I can't believe this has not been asked, but I couldn't find the question...

When Windows downloads updates I get the option on the shut down menu to:

  • Install updates and shutdown
  • Shutdown
  • Restart
  • Sleep
  • Hibernate

but no option to Install updates and restart

This seems crazy to me, as I can't see any times I would want to install and shutdown.

Anyway is it possible to add an option to install and restart, or to add a shortcut that will do this?

  • 4
    I don't know of any options to turn this on, but Microsoft missed an obvious option here. Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 15:15
  • 2
    doesn't restarting install updates every time? i think the option that is missing is to restart without installing updates. Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 15:19
  • 1
    Nope. I've tried rebooting multiple times with the "install and shutdown" option present, only the "install and shutdown" actually does the install step first.
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 12:32
  • There is a tool which lets you do it. See my answer, below. If you prefer my answer, then please do click the gray checkmark in order to make that answer float to the top.
    – jasonspiro
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 0:45

3 Answers 3


As far as I have seen, there is no option to "Install and Reboot". You'll have to manually initiate the install process, and reboot when it's finished. I've always wondered about this myself as most Updates require a restart anyway...

You can configure Windows Update to automatically download and install updates on a schedule through the Control Panel which will automatically restart your computer after they are installed. Alternatively, you can also have non-intrusive updates install immediately through Group Policy.

  1. WuInstall lets you install updates then reboot. I've tried it: it works for me.

    I believe it definitely works on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. I suspect it probably also works on earlier and later Windows versions.

    The developer offers two versions. Version 1.1 is free even for commercial use: it's what I use. Newer versions are sold only in large multi-license packages. The smallest package costs USD$250: far too expensive for home use.

    By default, WuInstall installs all available updates, downloading them if needed. A FAQ entry discusses how to list or install "Important" updates only.

    For it to successfully install anything, you have to run it as administrator. I suggest you run it from an administrator command prompt.

    You can tell it to reboot your PC after installation. If you do, it shows you an informational message when the installation is done, then it reboots your PC after the chosen delay is finished. I suspect it may be impossible to cancel such an impending reboot.

    Usage example: To install all updates (including optional updates) then reboot after 60 seconds, do this. wuinstall /install /reboot 60

  2. I haven't tried them, but maybe wusforceupdate by Samuel Lambert or Portlock Windows Update Manager can also do what you want.

  3. If you have only one PC, don't bother downloading BatchPatch: it cannot do what you want. I've tried it.

P.S. Interesting fact: In Linux, the vast majority of security and functionality software updates work without rebooting. And on a server with Ksplice and a compatible version of Linux, I suspect you could apply every security update, and almost all functionality updates, and still go years without rebooting.

  • While certainly you don't need to reboot for every linux update it normally is easy to do like "apt-get update && reboot" to ensure updated kernels get activated and all services use the updated libraries. For workspace-desktops you can do this to update your pc during lunch-break. Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 13:01

If you'll restart the system, it will automatically install available updates (as far as I remember)

Just restart and verify the updates condition.

  • I'll check when I get home, but I don't believe this is the case. I'm sure I can reboot the machine and still have the little shield icon on the shutdown button telling me I need to install updates and shutdown.
    – Sam Holder
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 15:37
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure that's right - I do it without thinking now but don't have to revisit "upgrades"
    – BrianA
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 19:58
  • 2
    Matan is correct.
    – joyjit
    Commented Jul 20, 2010 at 19:27
  • 10
    I tested this last night (sorry for the delay - holidays got in the way) and it does not install the updates, it just reboots. i can install the updates manually then reboot to finish any installations that need to be finished, but just rebooting will not install any updates.
    – Sam Holder
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 11:16
  • 1
    @BrianA and @joyit what setting do you use? I have download automatically but do not install. The only option is to install manually or to install and shut down.
    – Sam Holder
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 11:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .