I have a Windows 8 64bit computer that frequently runs overnight data processing batches. To prevent that work from being interrupted, I set Windows Update to

Download updates but let me choose whether to install them

This morning I found that the computer had rebooted. A brief message flashed up in the system tray stating that Windows had been rebooted to complete an update or something to that affect. However, the notification did not remain in the system tray.

Checking the update history:

Windows Update -> View update history

and sorting by Date installed, the newest update is supposedly 11/16/2012 (today is 1/9/2013). However, if I click on the Installed Updates link on that tab, I end up on

Programs and Features -> Installed Updates

which shows an update on 12/13/12 (inconsistent with the previous dialog).


Is there some class of updates (e.g. critical security issues) that Microsoft forces to be installed, in spite of update preferences? If so, is there any way to prevent an automatic reboot?

Is there a known issue recording updates properly?

  • You do understand Windows 8 will not reboot until 48 hours after an update has been installed right? There are no updates that can be installed that wouldn't be in the history of updates installed. Its likely the updates in question that caused the reboot were installed several days ago. Your current configuration is the correct option for what you want to do. – Ramhound Jan 9 '13 at 18:32
  • @Ramhound: The most recent update in View UpdateHistory is 2 months old, while the most recent one mentioned under Installed Updates is 3 weeks old – Eric J. Jan 9 '13 at 18:33
  • You asked if there are updated Microsoft requires to be installed and ignores a user's windows update configuration. The answer to that question is NO there is no update that is forced upon a user ( one might be requied but thats a different matter ). Windows 7 used to reboot all the time once an update was installed Windows 8 watches for an active profile logged in and won't reboot for a period of time ( by default ). – Ramhound Jan 9 '13 at 18:41
  • Would a Group Policy setting help? Adminstrative Templates/Windows Components – Guy Thomas Jan 9 '13 at 19:42
  • 1
    @r.tanner.f - The answer doesn't change the fact an update will not be forced upon a user if its set to manual. The answer in question was talking in reference to automatic installation of updates. – Ramhound Jan 9 '13 at 23:45

You can disable the Windows Update services:

  • press windows key - R to bring up a run dialog
  • type services.msc, hit enter
  • From the list, choose windows update
  • If running, right click and choose 'stop'
  • Right click and choose properties, from 'startup type' dropdown, choose 'disabled' (Disabled, not Manual)

I ran into a server running SBS2008 instead of server 2008, the WSUS services were broken causing it to install all updates and restart every Tuesday, despite the settings. Changing this provided us with a temporary band-aid solution, and it definitely prevented all updates from installing.

When you want to install updates, change the startup type to manual and install updates.

  • That is a good band-aid, though a band-aid none the less. +1, leaving open for a bit to see if anyone has other thoughts. – Eric J. Jan 10 '13 at 21:45

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