TL;DR: Scroll to the bottom bolded part

When logging in to my Windows 8 PC, there's a yellow message like this:

Windows Update

Your PC will restart in 2 days to finish installing security updates.

Sure, update notifications.

I'm a long time user of Windows, having used it from 95 (although I don't remember much from that period). XP, Vista, and Win 7 all exhibited the following behavior:

  • There are updates.
  • I don't care about them.
  • When I leave work, I initialize shutdown of my PC.
  • Windows installs the updates and shuts down my PC.
  • When I get to work the next day, it has to spend maybe 1 extra minute to finish up.
  • I can get back to work.

Windows 8, instead, decides to not install updates during shutdown. Apparently shutting it down and booting backup isn't a restart. Weird terminology they're using there.

Thus, with windows 8, my process is as such:

  • There are updates.
  • I don't care about them.
  • When I leave work, I initialize shutdown of my PC.
  • Windows shuts down my pc.
  • When I get to work the next day, I boot my pc up.
  • Windows sees that it's automatic restart time, and spends 2 minutes or so installing updates.
  • Windows then does a hard restart.
  • After booting, windows finalizes installation of the updates.
  • In these 3 minutes, I've mentally labelled my workstation as "unavailable" and gone off to do semi- or non-work related things (talking to co-workers, getting drinks, toying around with my phone...)
  • When I get back to my workstation, 10-30 minutes later...
  • I can get back to work.

So I google and find out this "not installing updates on shutdown" is due to fast boot.

I like fast boot and don't want to disable it. I don't want to do a cold hard shutdown every time I leave for work if this makes booting the PC slower. I can probably wait the extra 10 seconds, but ideally, when I shutdown my PC, it either installs updates via a full shutdown, or it does a shutdown for fast-boot.


How can I configure Windows 8 as such that it will, on shutdown: if there are no updates, do a shutdown with fast boot - if there are updates, do the full shutdown? Even better would be if it did the full restart and did a fast shutdown afterward, that'd make my boot process take the same time, regardless of whether it needed any updates.

  • 1
    Interesting question. I can think of some workarounds to create something that would get this result, but lets see if someone has a workable solution first. Definitely something I'd be interested in too. +1 – LPChip Dec 12 '14 at 10:09
  • @LPChip my currently planned workaround involves writing a script I'd run that will attach itself as a process to be started up on startup: it would hard restart, then unattach itself and shutdown normally. But that'd take some time to create (I don't know how to attach processes to be booted on start up, and at that point we're getting dangerously close to "spending a day to save a minute" - procrastination via optimization.) – Pimgd Dec 12 '14 at 10:18
  • If you absolutely need to set boot mode (fast or full) during boot, then you may need to use a different boot mode on Mondays, assuming you want to have a fast PC on patch Tuesdays. – skiwi Dec 12 '14 at 10:32
  • I install updates and shutdown all the time on my main system running Windows 8. – Ramhound Dec 12 '14 at 11:07
  • @Pimgd same idea here. But you do not really have to attach a process. Just create a script that you run that basically reboots the pc once and then upon startup, issue a shutdown. The only question becomes doing the reboot after windows updates. You can shutdown with a timer, so you enable the windows update, shutdown after an hour to finish the process. But there may also be a way to make windows reboot upon installing windows updates automatically through group policy. So you'd start the windows update, run the script once and it would work. – LPChip Dec 12 '14 at 11:25

Simply press and hold the shift key when clicking on Shutdown. This invokes a full shutdown and installs the updates. And when you normally shutdown Windows it still uses the new fast boot.

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