this override to be respected.

I just lost some work from an auto-restart while I was away from the computer, so I guess I'll find out if this works next time around (:

Another option is 3rd party tools. Example: Don't Sleep (I can't vouch for it, though).


When you install a software or update and it asks you to reboot, it does this because the installation can't be completed until next reboot. If you installed a program, and don't want to use it immediately (for example because you want to install several other programs first), just say "do not reboot". I don't think there are many programs that reboot the computer without asking you first.

It is really a pain though that automatic updates agressively ask you to reboot (while most of the security updates they fix aren't of immediate danger). Just do as Mepher said.

  • Windows Update gives you 10 minutes to dismiss the reboot dialog. If you don't react, e.g. because you are actually doing work, it does a force restart.
    – oberlies
    Aug 22, 2013 at 12:11

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