When updates are pending, at login screen of Windows 8 there is a notification

Your PC will restart in 1 day to finish installing important updates.

Is there a way to determine exact date/time of planned restart?

Practical reason: Restart Friday 2:10 PM is different from restart Friday 7:30 PM because it can influence my planning of Friday's work. When restart comes during work hours, it can easily take 20 minutes until I return to the point where I left (opened apps, documents etc.).

EDIT: I don't think I'd like to disable automatic restarts at the moment. Generally I welcome them. Otherwise I won't restart until I meet the bluescreen :) but I don't want to go this way.

  • Is there a way you can turn off the auto-restart so you can schedule your own restart time? This way you remain in control of when the update/restart occurs... – Kinnectus Oct 16 '14 at 20:24
  • Its 48 hours after its last been ran. Since you can schedule when windows will check for updates. This 48 window cannot be changed if you allow windows to handle automatically download and install updates but you can change when it will look – Ramhound Oct 16 '14 at 20:25
  • @BigChris - sure, but I thought if there is a way without this technique. Simply to look and THEN decide whether I'll google for (and learn) what you proposed or simply accept the deadline I see. – miroxlav Oct 16 '14 at 20:30
  • @Ramhound - it is 3 days (I don't know if full 72 hours), not 48 hours. Source here. You can see In 2 days, In 1 day, Today – miroxlav Oct 16 '14 at 20:31
  • You’re having an XY problem. You really want to disable the automatic restarts, which can be done. – kinokijuf Oct 16 '14 at 20:36

What you could do is schedule your Windows Updates for Everyday (or whatever day you choose) at say 3am then force an automatic reboot after Windows Updates by:

  1. Making sure Windows Update KB2822241 is installed (it should be already since it was released in 2013).
  2. Start Registry Editor (search regedit.exe)
  3. Locate the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU and right-click AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime then click Modify.
  4. If the entry does not exist, follow these steps to add it: On the Edit menu, point to New, and click DWORD Value. Type AlwaysAutoRebootAtScheduledTime in the Name field then press Enter.
  5. In the Value data box, type 1.

(Source: MSKB2835627: How to force automatic restarts after important updates in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012)


Edit: If you really want to know what time it'll reboot, you could go to:

  1. Control Panel → System Security → Windows Update → View Update History
  2. Find the most recently installed update right click then select View Details.

It'll tell you when it completed it's update install. Since Windows automatically reboots in 3 days time, you can determine when it will restart by adding three days to the time. I.E. Windows Update finished at 6:33am on 10/15/14 then it should restart at 6:33am on 10/18/14.

Alternatively, you could also schedule a task in Task Scheduler for Windows Updates and schedule a force reboot after the scheduled Windows Updates runs.

Either way, it would be easier to schedule your automatic updates and reboot in the middle of the night/when you know you won't be using the computer than to find the time of when it updated and schedule your day around it.


  • Hello! Please explain me better, how exactly this answer should help me in what I asked? This answer addresses what will happen when the time limit is up (-->the PC will restart even if the user is not logged in). It doesn't address anything regarding the time limit itself (determining the time of the restart). – miroxlav Oct 17 '14 at 8:13
  • I appreciate your contribution and I've upvoted it. However, it seems in the meantime (without seeing your EDIT) I found steps which can provide given date/time even quicker than yours. If they won't show to give correct time, then I'll cease my answer and mark yours. – miroxlav Oct 18 '14 at 13:25

Finally, I've found an answer by myself[1]... I can't understand I did not look at the very obvious place earlier. Installation time of recent update is visible right after opening Windows Update control panel. Add 3 days and you will get restart time.

enter image description here

[1]: after I found the solution and returned to this question, I saw that in meantime something similar was added to BNP0007's answer, although it requires more steps to get the result.

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