Windows Update runs occasionally on my machine, but it steals focus when it pops up to remind me to reboot.

Trouble is, this can mean that while writing something, you could force an immediate reboot.

Is there a way to prevent this thing from stealing focus? It seems to me that no modal dialog box should ever steal focus without a delay on accepting input. Especially if that input can restart the machine when you hit 'n'.

Windows Update

This is similar to this question: Preventing applications from stealing focus But I don't think it's a duplicate. We're not talking about "dubious software developers", or third party apps.

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    Well, a quick-and-dirty workaround would be to (temporarily) stop the Windows Update service from an elevated command prompt: sc stop wuauserv – and31415 Aug 9 '14 at 13:42
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    Trouble is it would have already asked once. Unless you stop applying updates, which is a ridiculous thing to have to do to get around this problem. – mgjk Aug 9 '14 at 14:06
  • Yeah, you're right. As dialog appears only after installing some updates that require a restart, setting the updates to manual will let you decide when to install updates (and then eventually restart). It might be not entirely convenient, though. – and31415 Aug 9 '14 at 14:23
  • Manual's a good try, but no luck. I'm already applying manually because I sometimes tether and I would never allow Windows to update over my phone. So I manually say "apply the updates"... it sometimes takes 30 minutes or so for updates to apply. It can be a day or so before I actually reboot the machine. – mgjk Aug 9 '14 at 22:07
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    The program which is responsible for the restart dialog is called wuauclt.exe. Killing the process is futile: it will be respawn automatically. What you can do, however, is to prevent it from running altogether. The dialog will be gone, and it won't steal the focus anymore. You will also lose Windows Update notifications such as: New updates are available, Downloading and installing updates, Windows installed new updates. Would that be a viable solution for you? – and31415 Aug 10 '14 at 13:23

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